CONCERT REPORT: Chicago, March 13, 2013

Everything about the first leg of Leonard Cohen's World Tour 2013
sue7
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CONCERT REPORT: Chicago, March 13, 2013

Postby sue7 » Fri Mar 15, 2013 3:34 am

From Time Out, March 14, 2013:
http://timeoutchicago.com/music-nightli ... and-review

Leonard Cohen at the Chicago Theatre | Photos and review
Posted in Audio File blog by Genevieve Diesing on Mar 14, 2013 at 1:02pm

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Chicago Theater.
Photo by Joshua Mellin

While many of us have stowed away a dusty place in our musical catalogs for folk artists from the '60s and '70s, every once in a while we’ll come across one who has been lucky enough to experience real career longevity. These rare performers often owe their success to having changed with the times, recording regularly and/or touring without fail. All but Leonard Cohen: a historically reclusive, stubbornly original poet and singer who continues to make some of his best music today, despite being born before Elvis Presley.

In his dark suit and fedora and voice that has plunged to an otherworldly timbre, the 78-year-old poet and singer began his Chicago Theatre performance Wednesday night with a rather cryptic hello, saying "I don't know if we'll meet again, but tonight we're going to give you everything we've got." Indeed, what followed was a masterful evening of storytelling.

The concert—which lasted all of three hours and included several encores—felt intimate despite a nearly full house and nine-person backing band. Cohen’s lyrics are just as cutting now as they've ever been, and he unraveled them throughout the night with measured intensity, focusing heavily on tracks from his recent album, Old Ideas. About an hour into the set, he slowed the pace of the already-somber evening down to a thrilling, halting moment with the spoken-word poem “A Thousand Kisses Deep,” uttering: “You win awhile, and then it’s done / Your little winning streak / And summoned now to deal with your invincible defeat.”
Then the hits poured out one after another: “I’m Your Man," “Hallelujah,” “So Long, Marianne,” and “First We Take Manhattan” among others. They all felt as powerful as ever, and Cohen, with his silhouette flickering above the stage as if lit by candlelight, delivered them with rapt presence. His vocal range may have withered slightly with time, but with lyricism so eloquent, it’s hard for songs like those to fail. Their traditionally spare structures were made lush with backing strings and a trio of female vocalists swaying in time.

Cohen is every bit the witty fatalist, and his characteristic solemnity—plus that grave, austere voice—had a bittersweet appeal. Standout new songs such as “Amen” and “Show Me the Place” showcased this to the utmost. Cohen also didn’t lack for humility. He crawled on his knees and sang. He cherished his applause. He handed the floor to his backup singers (and writing collaborator Sharon Robinson) for several songs, and honored his fellow musicians by removing his hat during their solos and introducing them several times to the audience. He even thanked the entire tech crew by name.

Cohen may still may grapple lyrically with themes of disillusionment and heartbreak (or “humiliations suffered”), but he’s also cheered up a bit over time. He snuck some humor into Old Ideas, such as in the song “Anyhow,” which drew laughs: “Have mercy on me, baby,” he sang. “After all I did confess / Even though you have to hate me / Could you hate me less?”
sue7
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Chicago, March 13, 2013

Postby sue7 » Fri Mar 15, 2013 3:41 am

More photos from Joshua Mellin in TimeOut:
http://timeoutchicago.com/music-nightli ... and-review

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chaplainmom
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Chicago, March 13, 2013

Postby chaplainmom » Fri Mar 15, 2013 6:56 am

I can't improve on the "Time Out" review above...so I won't try. It was amazing...I sat next to someone who was seeing Leonard in concert for the first time, he said it was "transcendent". It was wonderful to sit next to someone having that experience for the first time.
There were a couple of things that didn't ruin the experience for me in any way, but were very annoying. I sat three rows back from the pit right off the center aisle. There was a HUGE group of people who had orchestra pit seats that arrived more than a half hour after the concert started. The theatre ushers sat them while Leonard was singing, it was very distracting. I think they should have made them wait for a break between songs. They were literally a few feet away from Leonard, trying to find the right seats. While Sharon was singing "Alexandria Leaving" someone shouted out "SING IT, SHARON!!".Guess what?? She WAS singing it, dumb a**!! Take your cue from Leonard, who removes his hat and stands respectfully over to the side while members of the band play solos.
Even with that, it was all so wonderful...I'm off to Milwaukee tomorrow night!!
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sturgess66
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Chicago, March 13, 2013

