CONCERT REPORT: Venice, August 3

Europe and Israel (July 1 - September 24, 2009). Concert reports, set lists, photos, media coverage, multimedia links, recollections...

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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Venice, August 3

Postby spider76 on Tue Aug 04, 2009 5:42 pm

yes, incredible timing for the weather!

I faced 2 really heavy storms while driving to Venice, and then the biggest one hit just before the show, with streets flooded and people running for cover... I was really afraid the show would be canceled in such a weather.
And then, half an hour before the start, the rain stopped and the wind cleared the clouds, setting up an amazing scenery in one of the most beautiful squares on Earth.
("Thank you for braving the rain", Leonard opened! ;-) )

And it seems the band enjoyed it too!
I remembered them from last year's Italian gig in Lucca, where they sounded impeccable but were maybe a little "cold", or "shy" if you prefer...
Yesterday it seemed almost a different band, perfectly road-tested and at the top of its form.
The playing was perfect as usual, but the feeling was definitely warmer and the sound was more vigorous. Every musician seemed to participate with more strength and personality than last year's, while at the same time melting in a perfect ensemble, in which the total was more than just the sum of the single parts!
Dino soldo was great, but I was most impressed at the contribution of Rafael Gayol and Neil Larsen (I really had goosebumps on his playing on Hallelujah!), and Javier Mas was a true giant, his bandurria almost stealing the scene from Leonard's voice.

For me, yesterday sounded even better than the "Live in London" record... hard to say I admit, but it was a night that will be difficult to forget.
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Venice, August 3

Postby sharon.e on Tue Aug 04, 2009 8:17 pm

sounds like pure magic!
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Venice, August 3

Postby sturgess66 on Tue Aug 04, 2009 10:56 pm

Haha! We have video from "AintNoCureForLove" on YouTube.

A very rousing "Closing Time" with lots of great footwork and leg lifts from Leonard and some "twists" - like at 1:24. A wonderfully joyful skip off stage - the windup at 5:19 is fantastic - and Rosco Beck does some hat twirling!!

They.are.having.fun!!!! :lol: :lol:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spQ9SlTtyZ0

And a skip back on stage for "Marianne." The audience is participating and just loving this. :D :D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQ4liW7oMrg
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Venice, August 3

Postby Liamberney on Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:26 pm

Just arrived back from Venice. A Memorable gig. It poured with rain for a couple hours and stopped about thirty minutes prior to the start, which was delayed for about 15 minutes due to poor organisation. I had read the Lucca reports from last year, so we arrived at San Marco nice and early. However, they did'nt allow anyone in until 15-20 minutes before the scheduled start, and then via one entrance. As a result, many people were not seated for the start of the show, thus the first 20-30 minutes were disrupted badly. The Italians are great with art & passion etc., but just can't seem to get to grips with organisation and efficiency. A guy in front of me was really rattled by it all.
Sorry, can't recall the setlist, but seemed similar to Liverpool. LC and the band were magical. I agree they are all much more relaxed. Leonard engages the audience more, standing front on as opposed to sideways, with lots of bold hand gestures. In bird on the wire, when he sings "if I have been untrue, I hope you know it was never to you" he points to the Basilica at the back of the piazza. He was clearly enjoying every minute. During 'ain't no cure for love' he joins Sharon & the Webb sisters and instead of 'sing it Angels', he points to the marble Angel atop the tower and urges them to 'sing it to the Angel'.
Many of the audience from the back of the square came forward to standing spaces at either side and were hassled by (the very few)stewards (where were you when people needed assistance finding their seats?) and Leonard gave them special attention on a couple of occasions.
The show really picked up momentum and the encores were brilliant. I had read the reports on Dublin and was interested how the Audience joined in with 'so long Marianne' so was delighted to blast out the chorus on this occasion with every other person in the place (LC congratulated us on our fine singing). Many also joined in with the chorus on FBR. The audience stood throughout the encores.
For the first time, I joined the regular forum members for the 'meet ups'. We wondered around the square the previous evening and met up with some of the band there. Hattie and Charlie spent some time chatting with our group and we also met Sharon & Dino. We went along to the sound check and Leonard performed a new yet unrecorded song (probably on utube by now?) Our thanks to Andrea and Marco for organising the meet ups(next time Leonard plays Italy, you should organise the venue!), and to the 'old hands' for making us so welcome.
I think this is probably our last LC concert - I don't foresee another tour alas (but who knows), and Venice is a worthy venue to finish on, we're satisfied and he's got our smiles...
Liam & Kath
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Venice, August 3

Postby Elsie on Wed Aug 05, 2009 1:39 am

Wow!!!
Leonard playing in Piazza San Marco, what a wonderful setting for the most wonderful show.....

