CONCERT REPORT: Cardiff Wales, 3rd Sept 2013

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HelenOE
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Tower of Song excerpt from Cardiff

Postby HelenOE » Wed Sep 04, 2013 9:43 am

Short bit of Tower of Song, including the commentary on the solo.
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Diane
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CONCERT REPORT: Cardiff Wales, 3rd Sept 2013

Postby Diane » Wed Sep 04, 2013 3:09 pm

I hope someone will write a comprehensive review for those who like to hear all the details.

Meantime, these are the moments that have stayed with me from last night: watching Leonard with his eyes closed, hat held to his chest, during Sharon's breath-taking rendition of Alexandra Leaving; the recitation of Thousand Kisses Deep; and the quote from Never Got to Love You during Closing Time,
They're stacking up the chairs
Wiping down the bar
I never got to tell you
How beautiful you are


I had a fine view of the stage from my third row seat (thanks Jarkko et al.) and could savour the sight and sound of the entire band, and esp. enjoyed this time Mitch and Alex, and the Webbs and Sharon (I am still not a fan of the organ, but I can just let that go by). The sound quality and mix was spot on, and the audience well-behaved with zero phone wavers or drunken plonkers.

I'd have died to hear Show Me The Place, but it was a treat to get Darkness, Amen, Come Healing - behold the gates of mercy, in arbitrary space, and none of us deserving, the cruelty or the grace (gasp) - and Going Home from OI. He played up the comedic parts of Going Home, which was part of the encore, and I confess I would have preferred more emphasis on the deeper aspects of that immensely touching song.

In fact my only "complaint" is that Leonard's performance has become more fun and relaxed. I do miss the darkness and intensity. It could be that LC's indoor concerts just don't grab me as strongly as his open air ones, where I prefer the atmosphere. However, a further highlight of this concert was not being frozen half to death, as I was last September!

It was good to meet friends at the pub, and at the venue, including the ones I didn't recognise;-)

I overheard very many remarks on the way out as to how fine the concert had been. Thank you for the honour of yesterday evening, Leonard Cohen. It is satisfying to see you looking so happy.
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Zimmy66
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Cardiff Wales, 3rd Sept 2013

Postby Zimmy66 » Wed Sep 04, 2013 4:23 pm

Nice review Dianne. Thanks.

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UrPal
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Cardiff Wales, 3rd Sept 2013

Postby UrPal » Wed Sep 04, 2013 5:11 pm

Diane wrote:He played up the comedic parts of Going Home, which was part of the encore, and I confess I would have preferred more emphasis on the deeper aspects of that immensely touching song.

In fact my only "complaint" is that Leonard's performance has become more fun and relaxed. I do miss the darkness and intensity.
At the Manchester concert I initially felt that the apparent "levity" of Cohen as the "actor" performing his songs for us felt a little at odds with the lines being delivered, and the performance less intense as a consequence compared with my recollections of the last shows I saw back in 2008.

I don't know whether it was him or me, but the disparity disappeared from the second set onwards....and by the time Going Home came around I was as at home with laughing in the face of mortality as Cohen seemed to be.
christineanne
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Cardiff Wales, 3rd Sept 2013

Postby christineanne » Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:23 pm

What a marvellous concert!

For those who keep tabs on such things, it started at 7.40pm and ended at 11.10pm.

In between those times, we were treated to a great show. The musicians were, as usual, amazing. Sharon and the Webb sisters complemented Leonard beautifully when they sang with him and performed superbly when singing as themselves.

Everyone seemed relaxed and happy and Leonard's voice was stronger than I've heard it for a while - the Welsh air must suit him - he should visit more often :)

The setlist was similar to recent UK shows - lots of my favourites, including a recitation of 'A Thousand Kisses Deep' - gorgeous :)

I went to the concert with an old friend and we had perfect seats (thanks Jarkko etc) The fans around us were true fans - enthusiastic and well behaved. All in all a night I'll remember for a long time. Which reminds me - after 'Save the last Dance for Me' we got a 'bonus track' 'I Can't Forget'!

