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Leonard Cohen in Las Vegas 12-11-10 Concert Review
Dec 17, 2010 Michael Doherty
Leonard Cohen at The Colosseum 12-11-10 - Photos by Michael Doherty
The final concert of Leonard Cohen's three-year tour included a beautiful rendition of his new song, "Born In Chains."
Leonard Cohen's three-year tour came to an end in Las Vegas on December 11th, 2010. The second concert of a two-night stand at The Colosseum At Caesars Palace, this show was approximately three and a half hours, and featured his most well known songs such as "Suzanne" and "Hallelujah" as well as excellent new material like "The Darkness" and "Born In Chains."
"Dance Me To The End Of Love"
At 8:17 p.m. Leonard Cohen took the stage, and led the night off with "Dance Me To The End Of Love." This is the song with which he started every show of the tour, but this night it had a special poignancy, as everyone in the crowd was aware it might be the final performance, as Leonard Cohen has no further plans to tour.
The night began with these lyrics, "Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin/Dance me through the panic 'til I'm gathered safely in/Lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove/Dance me to the end of love."
After the song, Leonard Cohen said, "We seem to have come to the end of a certain chapter we began three years ago. I was 73, just a kid with a crazy dream. I don't know when we'll pass this way again, but I assure you that tonight we'll give you everything that we have."
"Everybody Knows" was particularly excellent on the night. Leonard Cohen seemed to be having a great time singing it, adding little vocal touches especially toward the end of the song. And during the chorus, he really belted out the lines, finding an incredible power in his voice.
"Everybody Knows" is from Leonard Cohen's 1988 release, I'm Your Man. It was featured in the 1990 film Pump Up The Volume.
"The Darkness" and "Born In Chains"
Leonard Cohen performed two of his most recent compositions at this concert: "The Darkness" and "Born In Chains."
"The Darkness" is a seriously cool song with a bluesy edge. Check out these lyrics: "The present is not that pleasant/Just a lot of things to do/I thought the past would last me/But the darkness got that too." The backing vocals are beautiful.
Leonard Cohen introduced "Born In Chains" by saying, "This is a new song based on some generalized appetite for prayer." A beautiful song, "Born In Chains" features Sharon Robinson, Charley Webb and Hattie Webb sharing lead vocal parts with Leonard Cohen.
Leonard Cohen concluded the first set with "Anthem," from his 1992 release The Future. During this extended rendition, he introduced each band member with some very kind and laudatory words. But it was introduction of Rafael Bernardo Gayol on drums that got the biggest response from the crowd, and proved again that Leonard Cohen has an excellent sense of humor (despite his weird reputation for being a morose and depressing songwriter).
Leonard said, "On the drums, like any great drummer, a sculptor of silence, laying it down, bringing it home, putting it to bed, clipping its toenails, tucking it in, kissing it goodnight, smothering it with a pillow, going to prison, recruited by the Aryan brotherhood, disillusioned by the uneven quality of their tattoos, converted to Judaism, excommunicated for lighting the Hanukkah candles in the wrong direction, retiring to a halfway house for broken vegetarians, and there studying the rigorous rules of radical restraint, which prepared him for work in the quietest band in rock and roll, and here he is tonight, the prince, the priest of passionate precision, Rafael Bernardo Gayol."
And before leaving the stage for his set break, Leonard said to the audience, "I do not know the words to describe the generosity and loyalty and devotion which you have shown to me over the years. All I can do is express my deepest gratitude. I am forever grateful."
During the set break, many of the fans in the front center section began singing "Passing Through," a song that has been included as a possible tune on most set lists, but not actually performed on this tour. As the house lights dimmed, the audience kept singing, and Leonard Cohen ran out on stage, and sang a line of the song with them: "Tell the people that you saw me passing through." He then thanked the audience, and began "Tower Of Song."
"The Gypsy's Wife"
After "Tower Of Song," Leonard Cohen played guitar on a series of songs, including "Suzanne," "A Singer Must Die" and "The Gypsy's Wife." "The Gypsy's Wife" is a gorgeous song from his 1979 studio release, Recent Songs. Dino Soldo's performance on this song was perfect.