Thanks Eija for the photos, I loved them:-)
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Venice, August 3

Postby MaryB on Wed Aug 05, 2009 8:22 am

sturgess66 wrote:A very rousing "Closing Time" with lots of great footwork and leg lifts from Leonard and some "twists" - like at 1:24. A wonderfully joyful skip off stage - the windup at 5:19 is fantastic - and Rosco Beck does some hat twirling!!

They.are.having.fun!!!! :lol: :lol:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spQ9SlTtyZ0

LC is so relaxed and all on stage are really enjoying themselves! I love the point at 2:30 when LC goes over to Sharon and they connect - what a great moment! Sturgess, thanks for posting this link!

Liam - Loved you review! Thank you. It is fantastic to hear how interactive the audience was - sounds like you were privy to one of the more special concerts :D .

Best regards,
Mary
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Venice, August 3

Postby Mabeanie1 on Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:43 pm

martali wrote:Hello,

This is the actual view from webcam at San Marco Square.

http://www.comune.venezia.it/flex/cm/pa ... Pagina/893

I'm with all my spirit and heart there
Marta


Marta

I am curious - were you able to follow the show via the webcam? I was thrilled to see the sound check at Red Rocks via webcam (sadly the show itself was much too late for me!) so I hope the San Marco webcam worked out too. They put big curtains up in the square to stop passers by from seeing the concert, but anyone who had a table booked at one of the restaurants would have been able to see it for free - though they would have got VERY wet if their booking was for any earlier than c 9.00 pm!)

Wendy

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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Venice, August 3

Postby jarkko on Wed Aug 05, 2009 8:47 pm

We will get up a selection of band & fan pictures soon on a separate photo Gallery.
1988, 1993: Helsinki||2008: Manchester|Oslo|London O2|Berlin|Helsinki|London RAH|| 2009: New York Beacon|Berlin|Venice|Barcelona|Las Vegas|San José||2010: Salzburg|Helsinki|Gent|Bratislava|Las Vegas|| 2012: Gent|Helsinki|Verona|| 2013: New York|Pula|Oslo||
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Venice, August 3

Postby martali on Wed Aug 05, 2009 9:07 pm

Mabeanie1 wrote:
Marta

I am curious - were you able to follow the show via the webcam? I was thrilled to see the sound check at Red Rocks via webcam (sadly the show itself was much too late for me!) so I hope the San Marco webcam worked out too. They put big curtains up in the square to stop passers by from seeing the concert, but anyone who had a table booked at one of the restaurants would have been able to see it for free - though they would have got VERY wet if their booking was for any earlier than c 9.00 pm!)

Wendy


No, dear Wendy, it was not possible to follow San Marco show on this webcam because it was focused rather towards the Basilica and the stage wasn't visible at all. Besides the picture was very small and not clear.
But yes, I watched this tiny picture most at the concert time imaging all the wonder in my mind (it was even easier for I have been there some years ago and could feel the magic of Leonard & band at the amazing San Marco.

The Red Rocks webcam was quite another thing - the picture was big and and good quality. I spent the whole night watching the concert on this webcam while listening to Beacon Theatre recording and saving the pictures sequence.
It ended approx. at 8:30 AM here. It was wonderful night for me.
Later I used all the material to make a 1,5 hour film on DVD.
If you wish I would be happy to send a copy to you :D . Please let me know.

