CONCERT REPORT: Waterbury, May 14

USA and Canada (April 1 - June 4, 2009). Special concert for fans in NYC (February 19). Concert reports, set lists, photos, media coverage, multimedia links, recollections...
alb123
Posts: 103
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2009 7:04 pm

CONCERT REPORT: Waterbury, May 14

Postby alb123 » Fri May 15, 2009 5:28 pm

Well, I just experienced my first Leonard Cohen concert last night. The show started just after 8pm and the set list appears to be identical to Philadelphia's. Unfortunately, I write this with some sorrow as my experience wasn't as great as I thought it would have been. The sound was the worst that I've ever heard during a concert. We were sitting in the first row of the Lower Mezz which I originally thought were perfect tickets: elevated, but no one in front of us and about half-way from the stage and the back of the room. I'm sure it is a spatial / acoustics issue with the Palace Theater itself, but the vocals were so muddled that my girlfriend (who knows very, very little of Cohen's work) basically said that she couldn't understand 75% of the lyrics. I hate to say that if I weren't the fan that I am, knowing every word to every song, I would have had to agree. Fortunately, she still had a good time and enjoyed the music itself tremendously. The crowd was basically well-behaved. I did have "the guy" who needed to scream his approval at the start and end of each song, but that quickly became forgotten as I was getting lost in the music.

I left the Palace Theater feeling mixed. I really wished the acoustics would have been better. However, I've finally seen Leonard Cohen live in concert and to be perfectly honest, you can never critique that experience to the point of gross negativity no matter how much you (I, in this case) nitpick!

Chris
Waterbury, CT - May 14, 2009
Las Vegas, NV - Dec 11, 2010 (Final Show of Leonard's 3 year World Tour) INCREDIBLE!
Boston, MA - Dec 15, 2012 (Best L.C. concert I've been to!)
User avatar
brightnow
Posts: 847
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2009 5:54 pm
Location: Pittsburgh

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Waterbury, May 14

Postby brightnow » Fri May 15, 2009 6:12 pm

alb123 wrote:... I'm sure it is a spatial / acoustics issue with the Palace Theater itself, but the vocals were so muddled that my girlfriend (who knows very, very little of Cohen's work) basically said that she couldn't understand 75% of the lyrics...

Chris
So sorry to hear that, It must be a seat-specific acoustics issue: one comment that I hear repeatedly from non-fans (usually spouses/partners of fans) is that the sound is great, the vocals are crystal clear and they get every word.
Columbia May 11, 2009; Boston May 29, 2009; Durham November 3, 2009; Las Vegas December 10 & 11, 2010; Austin November 1, 2012; Boston December 15, 2012; Brooklyn December 20, 2012
User avatar
bridger15
Posts: 2068
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 8:49 pm
Location: Los Angeles - ex Toronto
Contact:

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Waterbury, May 14

Postby bridger15 » Fri May 15, 2009 6:24 pm

Leonard Cohen in Waterbury
Review by Eric R. Danton of the Hartford Courant on May 15, 2009
http://blogs.courant.com/eric_danton_so ... rbury.html
Review: Leonard Cohen in Waterbury
By Eric R. Danton on May 15, 2009

Leonard Cohen spent a fair portion of his performance Thursday in Waterbury singing while down on his knees.

It was a genial bit of showmanship on his part, but it was also something more -- almost as if the 74-year-old singer and songwriter were showing deference to the music he has written over the past 40-plus years.

There was plenty of that: Cohen performed for nearly three hours before a capacity crowd at the Palace Theater in what was essentially a tour through his greatest songs.

With a stellar backing band providing tasteful accompaniment (including virtuosic flamenco-style playing on a series of acoustic stringed instruments, lovely Hammond organ and three singers adding stunning harmonies), Cohen glided through two sets and three encores totaling 26 songs, his deep voice enveloping the audience like a warm and slightly scratchy blanket.

He was spry, trotting out to center stage at the start and beaming at the standing ovation that greeted him. His first set had a somber air as Cohen intoned doomy lyrics on "Everybody Knows" and reminisced in his vivid, poetical way on "Chelsea Hotel #2," his voice playing with the rhythm by circling slightly behind or just ahead of the beat.

Bluesy guitar led into the easy, hypnotic tempo on "Bird on the Wire," and a lusty bass line ebbed and flowed through "Waiting for the Miracle."