"Boogie Street" is a song from Leonard Cohen's 2001 release Ten New Songs. Sharon Robinson co-wrote this song, and in concert she sings the lead, and Leonard Cohen backs her on vocals. Sharon sings, "So come, my friends, be not afraid/We are so lightly here/It is in love that we are made/In love we disappear." It's always a treat to hear Sharon sing. For the audience, and for Leonard Cohen, for when she finished, he said, "Beautiful." And indeed the song was beautiful.
"Hallelujah" and "I'm Your Man"
From there Leonard Cohen went into what has become possibly his most famous song, "Hallelujah." This song has wonderful lyrics, including these lines: "Well, maybe there's a god above/As for me, all I ever learned from love/Is how to shoot at someone who outdrew you."
After "Hallelujah," Leonard Cohen sang "I'm Your Man," one of the sexiest songs ever written. And age has certainly not detracted from Leonard's appeal, as was obvious from the screams from the female members of the audience when he sang lines like "And if you want a doctor/I'll examine every precious inch of you."
"I Tried To Leave You"
Leonard Cohen did a series of encores, including "So Long, Marianne," "Famous Blue Raincoat" and "Closing Time." The Webb Sisters performed their beautiful rendition of "If It Be Your Will."
Leonard Cohen ended the night and the tour with "I Tried To Leave You." Each member of the band got a chance to solo before Leonard Cohen sang the last verse of the song. The line, "Goodnight, my darling, I hope you're satisfied," got a huge cheer from the more-than-satisfied audience. It had been one incredibly magical night, to end a magical tour.
Leonard Cohen invited members of the crew to join the band on stage, and then said to the audience, "Thanks so much, friends. Thank you for your devotion, your loyalty, your support, your encouragement over all these years. It is deeply appreciated. On behalf of us all, I want to thank you for this memorable evening, for this spectacular ending to our world tour."
1.Dance Me To The End Of Love
3.Ain't No Cure For Love
4.Bird On The Wire
6.In My Secret Life
7.Who By Fire
9.Born In Chains
11.Chelsea Hotel No. 2
12.Waiting For The Miracle
1.Tower Of Song
3.A Singer Must Die
4.Sisters Of Mercy
5.The Gypsy's Wife
9.I'm Your Man
10.A Thousand Kisses Deep
11.Take This Waltz
1.So Long, Marianne
2.First We Take Manhattan
1.Famous Blue Raincoat
2.If It Be Your Will
1.I Tried To Leave You
The show ended at 12:09 a.m. The set list was almost identical to that of the previous night. The exception was the inclusion of Leonard Cohen's wonderful new song, "Born In Chains."
The show was recorded and filmed, and there is the possibility that it will be released at some point, either on CD or DVD - or perhaps both, as the London show was. Though right now the plan is to release the new studio album first, before any more live albums are released.
Leonard Cohen's touring band was Javier Mas on bandurria, laud, archilaud and 12-string guitar; Dino Soldo on saxophone, keyboards, wind instruments and backing vocals; Bob Metzger on guitar, pedal steel and backing vocals; Rafael Bernardo Gayol on drums; Neil Larsen on keyboards and accordion; Sharon Robinson on vocals; Charley Webb on vocals and guitar; Hattie Webb on vocals and harp; and Roscoe Beck on bass and backing vocals. Roscoe Beck was also the musical director for the tour.
Copyright Michael Doherty
LisaLCFan wrote:I also noticed that "Leonard Cohen"'s full name is mentioned 29 times in this article (plus a few "Leonard"s). How quaint!
Tova wrote:To the "Deeper Order"fans, a DVD of the Las Vegas 11 Dec 2010 Concert can be downloaded at http://www.megaupload.com/?f=6GNKEUC0
For details check out the "Collectors' and Traders' Corner"
Hi Wendy,Mabeanie1 wrote:Tova wrote:To the "Deeper Order"fans, a DVD of the Las Vegas 11 Dec 2010 Concert can be downloaded at http://www.megaupload.com/?f=6GNKEUC0
For details check out the "Collectors' and Traders' Corner"
As some of you are already aware, I have not been able to access Megaupload for some weeks due to our poor internet connection, which has been really bad over the past 2-3 weeks. Is there some kind person who would be prepared to send me the DVD on disk? Or, if there is anyone else in the same position, perhaps you could try uploading the files somewhere else as well Tova?
Thanks in anticipation.
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