CONCERT REPORTS: Dublin September 11, 12, 14 & 15, 2012

Concert reports, set lists, reviews, photos and You Tube links. Fan meet-ups before and after the concerts.
kg7
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Dublin Sept 11, 12, 14 & 15, 2012

Postby kg7 » Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:01 pm

kenscott wrote:
Could the fellow concert goers be affecting the reputation of memorable concerts? Could the organisers and concert goers have made a more sympathetic environment to have helped rather than challenged the performance?
There's always going to be thin line between the more casual fan enjoying the occasion and perhaps upsetting the more committed devotee. One major issue though, is continuing to serve food and drink during a performance. I've never failed to be impressed by artists/promoters who insist on bars closed when the show starts - (Eric Clapton comes to mind) - it makes such a difference. I wonder was Leonard given a choice?
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musicmania
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Dublin Sept 11, 12, 14 & 15, 2012

Postby musicmania » Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:03 pm

minnie wrote: That's part of it but I think, more importantly, "So Long, Marianne" speaks to that part of human nature which the Irish psyche is deeply in touch with; an awareness of the bitter sweet and sometimes horrendous loss that's intrinsically enmeshed with love/life and anything that moves the heart. Accepting that brings an ability to give space to hope, nostalgia and humour without polarising the spectrum of experience.

Maybe it could be petitioned as our new National Anthem ...
What a beautiful description which has brought tears to my eyes.
2009 Dublin 2010 Lissadell Katowice LV x2 2012 Ghent x2 Dublin x4 Montreal x2 Toronto x2 2013 New York x2 Brussels Dublin x2

Gwen's Leonard Cohen Journey: http://myleonardcohenjourney.wordpress.com/

"I did my best, it wasn't much"
minnie
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Dublin Sept 11, 12, 14 & 15, 2012

Postby minnie » Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:13 pm

kg7 wrote:
There's always going to be thin line between the more casual fan enjoying the occasion and perhaps upsetting the more committed devotee.
Yes, I agree. Very difficult to resolve this because different people have different expectations and ideas of what constitutes enjoyment at a concert.

One major issue though, is continuing to serve food and drink during a performance. I've never failed to be impressed by artists/promoters who insist on bars closed when the show starts - (Eric Clapton comes to mind) - it makes such a difference. I wonder was Leonard given a choice?
Good point and very good question.
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Dublin September 11, 12, 14 & 15, 2012

Postby minnie » Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:17 pm

Oh, thank you so much, musicmania.
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Dublin September 11, 12, 14 & 15, 2012

Postby hansr » Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:18 pm

Light as the breeze from the 12 september concert in Dublin.
Gives also an impression of some disruptive people. People are so very thirsty and hungry and can't wait for the interval... Nevertheless we had a sublime concert and we loved the atmosphere.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Svdc90I ... e=youtu.be

Hans and Sjanie
2008 Rotterdam
2009 Antwerp, Colmar, Barcelona
2010 Malmo, Ghent (3x), Strassbourg, Lille
2012 Ghent (2x), Amsterdam (2x), London, Dublin, Paris, Lisbon
2013 Antwerp, Brussels, Lucca, Vienna, Oslo, Manchester, London, Rotterdam, Amsterdam
annmarie
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Dublin Sept 11, 12, 14 & 15, 2012

Postby annmarie » Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:34 pm

musicmania wrote:
minnie wrote: That's part of it but I think, more importantly, "So Long, Marianne" speaks to that part of human nature which the Irish psyche is deeply in touch with; an awareness of the bitter sweet and sometimes horrendous loss that's intrinsically enmeshed with love/life and anything that moves the heart. Accepting that brings an ability to give space to hope, nostalgia and humour without polarising the spectrum of experience.

Maybe it could be petitioned as our new National Anthem ...
What a beautiful description which has brought tears to my eyes.

Mine too, thank you Minnie!
I have such a deep emotional attachment to that song, something too precious to openly discuss ;-)
My precious memories go back to a time when it wasn't just a song to singalong to. I'm so glad we chose tiered seats for Sat, just to be able to appreciate Leonard singing it without interruption from those around us. Oh of course we sang along on the other nights! :)
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TipperaryAnn
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Dublin Sept 11, 12, 14 & 15, 2012

Postby TipperaryAnn » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:39 pm

kg7 wrote:
There's always going to be thin line between the more casual fan enjoying the occasion and perhaps upsetting the more committed devotee.
Well said, kg7 - there are hardly 40,000 leonard Cohen fans in Ireland who can attend, so a large proportion of the audience will be "only there for the beer", or a night out, or out of curiosity. Many will not know, if not told, when the concert will start or when to expect an interval, and if the bars etc. are open they will wander in and out - an open-air venue lends itself to that. You would hope they would have the manners to wait until the end of a song though - one woman pushed past me during Suzanne! :shock: Sacrilege...