Cohen's sense of humor showed right away in the second set, which began with the wry "Tower of Song," featuring dispassionate interjections from the backing vocalists. It was the start of a gorgeous trilogy that continued with "Suzanne" and then "Sisters of Mercy." Everyone on stage fell into perfect synchronization on the latter, and the way Cohen merged his voice with his singers' was nothing short of astounding.

Later, on "Hallelujah," Cohen's body strained upward from the balls of his feet as he sang a song of praise. Sacred turned to sensual on "I'm Your Man," and he spoke the lyrics to "A Thousand Kisses Deep" in a silky, purring voice that hinted at an implicit melody.

He ended the second set with "Democracy" and skipped literally off stage before returning for "So Long, Marianne," one of his best-loved songs, and "First We Take Manhattan."

After exiting just long enough for a huge wave of applause to wash over the theater, Cohen returned again to sing "Famous Blue Raincoat. He got "If It Be Your Will" started before ceding the song to backup singers Charley and Hattie Webb, who blended their crystalline voices in clear, pure harmonies as the former played guitar and the latter played a small harp.

Cohen began his third encore with "I Tried to Leave You," which took on another meaning in light of the thunderous applause, before ending on "Whither Thou Goest."

First set
1. Dance Me to the End of Love
2. The Future
3. Ain't No Cure for Love
4. Bird on the Wire
5. Everybody Knows
6. In My Secret Life
7. Who by Fire
8. Chelsea Hotel #2
9. Waiting for the Miracle
10. Anthem
Second set
11. Tower of Song
12. Suzanne
13. Sisters of Mercy
14. Take This Waltz
15. Boogie Street
16. Hallelujah
17. I'm Your Man
18. A Thousand Kisses Deep
19. Democracy
Encore
20. So Long, Marianne
21. First We Take Manhattan
Encore
22. Famous Blue Raincoat
23. If It Be Your Will
24. Closing Time
Encore
25. I Tried to Leave You
26. Whither Thou Goest
2009-San Diego|Los Ang|Nashville|St Louis|Kansas City|LVegas|San Jose
2010-Gothenburg|Berlin|Ghentx2|Oaklandx2|Portland|LVegasx2
2012-Austinx2|Denver|Los Ang|Seattle|Portland

Arlene's Leonard Cohen Scrapbook http://onboogiestreet.blogspot.com
ozzie
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 4:32 pm

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Waterbury, May 14

Postby ozzie » Fri May 15, 2009 8:38 pm

Saw my first Leonard Cohen performance last night. I was deciding between Bruce Springsteen in Albany or Mr. Cohen in Waterbury. Considering I have seen close to one hundred Bruce concerts I felt I owed it to myself to finally see and hear Leonard. It was absolutely one of the best decisions I have ever made. I see about two concerts per week per year average and without a doubt last night's show was in my top ten of all time. It was that good! Perfect song section; perfect sound (I was in the orchestra, row L); wonderful musicians; generous length of performance; and the coolest performer in the world (other than Bruce...sorry). I would not have known what I missed if I had not attended, but I certainly am overjoyed that I made the trek to Waterbury. Thank you Mr. Cohen. Thank you very, very much.
MaryB
Posts: 3945
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2008 5:40 am
Location: Columbus, Ohio USA

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Waterbury, May 14

Postby MaryB » Fri May 15, 2009 8:45 pm

ozzie,

It is so heartening to hear that you chose to see an LC concert over your favorite Springsteen. What is even better to hear, is that you don't regret your decision and you were ' overjoyed to make the trek to Waterbury'.

Congrats on your first post (what a great way to start) and welcome to the forum. Hope to hear more from you.

Best regards,
Mary
1993 Detroit 2008 Kitchener June 2-Hamilton June 3 & 4-Vienna Sept 24 & 25-London RAH Nov 17 2009 NYC Feb 19-Grand Prairie Apr 3-Phoenix Apr 5-Columbia May 11-Red Rocks Jun 4-Barcelona Sept 21-Columbus Oct 27-Las Vegas Nov 12-San Jose Nov 13 2010 Sligo Jul 31 & Aug 1-LV Dec 10 & 11 2012 Paris Sept 30-London Dec 11-Boston Dec 16 2013 Louisville Mar 30-Amsterdam Sept 20
User avatar
lizzytysh
Posts: 25339
Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2002 8:57 pm
Location: Florida, U.S.A.