Marta
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Venice, August 3

Postby tomsakic on Wed Aug 05, 2009 10:18 pm

I don't know what happened in Venice on Monday, but above the "usual perfection" (that sounds horrible;) of the band and Leonard's standard superb delivery, there was something in the air, at least when Leonard himself was in question. Already at the public soundcheck at 6pm he appeared completely in victorious mood (he said "Give them a show!" when he saw how many people gathered for the soundcheck, and teased us with new song about The Darkness), while on the show he was in complete command, always few steps before the band and the singers, even little self-ironic in its easiness. Commanding his own voice to incredible deepness as never before (the voice is deeper after the flue he got at the Weybridge) - and doing that with the voice consciously -; his body on the invisible strings commanded by somebody above doing its own show; kneeling not only on the first verses of each song but now spending the whole songs on the floor; looking for The Angel's instructions (the golden statue of an angel on the top of the St. Marco tower) in Ain't No Cure for Love, Tower of Song and So Long Marianne; and with small turns in delivery of some lines and words (every line was lived through), the Venice show launched itself among the best show Cohen ever gave, reaching its even higher highs on the encores, with the whole St. Mark's Square standing with hands in the air and singing out loud So Long Marianne and the chorus verses of Manhattan and Closing Time. Cohen waved on few occasions to crowds of young people hold up by security in left and right corner of the stage (the barrier broke down on the encores so those fans where leading in the singing along), going to both corners of the stage to greet them (probably seeing what's happening). I enjoyed their solemn and touched smiles and faces while waving to Leonard all the time. Thus for now; I don't know what happened there - the band was really happening, Sharon stormed the stage and touched the golden string in a capella/gospel part of Boogie Street (leaving the audience, at least where I was sitting, in utter amazement), Javier Mas almost killed us not only with prolonged intro to Who By Fire but bleeding his heart out on all his strings as loud he could manage (and it was loud!), half-standing above his chair. Maybe it was Venice, maybe it was Piazza St. Marco - but Leonard himself appeared very keen & ready, and although I cried through the show in Lucca, which was also energetic and loud as this one (but it was my first), and I saw Royal Albert Hall (which appears completely academic when compared to the Italian shows) in its immaculate perfection, the show in Venice showed what means when Leonard Cohen is literally taking a city. And - unlike the mix of the Live in London CD/DVD - it sounded as it should be - very loud but still clear, every musician being in his/her own tour de force, and every word from Leonard's lips transparent.



I will add only that the merchandising was ridiculously too expensive, and about the organisation, I am considering about writing a letter to them as the Italian organisation reached the low and chaotic levels which are reaching unbelievable level in being utterly impolite. I can stand the queues because they had only 2 entrances, maybe I can understand why they didn't bother to clean the chairs of rain and water, I cannot understand why they didn't write down new marks for seats and rows as the rain wiped them out, I can see that they are bothered by young people going to sit in empty left and right corners in front of the stage (so security spent most of the show pushing them back), but please can somebody explain to me why, while doing so, the security is chatting among themselves loud as they are on the marketplace, and not in front of stage in the middle of the show? For 172,50 Euros I paid for the ticket in the first row, in so-called VIP zone, I feel insulted being surrounded by 15 guards chatting and pushing people with no reason.
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Venice, August 3

Postby dharma on Wed Aug 05, 2009 10:33 pm

I really enjoyed Monday's concert - it seemed an extra special performance. Maybe the surroundings of San Marco added a unique atmosphere? I agree with the comments about Leonard (and the band) seeming more relaxed, at least from previous concerts I've seen. The sound quality was amazing considering it was an outdoor gig. It was lovely to hear Waiting For The Miracle. This was maybe the last time I'll see Leonard on stage and it will leave a very sweet memory indeed! :D

I don't know if there are plans for Leonard to record a new album, but it would be great if a new album featured his touring band, especially Javier Mass and Dino Soldo who have contributed so much to the overall 'sound' of this tour along with musical director Roscoe Beck. The new arrangements of old songs like The Partisan and Waiting For The Miracle have been a revelation methinks.
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Venice, August 3