The loud talkers are worse, I think - mostly women, the "gossipy biddies" as my companion called them! I wonder If the bars were closed would we be plagued with even more of those?

On Friday I was 4 rows from the back, and was surrounded by quieter, less restless people than when down among the "select" on Saturday. Luck of the draw... Anyway the joy of listening to LC transcends all such minor irritations!
Last edited by TipperaryAnn on Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Dublin September 11, 12, 14 & 15, 2012

Postby Grainnemhaoil » Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:25 pm

Just to add my two cents worth to the concert reviews, though with nothing really new to add. I was lucky enough to attend the Tuesday and Fridays shows and Leonard was his usual brilliant self. It is just so nice to see the man, to hear his songs, to be graced by his presence and to be able to raise a smile from him. I loved both nights, Fridays show probably had a slight edge over Tuesdays for me, mostly because the arrangements without Dino were a bit strange at first, but second time round I appreciated the fiddle much more and Alexs' playing was brilliant, really brilliant. I think the switch to strings was a good move, the violin is a more appropriate instrument for some of the songs. I am looking forward to the live cd of the old ideas tour already, to hear more of Alex and the new arrangments. Light as a breeze, Night comes on and HTNWTSG particular highlights for me. But of course it feels wrong to pick any favourites, the Partisian, Who by Fire, FBR, all excellent as usual. I'm your man, Tower of Song excellent and funny. Is it my imagination or does Democracy have a more jaunty edge to it? Lighting and Sound outstanding, you could hear every note and syllable.

Regarding the venue, I like the RHK. As reported, Tuesday night was freezing, absolutely freezing. Every one was cold, it went down to about 7C (45F) but there was a really sharp wind that made it feel a lot colder. Sharon and The Webbs were kitted out in scarves and gloves early on, I was half expecting them to wheel out the giant super-sers they had the first night in Lissadell. Joey even tweeted a photo of the hand warmers they were using back stage. The only upside to the cold was that I was forced to buy a UHTC hoodie at the interval, I couldn't really justify the purchase of one before hand, the tour merchandise is overpriced, but by the interval it had become a medical necessity to stave off hypothermia. I know Leonard said that they always make him sing outside in Ireland, whoever "they" are, but I'm sure if LC doesn't want to do outside gigs any more, then he won't. I like seeing him outside though, especially in the dark, with the vaulted sky above and nothing to impede the melodies and his voice drifting off into the night.

Regarding all the people moving about, queueing for drinks and food, walking by with pints, it is annoying. I'm sure in some seats it felt like being in a train station, there was so much traffic. I was lucky enough to have great seats for both nights (1st and 3rd row) so it wasn't really a problem except for maybe the start where people were late arriving. You would wonder though, can people really not sit still for 90 minutes without having to go for (another) drink, but then you have to appreciate that for some people an LC concert isn't a sacred experience, it's just a good night out, to be enjoyed with a few friends and a few drinks and a few laughs, with some oul' lad singing in the background that they heard was good. So, it's always quite fidgety at the start, but I find once it gets dark and people calm, and the magic unfolds, for nearly everyone it turns out to be more than just a good night out and does turn into something special. I say most people, I think those muppets in row C on Friday already got a mention, but at least they left early. It is really nice to walk down the avenue at Kilmainhaim with thousand of other concert goers, as listen to their conversations and know we were all part of something special.

We are blessed to live in the era of Leonard Cohen and to be priviliged enough to hear him sing. The greedy side of me has my fingers crossed for a European leg to the tour in 2013.
Oh God, The Trees Are Excellent.
depe
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Dublin September 11, 12, 14 & 15, 2012

Postby depe » Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:43 pm

I was lucky to see Leonard both in Wembley and Dublin a few days apart. Although the performance was brilliant in both cases, to me there was quite a difference betweenthe Wembley Leonard and the Dublin Leonard. He clearly loves Dublin and the Irish people. He was energised, clearly enjoying himself, chatty and charismatic. However at Wembley compared to Dublin he said very little and appeared to be quite a different person. I hope us Brits haven't done anything to put him off us and I am very glad I got to see him at his best in Dublin, even though hypothermia nearly set in.
Weybridge, Lille, O2, Wembley, O2, Brighton, Dublin, O2, Rotterdam
minnie
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Dublin Sept 11, 12, 14 & 15, 2012

