CONCERT REPORT: Brisbane, February 3

New Zealand and Australia (January 20 - February 10, 2009). Concert reports, set lists, photos, media coverage, multimedia links, recollections...

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CONCERT REPORT: Brisbane, February 3

Postby NickShears on Wed Feb 04, 2009 2:04 am

Last night's show at the Brisane Entertainment Centre was as phenonenal as this forum had led me to expect over the last many months. My lovely wife Audrey and my great mate John and I are all pretty much agreed - we can't imagine how any future concert by any artist could possibly be any better. (And if finances and work would only allow, which they can't, we'd all be eager to jump on planes to see the last few Aussie shows.) :D :D :D

I deliberately didn't take setlist notes because I wanted to be able to just immerse myself in the 3 hour moment, which I and the thousands of others certainly did. But looking at the setlists from the beginning of this leg of the tour, I'd say it was exactly the same.

I'll have to trawl back over earlier postings to see if there was anything said/done differently in this show but one thing I don't recall having read about before was his commenting on his financial distress saying that he didn't recommend bankruptcy as a route to spiritual salvation. (Sorry if I'm misremembering the phrase he used.) But that and the localisation in Hallelujah, which was "I didn't come here to Queensland..." (rather than "Brisbane") are the only differences that occur to me.

I have to echo what so many other people have said over the past many months. Leonard was 100% committed and sincere in everything he did, it all appearing so smooth and immaculate that it gave the illusion of being effortless. The warmth and respect he showed every member of the band, and which they offer back to him and to each other, were exemplary, and contributed enormously to the momentous feeling of warmth, camraderie, poetry and humanity that we all took away with us. The musical vituosity of every performer was stunning, but always perfectly in tune with the moment and the song. I shall certainly be exploring some back catalogues!

I was impresed by Paul Kelly and his son Daniel, who seemed a very fitting opening act, and whom Leonard mentioned at the end, saying it had been "an honour to share the stage with the very fine Paul Kelly".

Final tiny point: I can't remember ever going to any other gig (by any artist) which not only started absolutely bang on time, but had the interval and other breaks timed to the minute if not to the second. Bravo! (When I saw Springsteen at the same venue 7 years ago I think waited an hour for the show to start.)

I think it'll take days for me to come down off my current post-concert high. :D

Nick
London 1979 (?), London 1983 (?), Brisbane 2009[list=][/list]
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Re: Brisbane, Feb 3

Postby st theresa on Wed Feb 04, 2009 3:09 am

Hi Nick
Just watched Paul kelly on you tube with the one song I knew from him.
http://www.last.fm/music/Paul+Kelly/+vi ... wikfLtjfHQ
How to make Gravy--loved that song the minute I heard it but never thought I would see Leonard and Paul on the same stage. Way too kewel. Love Brisbane and am so glad that Leonard was there last night. A friend of mine who lives in Brisbane is planning to attend a talk by Alexander McCall Smith at city hall there tonight..I am soooo jealous.
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Re: Brisbane, Feb 3

Postby swampfox on Wed Feb 04, 2009 4:21 am

....Waiting for the Miracle...for the Miracle to come...

Hello all..after searching frantically for almost 2 days for a decent pair of tickets "the miracle" happened about 3 hours before the show kicked off...A pair of gold tickets centre stage, about 20 rows back for $300... :D

Leonard and the Band were fantastic..again!! the setlist was very similar to other recent shows apart form doing Democracy near the end (was much earlier at Bimbadgen)

Having been to both shows I knew it was going to be very hard to top the magic which was Bimbadgen, However it came very close and was another almost spiritual experience...

At one stage someone in the crowd prompted Leonard to come back next year...It drew a huge grin from the man...twas a special moment.

Thankyou Leonard for blessing us with your unforgettable mastery and presence.


My only criticism was the Bass seemed very boomy where I was sitting, particularly in the first set
(did anyone else think so?) I didn't notice this after interval so I'm glad they sorted it out...
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Leonard Cohen woes fans at Brisbane Entertainment Centre

Postby st theresa on Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:47 am

http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/stor ... 21,00.html

not my mistake--I hardly think he filled them with woe :roll:
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Re: Brisbane, Feb 3

Postby NickShears on Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:49 am

swampfox wrote: My only criticism was the Bass seemed very boomy where I was sitting, particularly in the first set
(did anyone else think so?) I didn't notice this after interval so I'm glad they sorted it out...


No, that never struck me at all, I thought the mix and sound quality were really fine throughout. (We were on the right hand end of the fifth row.)

And the guy calling out "Come Back Next Year!" was doing so in response to Leonard saying that he didn't know if he'd be passing through this way again. "Australia Again in 2010" rhymes nicely, though, so we'll all live in hope

Nick
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Re: Brisbane, Feb 3

Postby pointofviewpoint1983 on Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:52 am

I guess the bass problem was just one of those things,
when sound is played inside a room.
You were probably sitting in a peak,
where certain wavelengths meet and compound...
hence the boomy bass sound.
and without much absorption around,
i'm assuming that the mix was tweaked
and equalisation worked on.