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Waterbury, May 14

Postby lizzytysh » Fri May 15, 2009 10:26 pm

That's awesome, Ozzie :D . Brief, succinct, and overwhelmingly positive. Thank you for sharing your comments with us... and congratulations on a decision well made 8) .


~ Lizzy
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
alb123
Posts: 103
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2009 7:04 pm

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Waterbury, May 14

Postby alb123 » Sat May 16, 2009 1:09 am

One thing I forgot to add, that I found refreshing: This must have been the first concert I've ever been to that I wasn't frisked, asked to empty out my pockets and generally probed before being granted entry to the venue. Also, major points for the vendors selling Doritos inside the theater. It was a moment I will cherish forever. I hope no one has read my "negative comments" as meaning I found the experience to be negative. It was quite the opposite. I would not have traded last night for anything in the world...
Waterbury, CT - May 14, 2009
Las Vegas, NV - Dec 11, 2010 (Final Show of Leonard's 3 year World Tour) INCREDIBLE!
Boston, MA - Dec 15, 2012 (Best L.C. concert I've been to!)
jsearles
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 6:23 am

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Waterbury, May 14

Postby jsearles » Sat May 16, 2009 6:31 am

I had a different experience in Waterbury last night. I bought and listened to the CDs multiple times; I read all the reviews starting with Austin. Still, I was astonished! It was 3 hours and 15 minutes of pure magic! We were sitteng in the orchestra section, Row E. Another magical part was the dinnr at the Palace restaurant prior to the show. We arrived at 5:30 and had a wonderful leisurely meal and went to our seats at 7:45.

Everything was perfect. The stellar band individually and collectively. And, oh those backup singers- they truly are angels! Of course, Leonard was just beyond words. An evening I will never forget.
MaryB
Posts: 3945
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2008 5:40 am
Location: Columbus, Ohio USA

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Waterbury, May 14

Postby MaryB » Sat May 16, 2009 8:29 am

alb123 wrote:One thing I forgot to add, that I found refreshing: This must have been the first concert I've ever been to that I wasn't frisked, asked to empty out my pockets and generally probed before being granted entry to the venue. Also, major points for the vendors selling Doritos inside the theater. It was a moment I will cherish forever. I hope no one has read my "negative comments" as meaning I found the experience to be negative. It was quite the opposite. I would not have traded last night for anything in the world...
alb123,

Even though the sound was not a positive in your concert experience :( (this has on occurred on rare occasions, Vienna coming to mind) the fact that you reaaalllly enjoyed the show does indeed come through :D .

Best regards,
Mary
1993 Detroit 2008 Kitchener June 2-Hamilton June 3 & 4-Vienna Sept 24 & 25-London RAH Nov 17 2009 NYC Feb 19-Grand Prairie Apr 3-Phoenix Apr 5-Columbia May 11-Red Rocks Jun 4-Barcelona Sept 21-Columbus Oct 27-Las Vegas Nov 12-San Jose Nov 13 2010 Sligo Jul 31 & Aug 1-LV Dec 10 & 11 2012 Paris Sept 30-London Dec 11-Boston Dec 16 2013 Louisville Mar 30-Amsterdam Sept 20
User avatar
sturgess66
Posts: 4085
Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 2:50 pm
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Waterbury, May 14, 2009

Postby sturgess66 » Wed Apr 27, 2011 11:40 pm

Wow - this Concert Thread is so short.
And this would be the concert that followed directly in the tour schedule to the wonderful concert that I attended at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia on May 12, 2009. :D Wish I had been at this one too!
And then they were on to NYC.

Anyway - since there is no video here - that makes it even nicer to have found a most wonderful video thanks to a poster on Facebook (thank you Beatriz Cohen) -

Uploaded to YouTube by "BeYourOwnLight" - belated thanks!!

Leonard Cohen 5/14/09 Waterbury, CT "Wither Thou Goest"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fm_jFCkgKSM
I loved this at the end of concerts.

While I was there on YouTube - I found another video by "BeYourOwnLight" from CT show -

Leonard Cohen 5/14/09 Waterbury, CT "Famous Blue Raincoat"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QcLyu5OCxnQ

Leonard "sings" "Sincerely, L. Cohen" at the end (as opposed to speaking it).
And the video Includes a lovely saxophone solo by Dino Sodo.
And wonderful audience response at the end.

Return to “The North American Tour 2009”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests