CONCERT REPORT: NYC Madison Square Garden, October 23

October 17 - November 13, 2009. Concert reports, set lists, photos, media coverage, multimedia links, recollections...

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Re: CONCERT REPORT: NYC Madison Square Garden, October 23

Postby lizzytysh on Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:39 am

Hold on to that BFF, Karen. Such a great gift he gave you! What I told my friend who accompanied me to Ft. Lauderdale is that, when it comes to a good relationship, a great place to begin is with a man who loves Leonard's work. She agreed and how could she not? It signals such a huge difference from the norm right from the get-go. I'm so happy for you that you got to experience Leonard first hand. There's simply no adequately explaining him. My friend agreed with that, too... even though she'd watched YouTubes and such after I acquainted her with him, and even more, after she'd decided to go with me... it was still different in such a major way for her to see him in person.

Likewise, with the woman who came to Tampa with me. I laughed when she said, "Who'd have known... ?" and I said, "I would... " and she responded, "Yes, you're right... you would have and did." That's because I told her that, even though we'd only met through emailing a couple times, and never met in person, that she just NEEDED to do WHATEVER she NEEDED to do to JUST MAKE IT HAPPEN... [the same as we all did in getting Obama elected... that was the thread of similarity that brought us to emailing with each other] ~ so, she did... and, boy, was she ever happy that she had.

Welcome to the Forum, Karen :D . Looking forward to more from you here.


~ Lizzy
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: NYC Madison Square Garden, October 23

Postby ladydi on Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:25 am

KarenK wrote:Lady Di, my BFF, gave me an early Christmas present: the MSG concert........and NOW.......I understand!!!

Meeting members of the Forum from all over the US, Canada, UK and Ireland at the happening at the Chelsea Hotel was a delightful prelude. Thank you all for sharing so much with me.

No words can describe the magic, wonder and power of the music. It has to be experienced and felt by one's heart.

So.........here I am............first concert.........first post...........the gift that keeps on giving. Thank you, Diana, members of the Forum and LC. May the music continue in all of our hearts all over the world. Shalom. Karen


Karen...my darling soul sister Karen! Wow..we've known each other for 40 years. Friday was such a special day for me..to be able to share my love of Leonard with you...and to share time with everyone else at the Chelsea! It seems strange writing to you on the Forum because we talk almost every day but I was SOOOOO blown away to see your posting here. Heck, Bob and Lizzy even responded to you before I noticed...(well, I am still sort of tired). Welcome my sister! There are gentle, intelligent, sensitive and loving people on this Forum (much like Leonard). You will find it interesting to navigate. I'll privately suggest a couple of topics to avoid :D ;-)

I'll talk with you tomorrow!
Love ya,
Diana

ps...what a beautiful first post!
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: NYC Madison Square Garden, October 23

Postby sturgess66 on Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:41 am

I just posted this in the thread for the Philadelphia concert - and wondering if anyone attending the MSG concert knows the answer:

Question - does anyone who attended the Philadelphia show know what Leonard recited before Anthem - before he starts to say "Ring the bells ..."? Sadly, by the time I started my video, he was saying "Ring the bells ..." Based on some email communication with someone on YouTube, I believe it may have been "The Flood" - a 1973 poem and the last poem in his "Book of Longing."

The flood it is gathering
Soon it will move
Across every valley
Against every roof
The body will break down
And the soul will break loose
I write all this down
But I don't have the proof.
Sinai, 1973

According to the person I communicated with on YouTube, Leonard apparently recited the same words before "Anthem" at Madison Square Gardens. Anyone here know if it was "The Flood"?
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: NYC Madison Square Garden, October 23

Postby dysgraceless on Mon Oct 26, 2009 5:48 am

The standing ovation after "I'm Your Man" was one of the most stirring moments I've been a part of in any concert I've ever attended. I don't think Leonard Cohen was expecting it, and it's true--the crowd would not stop. He kept trying to humbly speak or possibly move on, but we just wouldn't let him : ) It was very much deserved and a moment that I hope made him realize what a lasting impression he's had on this world, one that will likely perpetuate through time.

The show overall was excellent, the man is the height of class and talent.
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: NYC Madison Square Garden, October 23

Postby sue7 on Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:17 am

sturgess66 wrote:I just posted this in the thread for the Philadelphia concert - and wondering if anyone attending the MSG concert knows the answer:

Question - does anyone who attended the Philadelphia show know what Leonard recited before Anthem - before he starts to say "Ring the bells ..."? Sadly, by the time I started my video, he was saying "Ring the bells ..." Based on some email communication with someone on YouTube, I believe it may have been "The Flood" - a 1973 poem and the last poem in his "Book of Longing."

