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CONCERT REPORT: Nashville, November 5

Posted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 9:27 pm
by sturgess66
In TheNashvilleScene.com -
http://www.nashvillescene.com/2009-11-0 ... lan-at-75/
Leonard Cohen the Sage, Better Than Ever (and Dylan) at 75

By Steve Haruch
Published on November 04, 2009 at 2:50pm
LC-Nashville.jpg
LC-Nashville.jpg (18.14 KiB) Viewed 10316 times
Playing Thursday, 5th at TPAC's Jackson Hall

There's an old saying that trying to talk about music is like "dancing about architecture." It's not always a graceful dance. One night, in the blurry hours that come after one loses track of how many beers, exactly, have transpired, and the noise of the bar and all the overly loud talking, and the music from the jukebox with its garish little LCD screen, all become a single, amorphous roar, I got into a discussion with a friend about Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan. The word "discussion" here might make it sound more articulate than it was—my side of the argument came out something like, Dylan is fine and all, sure, don't get me wrong, he's great, really, and important, too—obviously, I mean, I get that—but I don't know...he's just never meant as much to me as Leonard Cohen. I'm pretty sure my argument was forceful and brilliant, so it's too bad I don't really remember it. Let's just say that if this had been a dance of any kind, I probably would have broken my head open on the corner of the bar.

Perhaps, in his droll way, Cohen is riffing on this whole "dancing about architecture" notion in "Tower of Song," the bluesy, stutter-stepping shuffle on I'm Your Man, which envisions the pantheon of songwriters as a high-rise full of insomniacs: "I said to Hank Williams, 'How lonely does it get?' / Hank Williams hasn't answered yet / But I hear him coughing all night long / A hundred floors above me / In the Tower of Song." A humble sizing-up of his own stature, for sure, though Cohen never mentions how many floors up (or down) Bob Dylan lives.

Cohen and Dylan—mutual admirers—first met in New York, where Cohen soon fell in with the local folk scene, eventually securing a record deal with Columbia by way of John Hammond, who had also signed Dylan. (Cohen was on his way to Nashville, but got sidetracked by the goings-on in Greenwich Village. He would later move to the Nashville area for a time in the 1970s.) Nearly 20 years later, as the story goes, the two get to talking backstage at a Dylan show, and eventually land on the subject of their respective songwriting processes. Cohen asks Dylan how long it took him to write "Highway 61," a song Cohen says he admires. Dylan responds, a little sheepishly, "I wrote it one afternoon—took me maybe 15 minutes." Laughing, Dylan asks in return, "How long did 'Hallelujah' take you?" "That," Cohen replies, "took me the best part of two years."

It's a funny story, and one I referenced at some point in my bar stool tirade. (It may or may not be apocryphal.) Dylan's talent has always seemed effortless, second nature—as if lightning had struck a tree, and he had fashioned his guitar from the wood, then set out across the land. The story of Bob Dylan is the story of an American authenticity being channeled through one man who never had to try too hard to conjure his version of the world, even if the whole time he was feverishly writing his own mythology in the wings. Cohen, on the other hand, has always sounded measured and professorial. His songs sound like works of great labor, and even as a relatively young man, he sang in a voice that was knowing and a little forlorn—an old soul trying to get laid and figure out who God is at the same time. So it's no surprise that he's aged better than Dylan has.

Sure, the knock on Cohen has always been that his oeuvre is one-dimensional. There are only so many shades of darkness, the criticism goes, and how many albums full of that do you really need? Well, if truth is beauty and beauty truth, then let there be as many Leonard Cohen albums as he has time to compose. "Hallelujah" was certainly worth the wait, whether it took two years to write or two days. While Dylan has been off making Victoria's Secret commercials, inexplicable Christmas albums and enemies of his fans, Cohen has emerged sounding more wise and masterful than ever.

On the subject of "Hallelujah": It has also been covered something like 170 times, but most singers are no match for it, interpreting it as a simple ballad or trying too hard to find it more uplifting than it really is. (Jeff Buckley's version, probably the most widely referenced, is at once too delicate and too blunt.) The odd, unfathomable popularity of "Hallelujah"—not the likeliest American Idol number for sure—that, along with Cohen's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last March, has given him perhaps the biggest audience of his career at age 75. He might not be listening to Hank Williams' cough through his floorboards any time soon, but he is without question the greatest Jewish Zen monk songwriter to ever come out of Canada—or anywhere—and we're lucky to get the chance to see him as he keeps working his way up, story by story, in the Tower of Song.

Email music@nashvillescene.com.
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Re: Nashville PreConcert Review - Leonard Cohen the Sage ...