Such is a live room.

Yay. Nay? Ha. I spend some time around
acousticians etc. I bet my above reply
does not do them service!
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Re: Brisbane, Feb 3

Postby pointofviewpoint1983 on Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:59 am

NickShears wrote:
swampfox wrote: My only criticism was the Bass seemed very boomy where I was sitting, particularly in the first set
(did anyone else think so?) I didn't notice this after interval so I'm glad they sorted it out...


No, that never struck me at all, I thought the mix and sound quality were really fine throughout. (We were on the right hand end of the fifth row.)



Nick
London 1979 (?), London 1983 (?), Brisbane 2009


again, the chances of someone being in a room/hall/concert hall and getting a flat response
to whats coming out of the PA is not likely. I'm assuming your case may be something more along the lines of...like singing in the shower........certain frequencies build up in octaves...and one can get a sweet reverb sound.......i could be wrong. But id say, the sounds were just simply coloured, in a 'positive' listening way, for you.

In other cases...id say some people could potentialy
sit in a spot in the same hall, and actually have some frequencies cancel out others.

This is my evaluation of it,
though i could be wrong.

I'm going to ask for a clearer response
from an expert. Because i love sound,

and whatnot ;)
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Re: Brisbane, Feb 3

Postby swampfox on Wed Feb 04, 2009 9:32 am

pointofviewpoint1983 wrote:I guess the bass problem was just one of those things,
when sound is played inside a room.
You were probably sitting in a peak,
where certain wavelengths meet and compound...
hence the boomy bass sound.

I think you could be right...the seat I had was dead centre and just below a huge pair of speakers...maybe I was in the Bass sweet spot? Anyway it wasn't overly annoying and I could still hear the other muso's and Leonard voice just fine.
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Re: Brisbane, Feb 3

Postby Tony D on Wed Feb 04, 2009 12:00 pm

I went to the Brisbane show last night, i have waited 30 years to see the great man live, All i want to say is that i have just had one of the highlights of my life.
I cant thank Mr. Cohen and the band enough for not only a magical night but for a life time of his wonderful work.
After seeing the response he's been getting we can only hope and pray that he will grace us with his presence again in the not too distant future( please, please, please.)With all my heart THANKYOU, Mr. Cohen.
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Re: Brisbane, Feb 3

Postby Shockvalue on Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:07 am

NickShears wrote:I was impresed by Paul Kelly and his son Daniel, who seemed a very fitting opening act, and whom Leonard mentioned at the end, saying it had been "an honour to share the stage with the very fine Paul Kelly".

Just a correction - Dan Kelly is Paul's nephew.
As I've said in a previous post, if we had to have a support there is no one better thal Paul Kelly. Did he play the full 45 min "Vineyard set" in Brisbane? He split the set over 2 nights in Sydney as he had 25-30 mins in each concert.
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Re: Brisbane, Feb 3

Postby NickShears on Thu Feb 05, 2009 1:11 am

Shockvalue wrote:
NickShears wrote:I was impresed by Paul Kelly and his son Daniel, who seemed a very fitting opening act, and whom Leonard mentioned at the end, saying it had been "an honour to share the stage with the very fine Paul Kelly".

Just a correction - Dan Kelly is Paul's nephew.
As I've said in a previous post, if we had to have a support there is no one better thal Paul Kelly. Did he play the full 45 min "Vineyard set" in Brisbane? He split the set over 2 nights in Sydney as he had 25-30 mins in each concert.


Oops, my ignorance led me to make an assumption, especially with Dan's comment about being nervous "because my Dad's here tonight". (Although I could perhaps have misheard that!) Thanks for the correction. And I certainly agree with you re the suitability.

I think the set was 30 minutes (7:30 - 8:00 with Leonard on at 8:15) but I'd need to see a setlist from the vineyard set to see if there was anything on it that I might not recall, although my knowledge of Kelly's catalogue is not that great. (That's something I must remedy!)
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Re: Brisbane, Feb 3

Postby pointofviewpoint1983 on Thu Feb 05, 2009 6:22 am

swampfox wrote:
pointofviewpoint1983 wrote:I guess the bass problem was just one of those things,
when sound is played inside a room.
You were probably sitting in a peak,
where certain wavelengths meet and compound...
hence the boomy bass sound.

I think you could be right...the seat I had was dead centre and just below a huge pair of speakers...maybe I was in the Bass sweet spot? Anyway it wasn't overly annoying and I could still hear the other muso's and Leonard voice just fine.