The flood it is gathering
Soon it will move
Across every valley
Against every roof
The body will break down
And the soul will break loose
I write all this down
But I don't have the proof.
Sinai, 1973

According to the person I communicated with on YouTube, Leonard apparently recited the same words before "Anthem" at Madison Square Gardens. Anyone here know if it was "The Flood"?


Although I didn't know the poem, and posted on the MSG setlist that he began with a verse I didn't recognize, this sounds as though it could be how he began. He definitely began with a line about the flood, and I remember feeling alarmed at the words he was saying. Sorry I can't be more definite than that.
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: NYC Madison Square Garden, October 23

Postby CarolineM on Mon Oct 26, 2009 7:11 am

great video of of "So Long, Marianne" and "First We Take Manhattan"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByCrRAjllGM
and Hallelujah
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AzhPAvT0jFA
Ottawa - May 25, 2009 / Ottawa - May 26, 2009 / NYC - October 23, 2009
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: NYC Madison Square Garden, October 23

Postby RainDog1980 on Mon Oct 26, 2009 7:52 am

This was our second concert for the 2009 leg of the tour, the first being the Boston show in May. Not too much of a difference in sets, and while I was hoping to see "Heart With No Companion" added in, I was absolutely BLOWN AWAY by "The Partisan." I particularly loved the marching beat and accordion. I also could have sworn we were getting Avalanche, but it turned out to be Suzanne.

With it being our second show, it gave me a chance to really focus on the more subtle aspects of the show, and the two big screens allowed the audience to see the performers faces. Dino Soldo is absolutely awesome. He was pumping his fist in the air when everybody was clapping along with the beat during "First We Take Manhattan", and he was just going nuts playing the wind synthesizer. Truly a consummate performer.

You can tell there is a true appreciation for Javier Mas on Leonard's part. I loved being able to see Javier's face while he was playing, and the way he would look sharply back at Leonard when they were doing a call/response type of thing (I forget which song it was on). Neil Larson is just amazing, I really enjoyed being able to get an overhead perspective of him while playing the organ. He adds so much, and quite the expressive player.

There is certainly something to be said for being at Madison Square Garden, and hearing "First We Take Manhattan." I mean, really... it just doesn't get any better than that, as well as getting "Chelsea Hotel", hearing the crowd erupt during the line "Those were the reasons, and that was New York." Just surreal. Leonard really does appear to still be enjoying himself, and The Future, I'm Your Man, Tower of Song, So Long Marianne, and Hallelujah really captured that Friday night.

I think my favorite part of the night was the crowd itself. The standing ovation for "I'm Your Man" has already been documented, but for being an audience of almost 20,000, everybody was very respectful (except for the dude who kept shouting "Death of a Ladies' Man!!!!"). I was sitting in Section 5, just a row or two away from the dividers, and there was a few people in that row who were just cracking up at Leonard's dry wit, cheering their hearts out, and just having a good time. There were many times where groups were just cheering and laughing, and I remember looking around, taking it in, and thinking "This is such a great thing to be a part of." Truly. I heard one woman shout "BEAUTIFUL!!!" as he finished reciting 1,000 Kisses Deep. It was so great to be around other people who share this appreciation and admiration for Leonard and his work, and man, did that audience show it.

This was a special show for us, as my wife and I got married on October 17th, and Leonard's music played a big part in our wedding. I performed "If It Be Your Will" as a prayer for blessing during difficult times, "Dance Me to the End of Love" from Cohen Live was our cake cutting music, and our final song of the night was "So Long, Marianne" from FCC. Seeing Leonard perform it this time, was a very emotional moment. And of course, "Bird on the Wire" brought me to tears (again!!). But it wasn't just this that made it special. It's the connection that Leonard has brought to all of us, by bringing us together. As I was watching them, I began to think about it, and I have no doubt that some incredible friendships were formed on this tour, both audience and performers alike. When all is said and done, if this is Leonard's final tour, I'm sure that final night is going to be the most bittersweet moment for all involved. Because from where I stand, all of those who have been touched by these performances... we have witnessed history in the making, and I can honestly say that I believe none of our lives will be the same again because of it.

Thank you, to all of you involved, who have made this happen.
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: NYC Madison Square Garden, October 23

Postby MaryB on Mon Oct 26, 2009 7:59 am

RainDog,

What an utterly beautiful post - thank you!

Best regards,
Mary
1993 Detroit 2008 Kitchener June 2-Hamilton June 3 & 4-Vienna Sept 24 & 25-London RAH Nov 17 2009 NYC Feb 19-Grand Prairie Apr 3-Phoenix Apr 5-Columbia May 11-Red Rocks Jun 4-Barcelona Sept 21-Columbus Oct 27-Las Vegas Nov 12-San Jose Nov 13 2010 Sligo Jul 31 & Aug 1-LV Dec 10 & 11 2012 Paris Sept 30-London Dec 11-Boston Dec 16 2013 Louisville Mar 30-Amsterdam Sept 20
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: NYC Madison Square Garden, October 23

Postby sturgess66 on Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:12 am

sue7 wrote:
sturgess66 wrote:I just posted this in the thread for the Philadelphia concert - and wondering if anyone attending the MSG concert knows the answer:

Question - does anyone who attended the Philadelphia show know what Leonard recited before Anthem - before he starts to say "Ring the bells ..."? Sadly, by the time I started my video, he was saying "Ring the bells ..." Based on some email communication with someone on YouTube, I believe it may have been "The Flood" - a 1973 poem and the last poem in his "Book of Longing."

The flood it is gathering
Soon it will move
Across every valley
Against every roof
The body will break down
And the soul will break loose
I write all this down
But I don't have the proof.
Sinai, 1973

According to the person I communicated with on YouTube, Leonard apparently recited the same words before "Anthem" at Madison Square Gardens. Anyone here know if it was "The Flood"?


Although I didn't know the poem, and posted on the MSG setlist that he began with a verse I didn't recognize, this sounds as though it could be how he began. He definitely began with a line about the flood, and I remember feeling alarmed at the words he was saying. Sorry I can't be more definite than that.


Thanks Sue! Anyone else? Maybe he will do the same at all the rest of the upcoming shows - and eventually this will be confirmed - or we will have the answer.
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: NYC Madison Square Garden, October 23

Postby goldstei on Mon Oct 26, 2009 12:26 pm

sturgess, that was definitely it, both in philly & nyc.
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: NYC Madison Square Garden, October 23

Postby Liamberney on Mon Oct 26, 2009 12:50 pm

Raindog 1980 - stunning, you say it all.

Thanks

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Re: CONCERT REPORT: NYC Madison Square Garden, October 23

Postby sue7 on Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:11 pm

http://www.earvolution.com/2009/10/mond ... adison.asp

From Earvolution
Monday, October 26, 2009
Monday's Earful: Leonard Cohen @ Madison Square Garden
By: David Schultz

In 2008, Leonard Cohen became one the more unlikely inductees into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. For all the praise that can be lauded upon the vaunted Canadian singer-songwriter for his evocative lyrics, inimitable style and singularly identifiable voice, Cohen really doesn’t rock. He does write fantastic songs though and once you hear him sing, his voice, spiritual mien and impeccable sense of songcraft remain with you. Cohen’s musical output over the last decade and a half has been scarce but with directors like Oliver Stone including his songs at critical moments in their films and Jeff Buckley’s version of “Hallelujah” eternally making new converts, he’s never drifted far from the collective unconscious of cerebral thinkers.

Earlier this year, Cohen played his first American concert in fifteen years, selling out the Beacon Theater in New York City. After returning for two more sold out nights at Radio City Music Hall this past May, a sellout of Madison Square Garden this past Friday night seemed like nothing more than foregone conclusion. If Cohen’s longtime manager’s embezzlement of Cohen’s retirement funds has played any role in Cohen’s recent desire to tour after a lengthy absence, we can condemn the motivation but revel in his return.

At 75 years of age, Cohen’s preternaturally deep voice sounds as warm and comforting as it did in his prime. Dropping to his knees in a penitent pose for the start of nearly every song, Cohen mesmerized the Garden with his neo-romantic visions, bohemian patois and oh so calm and reassuring voice for nearly three hours. Over two sets and three encores Cohen left no one wanting, playing a veritable greatest hits show that included early hits like “So Long, Marianne,” “Bird On A Wire” and “Famous Blue Raincoat,” his tender reminiscence of a night with Janis Joplin, “Chelsea Hotel No. 2,” confident declarations of masculinity like “I’m Your Man” and latter day apocalyptic prophecies like “The Future.” Notwithstanding jawdropping versions of “Suzanne,” the locale-appropriate “First We Take Manhattan” and his various takes on flamenco and European melodies, Cohen’s best moments were on “Anthem” and “Hallelujah.” A spiritual soul, Cohen’s passionate delivery evokes a powerful emotional response, shaming all inferior singers who feel theatrics and multi-octave ranges are a substitute for the true ability to convey the beauty of a song.