Postby minnie » Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:13 pm

"So Long, Marianne"
annmarie wrote: I have such a deep emotional attachment to that song, something too precious to openly discuss ;-)
My precious memories go back to a time when it wasn't just a song to singalong to.
:)
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Dublin September 11, 12, 14 & 15, 2012

Postby minnie » Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:26 pm

Grainnemhaoil wrote:
I like seeing him outside though, especially in the dark, with the vaulted sky above and nothing to impede the melodies and his voice drifting off into the night.
Oh, exactly. Kilmainham is a beautiful venue because of that. If the powers that be could shift the next tour back into the warmer months so it's more comfortable for Leonard and the band (and have stricter regulations re food and drink during performance time), it'd be ideal. I particularly loved the cusp of twilight descending into night time to the sound of Alex's violin.
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Dublin September 11, 12, 14 & 15, 2012

Postby musicmania » Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:06 pm

I finally have my review written. Now just to sort the photos. Will share links for them in due course.

http://myleonardcohenjourney.wordpress. ... ilmainham/

When it was announced that the legendary Leonard Cohen would be gracing the stage in Kilmainham once again I was very excited as I had missed his first series of concerts in the venue in 2008. It was those concerts which had convinced Cohen that there was still an audience for his songs so for him to be returning there was something I was going to cherish and it was an easy quick decision to go to all four concerts. I'd made a personal vow after having to miss the 2nd concert in Lissadell in 2010 that I would never miss a concert by Cohen in Ireland again.

I am often asked how can I go to multiple concerts of the same artist but for me every Cohen concert is unique and every Cohen concert is special so I just knew I'd enjoy each and every minute of these four concerts. A lot has happened on my Cohen journey since that night in Lissadell including meeting him in Las Vegas and Ghent so to witness the magic in my own country again was something I really relished.

Heading into the first concert on Tuesday night I was very impressed with the organisers for having a an archway for us to walk through with the words "Everybody Knows That The Dice Are Loaded" written on it with Cohen's name and unified hearts at either end. Only in Ireland would we get a welcome like that. In fact I was impressed with the layout of the venue with nice placements of coloured flags and two huge hangings either side of the stage welcoming Cohen, one with the immortal line from Anthem "There's a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in" and the other a line from the Book of Longing, " You go your way, I'll go your way too".

Every night has its own individual highlights and for me it kept getting better and better as the week went on. Tuesday was special for being the first night. I don't think any song would ever surpass Hallelujah as a personal favourite moment at a Cohen concert and I'll never tire of watching Cohen sing this song live and every night last week it was as sublime as ever. On the first night my other personal highlights included Light As The Breeze which we also heard the following night. So Long Marianne is always a highlight as I love the sing-a-long and adoration from the audience for Cohen. It is plain to see everyone on the stage also enjoys this song live. Famous Blue Raincoat and Bird On The Wire are also personal favourites as in the afore-mentioned Anthem where Cohen introduces each band member in turn. It is something I never tire of hearing and I got amused looks from my neighbours on the final night when I was mouthing the words as Cohen spoke them.

A slight irritant during the first night was the constant flow of people walking up to the stage to try to take photos and while I do try to let nothing distract me from the magic on stage it was hard to block this out as from my seat beside the aisle, it was blocking my line of vision. However I did find it funny when during Take This Waltz when the stewards were trying to remove the people the people starting waltzing with the stewards.

Night two had a different feel for me and my seats were now for the remaining concerts in the centre block so no flow of people constantly blocking the view. I was also further back the second night but this allowed me to witness a gorgeous sunset and also see the stars while I listened to the magic on stage. While the setlist remained almost the same with the exception of the inclusion of The Webb Sisters singing If It Be Your Will and exclusion of I Can't Forget. However as I stated no two Cohen concerts are ever the same for me and he could sing the same songs every night I'd still be happy. Of course it is great to hear different songs performed and I do have favourites I've never heard him sing, however when every song every night is performed to perfection I find that I am never in a position to complain about what songs get performed.

Before the concert at sound check I and some friends spoke with Cohen before he went in to do the sound check so I was feeling a lot more emotional on this night than I was on the first. Sisters of Mercy was the first song to bring the tears as I love the line "If your life is a leaf that the seasons tear off and condemn, the will bind you with love that is graceful and green as a stem." Cohen sang this song every night in Dublin which pleased me as it isn't one he always sings. It was a beautiful moment for me when during Night Comes On there were stars above us. This is another of my favourites and I am pleased to see that it is becoming a regular at the concerts now as it was only performed once on the previous tour.

While I mention many times how brilliant Cohen is I must state that compliment is extended to everyone on stage. I am loving the addition of Alex Bublitchi to the band. The violin is an instrument that really compliments Cohen's songs. Mitch Watkins as lead guitarist is excellent and Javier Mas is always sublime on his solos on Who By Fire and the Gypsy's Wife. I adore The Webb Sisters singing If It Be Your Will and it almost always has me in floods of tears and I am really enjoying hearing them perform Coming Back To You on this tour. It is a lovely touch having the bass player Roscoe Beck stand behind them with the upright bass for this song. As the musical director for Cohen's concert he is normally positioned to the right of Cohen where Cohen will notify him of any song changes and he then spreads the word. Neil Larsen as always was amazing on his solos during Hallelujah and I love that on this tour Cohen brings the entire band to the center of the stage for The Partisan and we see Larsen playing the accordian.

As usual for the encores we all raced to the stage but we couldn't enter the front row as in attendance was our President Michael D Higgins. I've always being a huge admirer and had met him on the campaign trail for the presidency. I have to say I did find it amusing thinking of him watching and listening to Cohen perform Democracy and I'm Your Man in the main part of the show. For the encores I was initially standing at the end of that section of the front row but an over enthusiastic woman beside me was banging me against the side of the chair so I asked the person at the end of the second row if he wouldn't mind could I stand in front of him and seeing my discomfort he kindly allowed me to do so. This made for a very memorable moment for me when after First We Take Manhattan those sitting stood and the President sat first and looked along the row of seats and on seeing me started waving and smiling. I was in complete shock that he actually remembered me from a previous brief meeting at a debate during the presidential campaign. I certainly wasn't expecting that! At the end of the concert I went and shook his hand. This made for a very special ending to the second concert for me and I spent all of Famous Blue Raincoat and If It Be Your Will in tears!

After speaking with Cohen before the second sound check and wanting other people be able to have the precious memories of a moment with him I just shook his hand on Friday and then went to find a good spot to see and hear the sound check. While a friend and I were watching through a hole in the fence the wind came along and blew the fence on top of us. We found it highly amusing that the wind gave us a lovely clear view but alas the fence was soon repaired. Having missed the sound check through losing track of time the first day and having heard Cohen had sung The Guests I was delighted when he sang it again. This song has yet to be sung on the tour or indeed any concert I've attended. We also heard some tour favourites but special for me was hearing Hey That's No Way To Say Goodbye. The last time I had heard Cohen sing this song was at the concert in Katowice in 2010. I was very happy when the song was then sung during the last two Kilmainham concerts! Also sung in the sound check on Friday was Anyhow, an interesting different version we'd never heard before.

The concert on Friday provided me with a great view of the stage in the 5th row so no more distractions from those who were there to wander around and I could concentrate fully on Cohen and the band. It was a happy occasion with many smiles coming from the stage and as always many wonderful performances. Sharon Robinson was sublime on Alexandra Leaving. The more I hear her singing this song the more I enjoy it. As Cohen always states in his band introductions Robinson has co-wrote many of his great songs including this one. She is an expert at crafting wonderful tunes to match the words of Cohen and I've always valued her contribution to his work. Different Sides made its first Kilmainham concert appearance as did Hey That's No Way To Say Goodbye which pleased me no end. I was also pleased to hear the only performance of the week of I Tried To Leave You as in the song every band member has their own solo during this song and I love when Rafael Gayol throws his drumstick in the air before catching it. I have yet to see him drop it! He is often hidden from view from the audience behind his drums but his contribution is immense as it takes a special talent to be a drummer in a Leonard Cohen concert and I love Cohen's description of him as the master of precision in the band introductions. We all loved when before Take This Waltz Cohen quoted something which included the line "Let my people dance" This was obviously a comment to the stewards to allow us dance in the aisles during this song as we made our way to the stage for the encores. I've yet to discover the origins of those words but it was a touching moment from Cohen to all of us which he repeated the following night.