Posted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 3:56 am
by jglBB
This Steve Haruch guy knows how to write IMHO (In My Humble Opinion).

Re: Nashville PreConcert Review - Leonard Cohen the Sage ...

Posted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:23 am
by Misty Marie
That is a really neat (p)review. Finally a newspaper columnist who knows how to get it right. And he's presented his review from a unique perspective, too. Very interesting. Thanks for posting it.

Misty

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Nashville, Nov 5

Posted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:41 am
by sturgess66
Here come the tweets (realized they are in a different time zone from me - I was looking an hour too early :lol: ) -
varouna Just left work - about to get dinner and then Leonard Cohen!!!! about 3 hours ago from UberTwitter
esseandnoah @thebootdotcom cool. We are going to see Leonard Cohen at TPAC tonight. We had to choose one and chose Cohen since he never tours. about 3 hours ago from web
visitmusiccity Tonight in Nashville: Leonard Cohen @TPAC and Willie Nelson @TheRyman. Wow. Thinking it's going to be a good night. http://tr.im/Eh3X about 3 hours ago from TweetDeck
bill_alford Big Night in downtown Nashville. Willie Nelson at the Ryman and Leonard Cohen at TPAC. Had to choose the later this time. about 2 hours ago from TweetDeck
annemccue Leonard Cohen tonight! http://www.leonard-cohen.com/ about 2 hours ago from web
brittneymckenna leonard cohen tonight! about 2 hours ago from web
annemccue Leonard Cohen tonight!!! http://lnk.ms/4LCBn about 2 hours ago from MySpace
leemoro Leonard Cohen tonight at the TPAC in Nashville. Great sounding show! about 1 hour ago from web
rerkaizen stage photos of leonard cohen & the united heart touring company ( http://bit.ly/1VR6Mr ) it's hard to capture how united & entwined they feel about 1 hour ago from web
MCRachelBeth Getting ready to go see Leonard Cohen at TPAC tonight... AWESOME! about 1 hour ago from Ping.fm
ay_dree_un Willie Nelson and Leonard Cohen are both playing downtown 2night less than a few blocks from each other. sometimes i love nashville :) about 1 hour ago from web
joshpreston Pretty excited to see Leonard Cohen this evening!! First, must find food. about 1 hour ago from web
page300 Wishing I was seeing Leonard Cohen tonite, but alas I am poor. 41 minutes ago from web
shikshamahtani I cant believe i'm being dragged to the Leonard Cohen concert tonight......this should be interesting... 27 minutes ago from web
:roll:
theDavidHumes Lucky dawg! Enjoy! RT Getting ready to go see Leonard Cohen at TPAC tonight... AWESOME! (via @MCRachelBeth) 19 minutes ago from Tweetie
sheruinsyou Leonard Cohen is amazing. 9 minutes ago from UberTwitter
TylerWS Headed in to see Leonard Cohen. Feeling happy. 5 minutes ago from Tweetie
saellys http://twitpic.com/off41 Holy God, I'm about to see Leonard Cohen. 1 minute ago from TwitterBerry
AaronSheehan at tpac...20 minutes to leonard cohen! 2 minutes ago from txt
LeannBarron Nothing like having Charlie Morgan, Elton John's long-time drummer, coming to your house to take your lone Leonard Cohen ticket away... 9 minutes ago from web
:lol:
kimu View from our seats at the Leonard Cohen concert: http://yfrog.com/5ak8ayj less than a minute ago from Tweetie
brittneymckenna in the very last row of the balcony for leonard cohen. i don't like heights, i've decided. 8 minutes ago from mobile web
manicdrums http://twitpic.com/ofjgy - Leonard Cohen stage from my seat 6 minutes ago from TwitPic
NOTeNEFPromo working Leonard Cohen show at tpac. 2 minutes ago from HTC Peep
leemoro Go see Leonard Cohen show for a great Meyer Sound rig with a great engineer! less than a minute ago from Echofon
tinydream Ohh leonard cohen is amazing 3 minutes ago from twidroid
thechoirtweet Dan Michaels is enjoying Leonard Cohen live. Remarkable lyrics and poetry. 4 minutes ago from web
emptyfriend Leonard Cohen is pretty incredible 9 minutes ago from txt
JCampbellmusic Tasty dinner at Amerigo's...First half of Leonard Cohen was awesome! Second half to come...quite an amazing date night! 3 minutes ago from txt
donmesserli In awe of Leonard Cohen at TPAC thanks to Regine 6 minutes ago from Twitterrific

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Nashville, Nov 5

Posted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 6:10 am
by goldstei
best one-line nailing of LC I've seen yet (from the first post above):

"His songs sound like works of great labor, and even as a relatively young man, he sang in a voice that was knowing and a little forlorn—an old soul trying to get laid and figure out who God is at the same time."