Thanks to all involved and I hope it's not too long before we see you again.
Last edited by christineanne on Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
HelenOE
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Cardiff Wales, 3rd Sept 2013

Postby HelenOE » Wed Sep 04, 2013 9:07 pm

A blog review by a first-time Leonard Cohen concertgoer:
(Google Translate from Welsh, cleaned up slightly)
Cardiff is fascinated by Cohen

Published September 4, 2013 by Reviews . No comment .
Image
Leonard Cohen

Ciron Gruffudd who attended-- the Montreal poet sang for three hours last night ...

Only a month after I dragged my tolerant girlfriend to see a bunch of old men performing at the Eisteddfod, last night was the night I had to pay back a favor and take her to see one old man singing.

From now on I will refer to my girlfriend as Lady Midnight and those of you who are familiar with the work of Leonard Cohen will understand that reference correctly. I did not until last night.

Better for me to explain now that I was never brought up with the sound of "the poet of Montreal", chwadal Bryn Fon, and even though I was familiar with a few of his works - not just the Brigyn version of 'Hallelujah' - I've never fallen under his spell.

But, with an open mind and wearing a brown corduroy suit to get into the spirit of the evening (as that is what I used to imagine that fans of Leonard Cohen would be wearing) away we go to the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff.

Early Impression

After walking in the hall, the first thing struck me was the diversity of the audience. Yes, most of whom are older and look respectful, but there were also skinheads with their hair dyed, rockers in their leather jackets and one relatively young and foolish young man in his brown corduroy suit. Testament, I suppose, to the timeless appeal of Leonard Cohen.

As an aside, one of the many stalls that sold expensive rubbish, opened my mouth wide and I made some strange noise from the back of my throat. Lady Midnight turned to look in the same direction as me. She asked: "What are you looking at? Who you've seen? "Rudis nothing. Less than three feet away, and looking her in the eye was the famous DJ Drum and Bass, High Contrast. That was my night to do and that gives you a taste of my usual taste in music.

Pork pie hat

After, somehow, the woman behind the bar persuaded us to buy a bottle of wine instead of glass, and we found our seats, the man himself walked on stage in his black suit and pork pie hat.

To be honest, the first half whipped past because my attention has been fixed on the man who sat next to me and his headgear. The question I was pondering was why, given the choice of any wig hair style in the world, one would choose the same style as my father's pictures in school after his mother put a bowl on his head and cut around it with blunt scissors?

Anyway, the first half is slick. The show itself is a machine that has been greased and everyone on stage knows what they're doing. With decades of songs under his belt, Cohen is obviously trying to reconcile the show by creating different arrangements of the same songs but charming Spanish style guitar with Javier Mas carries the whole. Although this worked for some who know the songs, some variation in the sound would have been better for an amateur like me.

Highlight

Starting the second half was the highlight as Leonard Cohen stood alone on stage in front of keyboards and three women sang backing vocals to 'Tower of Song'. Then came all the hits in a row - 'Chelsea Hotel', 'Suzanne', 'So Long, Marianne "and, of course,' Hallelujah '.

It's hard not to be charmed by his songs, and even when I did not know the song, listening to the words gives me a thrill repeatedly

Leonard Cohen's voice has also become deeper as the years go on, and he hit a few notes of the bass section that the best Male Choirs of Wales struggle to reach, which adds to the performance.

Encore

At the end of the show, he came forward three times to sing more songs known as 'Dance Me To The End Of Love' and 'First We Take Manhattan'. By the end he has been performing for over three hours. Not bad for a man who is pushing 80.

Lady Midnight had been brought up with Leonard Cohen songs in the soundtrack to her life and so she shed some tears in the second half. She cried at an Edward H Dafis gig too, but for different reasons.

And that's what I remember more than anything else for the night. Leonard Cohen’s ability to captivate the audience--- young and old, fans or not. Little wonder that the man had had his fair share of women over the years if he could seduce lots of people in the Cardiff hall without even removing his hat.

I’m not saying that I have become a fan overnight, but two things are certain. First, I'll pay more attention and listen more to him from now on. And second, I will never wear a corduroy suit on a warm summer night again.
OldTimer
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Cardiff Wales, 3rd Sept 2013

Postby OldTimer » Wed Sep 04, 2013 9:43 pm

Like your review HelenOE.