Postby sturgess66 » Fri Mar 15, 2013 4:11 pm

Thanks for starting the thread, Sue. I'm glad to see a Concert Report for the Chicago show. The Chicago Theatre - another beautiful venue! Nice pictures and good review!

Here's the set list as reported at Setlist.fm. I think a shortened show - dealing with a curfew and I think from what I read elsewhere, some members are still dealing with the flu!

http://www.setlist.fm/setlist/leonard-c ... b5690.html
First Set
Dance Me to the End of Love
The Future
Bird on the Wire
Everybody Knows
Who by Fire
Darkness
Ain't No Cure for Love
Amen
Come Healing
Democracy
A Thousand Kisses Deep
(recitation)
Anthem
Second Set
Tower of Song
Suzanne
Waiting for the Miracle
Show Me the Place
Anyhow
Lover Lover Lover
Alexandra Leaving
(performed by Sharon Robinson)
I'm Your Man
Hallelujah
Take This Waltz
Encore
So Long, Marianne
Going Home
First We Take Manhattan
Encore 2
If It Be Your Will
(performed by the Webb Sisters)
Closing Time
From Filter Magazine -
http://filtermagazine.com/index.php/new ... nard_cohen
LIVE: Leonard Cohen Brings The Chicago Theatre To Life
By Marty Sartini Garner; Photo: M.J. Kim, Dustin Rabin on March 14, 2013

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Leonard Cohen - Leonard Cohen - The Chicago Theatre, Chicago, IL, March 13, 2012

You’ve heard that he’s spry, probably, even lively--Mr. Leonard Cohen of Montreal, age 78, who since returning to the road several years ago continues to appear regularly on stages around the world and so continues to elicit a kind of awe and reverence that goes far beyond what we’re typically called to give to our resurrected pop singers. In fact, Cohen has at this point gone beyond that area reserved for Springsteen, Dylan, Neil Young, et. al., musicians whose continually expanding legend and legacy inflates their present. Not to take anything away from any of those artists--I’ve dribbled many a tear while whoa-ho-hoing along with The Boss--but what Leonard Cohen does live almost doesn’t even bear the comparison; twenty or so minutes in to his three-hour-plus show at the Chicago Theatre on Wednesday night, as he knelt like a supplicant among the floodlights and crooned “Bird on a Wire,” what was happening on stage felt as much like a demonstration, an unfolding, a confession.

Musicians don’t make themselves this way anymore, if indeed they ever did. He’s no precious flower--“I stumbled out of bed this morning and made my way to the mirror, where I saw my usual doleful expression, and I said to myself, ‘Lighten up, Cohen,’” he joked at one point--but self-effacement is to him a way to obliterate the walls of rapturous reception and expectation the audience carries in with them; irony, far from being something to hide behind, is something he uses to bring other people closer to himself. It’s strange, and disarming, and it’s the one thing even more surprising than the sight of Cohen bounding--literally bounding, in the way that a bunny bounds--on to and off of the stage between set breaks. There’s nothing to be ashamed of here: not of failure, not of religion, not of sex, not even of musicianship. Cohen stood there, hat in hand, in rapt attention as guitarist Javier Mas meandered around his fretboard for three or four minutes before finally giving away the opening notes of “Who By Fire,” and as he did so it didn’t feel gross or weird or uncomfortable that Mas is so apparently talented and so willing to show it. It felt incredible, because it’s incredible to see a virtuoso at work. For the duration of the set, it was as if punk never happened; it was as if it was never needed.