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Nashville, Nov 5

Posted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 7:19 am
by sue7
goldstei wrote:best one-line nailing of LC I've seen yet (from the first post above):

"His songs sound like works of great labor, and even as a relatively young man, he sang in a voice that was knowing and a little forlorn—an old soul trying to get laid and figure out who God is at the same time."
Yes, I loved that one too!
Sue

CONCERT REPORT: Nashville TPAC, Nov 5

Posted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 9:44 am
by bridger15
Incredible concert at the Tennesse Performing Arts Center (TPAC)!!! Thank you Jarkko - first row seat. Fantastic.

This is a short inital report. I just returned to my hotel room and I have to pack for an early morning departure to St Louis.

I left the following on Maarten' set list page.
Maarten, here is the Nashville set list. Leonard uses two and I was given one of his. YeeHaw.
There is a but. He did one of the "new" songs.
I believe it was the Venice Darkness. But I am on a high right now with a travel deadline. I will check my videos (but I had some trouble with that too). Alas, I have to pack for St Louis and can't do much until I get there.
So here is the set list as a starter.
viewtopic.php?f=39&t=18956&start=60#p204117

silverbar just posted on the set list thread tht it was indeed the Darkness. So glad I have some of my memory functioning :D

Leonard gave a short talk about his years living in Tennessee. The story about himself and a horse is quite charming. I believe he also mentioned owning a rifle and a gun. I have lots of videos and hopefully I captured that. However, I did have some camera problems. When I get to St Louis I will try and sort it out.

Leonard also told the Chelsea hotel story about meeting Janis Joplin on the elevator and pretending to be Kris Kristofferson to the great delight of the Tennessee audience.

I don't recall any sing-along - I was so mesmerized by the experience of being in an intimate theatre and being totally absorbed in the music. But I do recall a lot of country western style "whooping". Marvellous audience enjoying themselves immensely.

More later.

---Arlene
edit. just remembered
At the end of FBR, his last line was "Sincerely, a friend"

Also, at the end he did not thank or bring the crew ontstage. What he did during the evening, was introduce the band members twice.

Raphel dropped one stick in his "we tried to leave you" clapping shtick. Anyone know the score so far?
I had left a single long stem rose on the stage apron before "everybody knows"which Leonard placed on the drum riser as usual. When raphael failed to catch the stick, great laughter. Roscoe picked up my rose and handed it to Raphael. More great laughter. A charming moment.

My short report seems to be growing longer.

Gotta run.
---Arlene

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Nashville TPAC, Nov 5

Posted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 9:53 am
by MarieM
Wow, Leonard seems to have talked more to the Nashville crowd than any other concert. Please, please, please let's hope you got it all. Thanks for the quick update. And an official unveiling of another new song. I'm excited.

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Nashville TPAC, Nov 5

Posted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 9:56 am
by MaryB
Arlene,

How wonderful that some of his 'banter' is back! It did not seem to make the setlist any shorter. How I wish that he brings this back to his concerts.

You really are on a wonderful whirlwind tour. Hope you get some rest.

Kindest regards,
Mary

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Nashville TPAC, Nov 5

Posted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:01 am
by bridger15
MaryB and Marie.

FYI. I just added an edit.

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Nashville TPAC, Nov 5

Posted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:09 am
by MarieM
My goodness, Arlene, what an eventful concert. And your rose was in the thick of it. How lovely. Thanks for taking care of business with the set list too.

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Nashville TPAC, Nov 5

Posted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:30 am
by MaryB
Oh my gost Arlene, what a special concert you attended and then your rose recieved special treatment! I knew I should have done Nashville!

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Nashville TPAC, Nov 5

Posted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 3:08 pm
by bridger15
Here is my video of "The Darkness"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkWMqs67Lhw

---Arlene (bridgebud on Youtube)

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Nashville TPAC, Nov 5

Posted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 4:22 pm
by neo
:!: Thanks for the great video!

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Nashville TPAC, Nov 5

Posted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:43 pm
by Theconsciouspoet
I attended last nights concert at TPAC in Nashville. Oddly enough I have been holding out my entire life and have never been to a concert. Naturally there's always a story behind why but that's not important. I had always told myself that I'd see Leonard Cohen if I had the chance and so I waited just for that moment. I spared no expense which ultimately meant I had to go alone. Having paid twice the price as many for my front B13 seat but the truth is I would have paid much more for the opportunity. After it was over I realized that no price tag can measure the experience. There's so much in life but nothing has quite fullfilled enough to satisfy my void until last night. For one brief moment I knew.