Ha, probably more like a sour spot.
A bit more information...
Since you were sitting in the centre,
imagine the sound coming out of the speakers...
like an explosion, sound will travel out in all directions,
until a surface comes along.
It would seem that you got the direct sound,
you could literally draw a line from the speaker cone,
to your ears. But what happens to all the other lines of sound
coming out? Well id imagine that some of those lines
would go past you completely, hit a back wall (and maybe other surfaces)
and return to your ears. Usually such things brighten a room, hence a wonder reverb sound,
we can all be so used to. Usually, such reflections are limited down to a standard, of very few micro seconds. In your case, sitting in the centre...the ability of the sound to travel directly and indirectly to your ears, was probably still in a micro second bracket...but just slightly out. I'll assume, that such probelms can be dealt with via digital equalisation, when modifying the physical structure isn't possible.

I could still be wrong, and this post may still get an angry sound man
turning up 15 years from now...saying, 'Point, you're an idiot.'

Maybe.

Like you said though, really, it wasn't annoying.

I wonder what the centre was originally designed for? music...basketball....other???
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"Prince of Cool" reviewed in Courier Mail

Postby NickShears on Thu Feb 05, 2009 6:56 am

Review of Tuesday's show from Brisbane's local paper, the Courier Mail. http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,25005918-5003421,00.html

(Amusingly, the Google search that took me to it showed the title as "Leonard Cohen woes fans at Brisbane Entertainment Centre | The ..." I don't think anyone had a single moment's woe all night. :D )

Leonard Cohen woos fans at Brisbane Entertainment Centre

By Noel Mengel
February 03, 2009 11:00pm

THE word "legend" is flung around too liberally in the world of modern music, no doubt too liberally for the liking of Leonard Cohen, a man whose crisp and elegant way with words has been winning fans - and helping heal wounded hearts - for more than 40 years.

But in this case legend seems appropriate, since most of his generations of fans had long ago given up hope of seeing him in the flesh on a concert tour. It's been 24 years since he last played Brisbane, but financial misfortune at the hands of his accountant has forced his hand.

Whatever the reason for his change of heart, the Brisbane Entertainment Centre was full of baby boomers glad to pay tribute to the Canadian poet-turned-songwriter.

Such was their joy that they gave him a standing ovation just for walking on stage.

It's difficult to avoid using another overused word, but everything about these nearly three hours of music was beautiful.

With this band, Cohen has hit on a sound that suits him perfectly; from the lighting to the music itself, everything is bathed in a warm glow.

It's hard to select highlights from a show like this, but whether it was a classic like Bird On A Wire or newer friends like In My Secret Life, Cohen did these sublime songs proud.

Cohen's deep rumble of a voice already sounded old and lived in when he released his first album; all these years later, it still works a treat.

The band gave some extraordinary shades to the music, with three backing singers and some powerful playing from guitarist Javier Mas.

The set delivered everything that a hardened fan could ask for, from the fleshy delights of Chelsea Hotel #2 through Tower Of Song to Suzanne and Hallelujah.

Leonard Cohen is still the prince of cool at 74.
Nick,
London 1979, London 1983, London 1988, Brisbane 2009
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Re: Brisbane, Feb 3

Postby Alice de Basque on Fri Feb 06, 2009 6:41 am

Hi Nick,
We must have been just behind you in 6th row at Brisbane 3Feb. I find myself today trolling the site contemplating what would be involved in getting to Melb for the 10 Feb concert. That would make concert number 3. Is this unreasonable? It feels as urgent as if my life depended on it, but surely this is an exaggeration? But...I think I am going to decide to be there! It's not possible to die from an overdose of Leonard Cohen, is it? No, of course not, your can never get enough of that annointed feeling (as my sister put it) - let alone an overdose. I'll just check out the flights and tickets, just in case...
Ring the bell that still can ring, forget your perfect offering
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Re: Brisbane, Feb 3

Postby Mia on Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:30 pm

NickShears wrote:
Shockvalue wrote:
NickShears wrote:I was impresed by Paul Kelly and his son Daniel, who seemed a very fitting opening act, and whom Leonard mentioned at the end, saying it had been "an honour to share the stage with the very fine Paul Kelly".

Just a correction - Dan Kelly is Paul's nephew.
As I've said in a previous post, if we had to have a support there is no one better thal Paul Kelly. Did he play the full 45 min "Vineyard set" in Brisbane? He split the set over 2 nights in Sydney as he had 25-30 mins in each concert.


Oops, my ignorance led me to make an assumption, especially with Dan's comment about being nervous "because my Dad's here tonight". (Although I could perhaps have misheard that!) Thanks for the correction. And I certainly agree with you re the suitability.

I think the set was 30 minutes (7:30 - 8:00 with Leonard on at 8:15) but I'd need to see a setlist from the vineyard set to see if there was anything on it that I might not recall, although my knowledge of Kelly's catalogue is not that great. (That's something I must remedy!)



No, you weren't mishearing things - he definitely said "my Dad's here tonight", which I think I can explain - there was a man sitting near us who looked remarkably like Paul Kelly, and when Dan came up to this man and his (presumably) wife during the 2nd interval, they greeted him much as you would expect proud parents to greet their son after a great performance.

What a concert - I never wanted it to end... Does anyone know if there are any cds or dvds available of Leonard reciting some of his poetry? Would love to get my hands on one.
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