All too soon it was the final day of Cohen's Dublin concerts. Even though I consider every Cohen concert perfection last week each night got better and better and for me the final concert was the best but that is partly due to personal reasons. I had decided the day before I would present Cohen with two red roses before the sound check from me and my friend who was always with me when I met him but as she lives in Scotland she had to miss the final two concerts. After Cohen had spent time with other people I gave them to him thanking him for the memories of a wonderful week. During the sound check while taking photos over the fence I noticed them on the stage. I was so touched by this and was completely amazed on entering the venue that night that they were still there along with a gift of a statue of Cúchulainn from another fan. After taking a photo of it on entering the venue I went for a walk in a daze only to meet Charlie Bird, Ireland's best known news reporter and one I've always had a huge respect for. I told him this mentioning documentaries he had made and he kindly posed for a photo. Other well known people in attendance during the week included Glen Hansard and Niall Stokes.

For the concert my seat was in the centre which was perfect as it allowed me get a lot of photos of Cohen performing my favourite songs with my roses in the background of them. It is hard for me to convey in words how special to me this is. My own personal delight aside this concert was amazing and for me it is a very close second favourite to that wonderful night in Lissadell. The crowd seemed a lot more respectful or maybe it was just my position but I noticed very little movement from the audience. The setlist was very similar to the previous night but given Cohen's act of kindness I was an emotional wreck and spent most of the first half in tears. Songs like Who By Fire which I normally never shed tears for had them streaming down my face. Cohen and his band were in as usual top form and like he promises at the start of every concert he gave it everything he had.

After Cohen performs I'm Your Man he normally sings Hallelujah but on Saturday night he had a treat for us between these songs and we heard a wonderful playful version of Anyhow (different from the version sung in sound check the previous day). This was the tour premiere of this song and indeed first ever performance in concert as it is from his latest album Old Ideas. On the album one would never associate it as a song to be laughed with but between the twinkle in Cohen's eyes and the way he sang it we had to laugh. It made for a wonderful memory for the final concert in Ireland this year. Before singing Anyhow Cohen thanked those of us who had attended all four concerts, those who travelled long distances and the people of Dublin for their hospitality. Even though he is a world famous singer/songwriter and poet Cohen remains humble and always appreciates the applause and repect he receives. Hallelujah following this was amazing as always and I savoured every second of hearing my favourite song live for the last time for a while. As I was in the middle of my row I had asked everyone beside me to allow me move out at the start of Take This Waltz so I could make my way to the front for the encores while we stood waiting we were told we could only stand if we were actually waltzing by one of the stewards to our amusement and of course we obliged. We then took the coveted barrier positions for the encores and for what was my favourite So Long Marianne of the week. Everyone on stage was smiling as we all were backing singers to Cohen. The final song on the night and of our magical four nights in Kilmainham was Closing Time and how special this was when Cohen invited members of his crew to join him and the band on stage at the end of the song. It was a wonderful gesture which to my knowledge hasn't happened since the final concerts of the previous tour in Las Vegas.

And there the journey ends for now. As I reflect on what was a wonderful week I continue to remind myself how grateful I am to be on this planet at the same time as Leonard Cohen.
2009 Dublin 2010 Lissadell Katowice LV x2 2012 Ghent x2 Dublin x4 Montreal x2 Toronto x2 2013 New York x2 Brussels Dublin x2

Gwen's Leonard Cohen Journey: http://myleonardcohenjourney.wordpress.com/

"I did my best, it wasn't much"
James-on-tour
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Dublin September 11, 12, 14 & 15, 2012

Postby James-on-tour » Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:47 pm

Nice one Gwen. Your reports are always a great read. I saw you a few rows in front of me on Saturday night.

I have seen Rafael drop the stick a few time in European gigs. We will not hold that against him though.

I never try to say which gig is best (although I have been asked that several times).

There are a number of factors that may sway you one way or another - weather, personal form, your neighbours
on the night.

I just take each show on it's own merits and enjoy to the max.
kg7
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Dublin September 11, 12, 14 & 15, 2012

Postby kg7 » Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:00 pm

When it was announced that the legendary Leonard Cohen...................................................how grateful I am to be on this planet at the same time as Leonard Cohen.
So very well written musicmania, I really enjoyed reading your account - I'm so pleased for you that your week has been so enjoyable. Leonard is lucky to have a fan like you - well done.
minnie
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Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Dublin September 11, 12, 14 & 15, 2012

Postby minnie » Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:17 pm

Thanks for such a comprehensive review of the week, musicmania. I can only imagine how it must have impacted on you seeing the roses you gifted Leonard with on the stage that night.

I've no idea if these were they, but towards the end of Saturday night's concert I was struck and moved by a close-up (on the large screens) of flowers on stage. It was such a poignant and intimate image. If yours is the story behind them, it makes it even more so.

And I was an emotional mess myself, anyway, at that point, lol.

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