You might think that a crowd that skews old would diminish the feel of the show; a decidedly less rambunctious crowd couldn’t possible generate the proper atmosphere for a Friday night at Madison Square Garden. Never underestimate the power of a well-mannered audience. It has its time and place. For one night, MSG took on all the qualities of an intimate Broadway show. While Cohen sang, he didn’t battle banal self-involved chatter. When he spoke, nary a peep could be heard from the crowd who hung on every sepia-toned word that dripped from his lips. Once intermission finished, the concession stands, which were doing abysmal business, simply shut down. No one in that audience had an interest in anything but Leonard Cohen.
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: NYC Madison Square Garden, October 23

Postby sturgess66 on Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:33 pm

Thanks Sue!! I love this article I just read it and and was coming over here to post it!!

... Notwithstanding jawdropping versions of “Suzanne,” the locale-appropriate “First We Take Manhattan” and his various takes on flamenco and European melodies, Cohen’s best moments were on “Anthem” and “Hallelujah.” A spiritual soul, Cohen’s passionate delivery evokes a powerful emotional response, shaming all inferior singers who feel theatrics and multi-octave ranges are a substitute for the true ability to convey the beauty of a song.


Yes indeed!

And I love this commentary about the audience -

You might think that a crowd that skews old would diminish the feel of the show; a decidedly less rambunctious crowd couldn’t possible generate the proper atmosphere for a Friday night at Madison Square Garden. Never underestimate the power of a well-mannered audience. It has its time and place. For one night, MSG took on all the qualities of an intimate Broadway show. While Cohen sang, he didn’t battle banal self-involved chatter. When he spoke, nary a peep could be heard from the crowd who hung on every sepia-toned word that dripped from his lips. Once intermission finished, the concession stands, which were doing abysmal business, simply shut down. No one in that audience had an interest in anything but Leonard Cohen.


Dino mentioned something about Leonard's appearances in NYC - that Leonard is the first artist ever to have "sold out" the three big venues in New York City - within the same year. That would be The Beacon, Radio City Music Hall (sold out two nights in a row) and now Madison Square Gardens. I *think* this is what Dino was saying. There is some sort of record here for Leonard in that regard. And it is not even a full year - more like nine months. Just some statistics - but that is no small feat! Another achievement of this remarkable man.
Last edited by sturgess66 on Mon Oct 26, 2009 7:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: NYC Madison Square Garden, October 23

Postby ladydi on Mon Oct 26, 2009 7:42 pm

What a wonderful writeup by David Schultz ("earvolution"), and Raindog1980...your review was beautiful and touching!

At some point it seems impossible to find more superlatives for Leonard, as they've all been used before...and how is it possible that perfection continues to be more perfect. However Friday night at Madison Square Garden surpassed every superlative. and (figuratively) broke the sound barrier!

With the limited time between Israel and the start of the US Tour, I have no idea how they had the time but a few of the arrangements do seem to be changed! Especially in the first set. "Waiting for the Miracle" has an almost tribal throb to it that I don't remember, but really like! The "Flood" poem leading into "Anthem" was a new chilling addition but mitigated by the redemptive promise of "there is a crack in everything..."!

Each band member is precision perfect, along with the Webb Sisters, and the exquisite voice of Sharon. But Leonard seemed stronger, and this may sound like a strange word, but more "forceful" than I've seen him. Forceful energy...not just energy. For those of us who appreciate his chuckles, they were there multiple times and VERY strong :D His hand motions were so deliberate... The evening was sheer perfection and definitely a spiritual experience for me, capped by the never-ending standing ovation after "I'm Your Man" which still brings tears to my eyes....Leonard spotlighted alone on the stage, attempting to quiet the crowd who would not be quieted. All in homage to the maestro...

With a joyful and thankful heart,
Diana
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: NYC Madison Square Garden, October 23

Postby sturgess66 on Mon Oct 26, 2009 7:59 pm

Diana - you were so lucky to have been at MSG to see Leonard. I wish I had been there. (I say that about them all - and mean it. :lol: )

And - Diana - question? I think you are confirming that it is, in fact, "The Flood", that Leonard is reciting before "Anthem"? I think this is correct, based on my memory and based on an email I received from someone on YouTube. It was a total and wonderful surprise to me and while what he was reciting did sound familiar - I was not sure from whence it came. It is only now that I am seeking out exactly what he was saying. I regret that I did not capture it on video. It was "tricky" out there - and I was slow to react. :lol:
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