Postby andrea on Wed Aug 05, 2009 11:29 pm

Thank you all for your reports up to now.
I agree with your comments about the special venue, Leonard Cohen in Piazza San Marco .
And I agree about the italian chaotic organization and apologize for that.
Last year in Lucca it was even worse (maybe Tom you can remember) but also this year, people came too late and got in very noisy , even phoning with the mobile phone during their walk and the concert was already on. Only few security staff or stewards.
The few stewards we saw were occupied looking for the seats, they did not know where the seat numbers were and therefore had a piece of paper with the seat maps, but due to rain many numbers and sector describtion got unreadable and they were running backwards and forwards.
Last year in Lucca I got very angry about the chaos, but this time knowing what expected us I tried to take it more relaxed than last year and I enjoyed the concert, the piazza, the beautiful lights, the warm atmosphere very very much :D ... and of course the fact that so many cohenites of our forum did come to Venice and to our meetups made us feel even more at home. We had again a great time together.
Thank you for coming to beautiful Italy :-) it was a pleasure and honour to us.
Andrea
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Venice, August 3

Postby Mabeanie1 on Wed Aug 05, 2009 11:44 pm

Tom Sakic wrote:but please can somebody explain to me why, while doing so, the security is chatting among themselves loud as they are on the marketplace, and not in front of stage in the middle of the show? For 172,50 Euros I paid for the ticket in the first row, in so-called VIP zone, I feel insulted being surrounded by 15 guards chatting and pushing people with no reason.


Tom

I agree with most of your comments from the soundcheck onwards. I too paid a stupid amount of money for the VIP zone - 2 x €202 including postage to the UK - for seats on the front row just to the right of Dino. The first half of the show was bliss apart from one staff member (part of the LC tour security? We have definitely seen him before eg in Antwerp) who spent a lot of time at the beginning of the show telling anyone with a camera not to use flash in as loud a voice as possible. The second half - well, we hardly saw or heard the show; we were too distracted by the tactics employed by security to get the crowd under control. I don't know what was worse: people pushing in front of us or security trying to move them back. It was amusing to see the initial crowd in front of the stage evaporate when two police officers showed up. Then one security guy spent ages negotiating (loudly) on his radio for back up. A gang of extra staff eventually turned up to push the crowd back a bit. There followed arguments with the "gatecrashers", most of whom refused to move, then discussions between the guards. Then, for the encores, they decided that the people who had paid €170 - 200 for the front row were more of a threat than those standing at the side so they came and stood in front of us. I could not see anything at all in the encores apart from the Italian guard directly in front of me. I was standing but he was taller than me so that was that.

So a mixed experience. Leonard, the band, the setting etc were spellbinding. The control of the crowd and the behaviour of the security staff was not.

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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Venice, August 3

Postby tomsakic on Wed Aug 05, 2009 11:55 pm

Then you were in front of me, I was in A1 sector, that first row which was even more right of Dino, but 5 rows behind you (I presume A10)... People tried to sit on that empty space between me and speakers system right of Dino, and on that space - in front of the whole A1 VIP sector - the security fought its own war. The fans pushed back by security were heavily uninterested in any fight - they were in trance and my feeling was that Leonard Cohen fans simply are so above any idea about fighting with the security.

It's sad that big guy was from LC crew, he was really overdoing it catching people around with cameras and not allowing anybody to appear near the side fences or in corridors. That's why the audience was very still until encores - everybody were afraid as he was running around like gestapo.

In the end I took my chair, and moved it from the corner of A1 sector to 2nd row, in front of Dino, in the corridor - the security guy didn't dare to say anything as it was obvious that I was surrounded by people and guards all the time at my original place.

I was more lucky than you, as I lost only Take This Waltz as I was really concentrated on the music (nothing can ruin the show for me - in Lucca I didn't even notice the fights for seats around me during first 6 songs), and encores were beautiful (now I know where the guards went - in front of the first row! I noticed that the space in front of Leonard remained empty so they holded it.)
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Venice, August 3

Postby Mabeanie1 on Thu Aug 06, 2009 12:10 am

Tom

We were in A2, seats 4 & 5. I didn't intend to go to Venice but when they started to sell tickets off plan these seats were free and "calling me". We wondered how the people in A1 got on with the crowd in front of them so now we know.

The "invasion" happened at Weybridge and it happened in Venice as well. By now, security should know what to expect and be prepared to exercise control before it happens.

They would have been better making all the outdoor shows unreserved standing. That way, everyone would know where they were and have an equal chance of getting to the front if they are prepared to queue.

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