It's no good me trying to write a review so I'll just pass comment. My wife and I didn't think we'd ever see LC perform but earlier this year we saw the Cardiff concert advertised and to our great surprise we managed to get tickets. Half decent ones as well.

We were simply captivated from start to finish. My favourite song was Suzanne. I first heard this on a friends stereo in 1968 and not only had to rush out and buy the album - I had to buy a stereo to play it on as well. Also we were so glad to have heard Hallelujah from the man himself. (Heard Shân Cothi's rendition of this sung in Welsh at Chepstow Castle just last weekend. Good as it was she, nor anyone else, gets anywhere near close to the real thing.

We just couldn't believe what we were hearing - truly excellent from start to finish. We've seen some decent concerts in our day but we both reckon that Cohen in Cardiff beat the lot hands down. Moving, emotional and uplifting at the same time.

Thank you Leonard and co.
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Diane
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Cardiff Wales, 3rd Sept 2013

Postby Diane » Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:31 pm

UrPal wrote:
Diane wrote:He played up the comedic parts of Going Home, which was part of the encore, and I confess I would have preferred more emphasis on the deeper aspects of that immensely touching song.

In fact my only "complaint" is that Leonard's performance has become more fun and relaxed. I do miss the darkness and intensity.
At the Manchester concert I initially felt that the apparent "levity" of Cohen as the "actor" performing his songs for us felt a little at odds with the lines being delivered, and the performance less intense as a consequence compared with my recollections of the last shows I saw back in 2008.

I don't know whether it was him or me, but the disparity disappeared from the second set onwards....and by the time Going Home came around I was as at home with laughing in the face of mortality as Cohen seemed to be.
I like your viewpoint, UrPal, and that you got carried into Leonard's frame of mind. A skipping, beaming, enlightened Teacher doubtless resides less and less in the pain and drama. Probably that's the difference.

But from another angle, as you mention the 2008 concerts, taking Hallelujah as an example, last night it did not approach for me the soaring, spiritual heights it did in Kilmainham 2008 when the delivery was outstandingly powerful. (Not that I expect duplicate concerts.)
Judy
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Cardiff Wales, 3rd Sept 2013

Postby Judy » Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:55 pm

Hi Diane :)
Thank you for the report ... have you read Doron's thoughts on the Pula concert? He says something very similiar in the second to last paragraph:
viewtopic.php?f=75&t=34255&hilit=thoughts+pula
See you soon xxx
RogerE
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Cardiff Wales, 3rd Sept 2013

Postby RogerE » Thu Sep 05, 2013 10:06 am

Diane wrote:
UrPal wrote:
Diane wrote:He played up the comedic parts of Going Home, which was part of the encore, and I confess I would have preferred more emphasis on the deeper aspects of that immensely touching song.

In fact my only "complaint" is that Leonard's performance has become more fun and relaxed. I do miss the darkness and intensity.
At the Manchester concert I initially felt that the apparent "levity" of Cohen as the "actor" performing his songs for us felt a little at odds with the lines being delivered, and the performance less intense as a consequence compared with my recollections of the last shows I saw back in 2008.

I don't know whether it was him or me, but the disparity disappeared from the second set onwards....and by the time Going Home came around I was as at home with laughing in the face of mortality as Cohen seemed to be.
I like your viewpoint, UrPal, and that you got carried into Leonard's frame of mind. A skipping, beaming, enlightened Teacher doubtless resides less and less in the pain and drama. Probably that's the difference.

But from another angle, as you mention the 2008 concerts, taking Hallelujah as an example, last night it did not approach for me the soaring, spiritual heights it did in Kilmainham 2008 when the delivery was outstandingly powerful. (Not that I expect duplicate concerts.)
Being able to see LC live so often in recent times bears at least two risks:

1. That his performance gets more and more streamlined
2. That he starts enjoying more than some of us liked.

Anyway, even if I was missing the depth born from a depressing mood in his latest concerts myself, at the latest since the Odense performance I'm no longer interested in seeing him die for his song rather than laugh about it all again.