That’s all good and fine for those who need Leonard Cohen’s existence to mean something bigger than it probably should or does, you might say, but what about the rest of us? For the rest of us, he played the hits. He did “Hallelujah,” and they flooded the room with light to encourage everyone to sing along. He played the jaw-harp for “Democracy” while red, white, and blue lights spilled over the stage dressing. He did “Suzanne,” and he did the guitar parts on his own for that one, with a pair of orange lights casting large shadows on the room’s back wall. He made a joke about the papal conclave--or, rather, he made a joke about himself, his failure to become pope this time around yet another disappointment in a life full of disappointments within and without. He let the Webb Sisters sing “If It Be Your Will.” He recited the poem “A Thousand Kisses Deep,” purred it, really, getting laughs for the jokes and for the rest a silence so reverent that it seemed to take on its own inaudible sound or quality. He tickled out a few keyboards lines in “Tower of Song” and got the expected cheers at the reference to his own “golden voice.”

Because more than anything, it’s that voice that makes his songs his. Grit, bass, and time intermixed, tempered (when he wants it to be) by a charming nasality. Johnny Cash’s larynx covered in a better suit. The voice makes those songs not only believable, but generous, even when what he has to say is backed by pain and suffering and the consequences of his own terrible actions. And so he let “A Thousand Kisses Deep” drift into “Anthem,” with that ineffable chorus that can’t really be reduced to lines on a page, and his mouth was so close to the mic, he himself so close to the performance, that you could hear the smack of his lips moving over his gums when he opened his mouth to sing. And he sounded alive.
The Chicago Theatre on Facebook posted some nice pictures taken by photographer Javier Ayala- Here's one - and the rest should be visible at the link.
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set ... 740&type=1

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holydove
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Chicago, March 13, 2013

Postby holydove » Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:05 pm

Thank you to everyone who posted here. It's so good to read the lovely reviews & see the beautiful photos, & to know that Leonard & the band are back, & well, & working their incomparable mystifying magic. I'm also very glad to see that Leonard is doing SMTP & Anyhow pretty regularly - I hope they continue to do so! I hope he brings back CTLY too, & it would be so very nice to hear a live version of Lullaby. And according to one of the reviews, he apparently recited either part, or all, of the song version of Thousand Kisses Deep - very nice!! It would be so lovely to hear Leonard sing the song version of Thousand Kisses Deep. . .but I am eternally grateful for anything Leonard chooses to do!

Keep on trucking, Leonard Cohen & the UHTC - we love you & we need you!
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Goldin
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Chicago, March 13, 2013

Postby Goldin » Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:04 pm

A nice picture by jessssiemae (Instagram).

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Roman aka Hermitage Prisoner

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sturgess66
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Chicago, March 13, 2013

Postby sturgess66 » Sat Mar 16, 2013 5:56 am

Here's some video - uploaded by Andrew Van Lue - Thanks!

First We Take Manhattan
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rBZUOOsUVM
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sturgess66
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Chicago, March 13, 2013

Postby sturgess66 » Sun Mar 17, 2013 5:10 pm

http://www.iamnotjerry.com/2013/03/15/l ... e-3-13-13/
Leonard Cohen - The Chicago Theatre - 3.13.13

Written by: All photos © Kim Reed
[See link above for photos]

March 13, 2013 Chicago Theatre Chicago, Ill

Photos and review by Kim Reed

After a frantic few days, veteran singer/songwriter/poet/ladies man Leonard Cohen and his esteemed entourage touched down in Chicago for their engagement at The Chicago Theatre. The two previous dates in Canada were postponed until later in the spring because the flu bug had bitten the band and taken them down hard. True to form, Cohen started the evening’s proceedings by giving a solemn pledge to “give it all we have”.

Selecting the jaunty “Dance Me to the End of Love” was a bold move; how could they start momentum and continue it with such a strong piece? As it turned out, the smooth flow of material throughout the 27 songs was literally an almost perfect set list. If you came with your wish list of songs you had hoped they would cover, I would think you’d come away with 90% checked off. Classics, some going nigh on 50 years (remember that Songs of Leonard Cohen came out in 1967!), like “”Bird on a Wire” , “Suzanne”, and “Hallelujah” came out as expected, along with favorites like “Everybody Knows”.

Before we knew it, the six-piece band and three singers had run through a dozen tunes and the first set of the evening was over. It seemed like we all blinked in unison and took a collective breath as the lights came up and we floated back to reality. I know more than a few of us were wondering how they could top the quality and power of that first set, even though I was aware of his lengthy concerts. Not only that, but we kept wondering which ones were stricken by the bug. Was it bassist and band director Roscoe Beck or keyboard wiz Neil Larsen? How about Spanish guitar wiz Javier Mas, master violinist Alexandru Bublitchi, or guitarist Mitch Watkins? Certainly not the stunning, “angelic” trio of Sharon Robinson or the enchanting Webb sisters! And if Mr. Cohen was recovering from the bug at the age of 78, then he is my role model. Not one person displayed any flagging or missteps through the entire evening.

Set two was as engaging and fluid as the first. Cohen’s poetry was featured throughout the evening and his recitation of “A Thousand Kisses Deep” was staggering in its delivery. So we got “Lover Lover Lover”, “Take This Waltz” and “Show Me The Place”. Grammy winner Sharon Robinson took the spotlight for a chilling rendition of “Alexandra Leaving” and left it up to us to figure out the song as the last few notes faded away.

Throughout the evening Cohen delivered his songs with passion and grace. Many of his songs were performed as he knelt, head down, on Persian rugs. He gave homage to his band by singing to them directly or watching them intently. He clearly reveres them as much as they do him. And rightly so. He has hand-picked singers and musicians who the best of their chosen professions and the results are stunning.

A three-song encore, with Cohen skipping on and off the stage as he does, consisted of the powerful “So Long, Marianne”, “Going Home” and “First We Take Manhattan”. And, despite the lateness of the evening and the length of the set, Cohen and ended the evening with “If It Be Your Will” (featuring Charlie and Hattie Webb) and “Closing Time”.

Bows all around, a tip of the fedora, and the night was over.

Link: http://www.leonardcohen.com/us/home

Setlist: March 13, 2013 Leonard Cohen
The Chicago Theatre Concert

First Set

Dance Me to the End of Love
The Future
Bird on the Wire
Everybody Knows
Who by Fire
Darkness
Ain’t No Cure for Love
Amen
Come Healing
Democracy
A Thousand Kisses Deep (recitation)
Anthem

Second Set

Tower of Song
Suzanne
Waiting for the Miracle
Show Me the Place
Anyhow
Lover Lover Lover
Alexandra Leaving
I’m Your Man
Hallelujah
Take This Waltz

Encore 1

So Long, Marianne
Going Home
First We Take Manhattan

Encore 2

If It Be Your Will
Closing Time
panjandrum
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Chicago, March 13, 2013

Postby panjandrum » Sun Mar 31, 2013 10:00 pm

I'm a bit late on my very-short concert report, and I don't have much to add to the reviews above. I was lucky enough to get five excellent (front area of balcony) seats for this event, and again brought my 16 year-old daughter (who for the past two years has listened to Loonard more than any other artist and gifts his music to her high-school-age-friends!), along with three others aged 17, 22, and 50. It's amazing to see the level of devotion his work has inspired across generations. I've now seen 4 of his shows across 2 tours (Toronto, Detroit, Detroit, Chicago), and they seem to just keep getting better. It was a brilliant, beautiful, downright transcendent evening.
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phillip
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Chicago, March 13, 2013

Postby phillip » Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:29 pm

I have been a fan of LC since I was 17 he sure is the best Glad you enjoyed the concert :)
I have been a Leonard Cohen fan for 28 years feel free to email me if you wish to keep in touch!

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