Shall he live blessed and happy until his final day.
And hopefully we get some more chances to share some time with him and his collaborators in the near future to be able to bear witness.
2014 would be an option... :D
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Diane
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Cardiff Wales, 3rd Sept 2013

Postby Diane » Thu Sep 05, 2013 11:04 am

I have "only" seen LC nine times since 2008 (which is plenty for me), so while I don't entirely agree that,
RogerE wrote: even if I was missing the depth born from a depressing mood in his latest concerts myself, at the latest since the Odense performance I'm no longer interested in seeing him die for his song rather than laugh about it all again.
I do love the thought, and I'm grateful for whatever he does. I'm just not on the same page as him yet.
Judy wrote:Hi Diane :)
Thank you for the report ... have you read Doron's thoughts on the Pula concert? He says something very similiar in the second to last paragraph:
viewtopic.php?f=75&t=34255&hilit=thoughts+pula
See you soon xxx

Hi Judy, yes, not long now:-)! x Thank you for linking to Doron's report! We came to LC because of the longing we are tangled in and we still want to hear it from him don't we? But it seems he is Showing Us the Place. He is a total guru. What else is there to say.
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joyezekiel
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Cardiff Wales, 3rd Sept 2013

Postby joyezekiel » Thu Sep 05, 2013 11:23 am

I love these reviews! Thanks to everyone for taking the time to report. Roll on Birmingham!

Joy
1976 Leicester 2008 London O2/Cardiff 2009 NYC/Austin/Weybridge/Nashville 2010 Ghent x 2/Las Vegas x 2 2012 Ghent x 2/Austin/Montreal/Quebec City/Boston x 2 2013 Memphis/New Orleans/Winnipeg/Birmingham/London O2/Amsterdam/Auckland
zwirnie
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Cardiff Wales, 3rd Sept 2013

Postby zwirnie » Thu Sep 05, 2013 11:48 am

EDIT: the correct setlist now ...

Set 1
Dance Me to the End of Love
The Future
Bird on a Wire
Everybody Knows
Who By Fire
The Gipsy's Wife
The Darkness
Amen
Come Healing
Lover Lover Lover (+band intro)

Set 2
Tower of Song
Suzanne
Chelsea Hotel
Waiting for the Miracle
The Partisan
In My Secret Life
Alexandra Leaving (Sharon Robinson)
I'm Your Man
A Thousand Kisses Deep (poem)
Hallelujah
Take this Waltz

Encores
So Long Marianne
Going Home
First We Take Manhattan

Famous Blue Raincoat
If It Be Your Will (Webb Sisters)
Closing Time

I Tried to Leave You
Save the Last Dance
I Can't Forget
Last edited by zwirnie on Thu Sep 05, 2013 3:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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sarsina
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Cardiff Wales, 3rd Sept 2013

Postby sarsina » Thu Sep 05, 2013 1:14 pm

So there is no concert before the 7th... I guess the reason may be this : HAPPY NEW YEAR (5774), LEONARD ! Being new to this forum, I was not sure where to post this but if anyone feels like creating a topic for "have a good Rosh Hashana" I'll join :)
crystal
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Cardiff Wales, 3rd Sept 2013

Postby crystal » Thu Sep 05, 2013 2:06 pm

Just came back from England last night and after having seen two phantastic concerts in Brighton and Cardiff.
The Cardiff setlist as posted by Zwirnie is how I remember it. I was standing right in front of the stage and when after "Save the last dance" I saw him talking to the musicians and they were nodding and I realised we were in for a very dpecial treat and then they did "I can't forget". Very very moving.
I very much liked the relaxed and sometimes even funny atmosphere, the laughter and how everyone seemed to enjoy the night. I thought this very fitting like despite the despair and sorrow, the times you have hurt and were hurt, the mistakes one makes there is also laughter and joy and hey let's enjoy this together.
I liked the English audiences both in Brighton and Cardiff. Even this very drunk man in Cardiff who told everyone around him he was there to see Leonard Cohen and therefore has a right to be closest to the stage was silenced by a very stern look from one of the security people.
Our original seats were very disappointing. Although row 1 we were sitting right in front of the speakers and could hardly see the stage. But again security and a Lady from reception went out of their way to help us find other seats. In the end six seats in row 1 went empty and we could take 2 of them and they were very good.
Although I am very sad that this could have been my last concerts I am happy to have such great memories.
Hi to the forum members it was nice meeting you, enjoy the rest of the concerts, Christel

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