CONCERT REPORT: Hamilton, Ontario, May 19

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...
stfa
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CONCERT REPORT: Hamilton, Ontario, May 19

Postby stfa » Mon May 18, 2009 3:10 am

Next up is a return to Hamilton. After two outstanding nights at Hamilton Place (2-3,000 soft seater) on the pre-tour last year, Leonard moves to the bigger (nearly 18,000) Copps Coliseum, home of the American Hockey League's Bulldogs. For a hockey arena the acoustics are pretty good and the sightlines are generally excellent even from the second level. Some good seats remain but the concert seems to have sold very well for a much bigger space. Word is, the concert was supposed to be at the somewhat smaller Oshawa GM Place but the automotive industry's woes may have had an influence - the concert should attract many from all over the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) as there is no concert in Toronto at this point in the tour! Can't wait until Tuesday!!!!
Hamilton Place April 1993, O'Keefe Toronto July 1993, Center in the Square Kitchener June 2nd 2008, Hamilton Place June 3rd 2008, Copps Coliseum, Hamilton May 19th 2009, Labatt's London May 24th 2009, ACC Toronto December 4th & 5th 2012, Labatts London Dec 11th 2012 Copps Coliseum Hamilton April 9 2013 Tower of Song, Centre Bell November 6th 2017
stfa
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Hamilton, Ontario - May 19

Postby stfa » Tue May 19, 2009 11:43 pm

Apparently Copps is not using the entire seating capacity but it will still be a much larger venue than last time. Heard a bit of the soundcheck at around 3:30 from outside - parts of Dance Me, Bird on a Wire.
Hamilton Place April 1993, O'Keefe Toronto July 1993, Center in the Square Kitchener June 2nd 2008, Hamilton Place June 3rd 2008, Copps Coliseum, Hamilton May 19th 2009, Labatt's London May 24th 2009, ACC Toronto December 4th & 5th 2012, Labatts London Dec 11th 2012 Copps Coliseum Hamilton April 9 2013 Tower of Song, Centre Bell November 6th 2017
pingutag
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Hamilton, Ontario - May 19

Postby pingutag » Wed May 20, 2009 12:32 am

Hello,

I'm going to the upcoming london concert and I'd like to know how long he plays for. I've heard the concerts also start on time and there is no opening act. Can someone confirm?

thanks and have a good night
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Mabeanie1
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Hamilton, Ontario - May 19

Postby Mabeanie1 » Wed May 20, 2009 12:52 am

Yes, the concerts start at advertised time (or very, very soon after). They have to as there is 3 hours or more of show to squeeze in! The concerts typically finish between 11.00 pm and 11.15 pm.

There is DEFINITELY no opening act so you need to get there in good time to be in your seat by 8.00 pm, which I assume is the start time for London (must check as I'm going to that one too!)

Wendy
stfa
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Hamilton, Ontario - May 19

Postby stfa » Wed May 20, 2009 7:30 am

Concert started at 8:05 (I heard the tour manager agree to a five minute delay - crowd was between 6 and 7,000) ended at 11:20 with a 20 minute intermission. Leonard did not talk as much as before, maybe because he had been through here once before and used up his best lines - he said he was happy to be back in Hamilton and Canada again, talked before Tower of Song and at the end but not too much else, The show seemed to start a bit slow but built momentum quickly and by the end matched anything I'd seen before. He played a very different set (as much as he does) than the first time through with a big emphasis on older material - Raincoat, Chelsea, Marianne, Sisters, Partisan!!!! (and luckily he did not exclude Closing Time!!!) The focus this time was more on the music and it was very rewarding. Great interactions with Javier Maas and the Webb sister with the darker hair. In Tower of Song the machine seemed to be one step ahead (or behind), after the solo he said "Thank you music lovers!" The crowd killed the "da doo dum dum" ending of the song due to overenthusiastic applause!!!!! Sharon Robinson killed on Boogie street it was amazing to see how intense Leonard was as a backup singer on that! (and how he stayed on stage all through If it Be Your Will!) and Dino Soldo had some amazing solos - especially on Anthem! Leonard, "didn't come all the way to Hamilton just to fool ya!" Not very many 'namechecks' either compared to last time. Leonard dropped the second verse of Dance Me and had to look to the girls to get back on track. Great energy from the crowd and band - he comes to play in Hamilton - I hope this isn't the last time we see him. A great show that got better and better and was absolutely smoking at the end - wish he had talked more but no complaints!!! Best moments for me were The Partisan, Raincoat, Marianne and especially Chelsea Hotel!! Now for me it is on to London! (but wish I could be in Quebec!)
SETLIST:
Dance Me to the End of Love
The Future
Ain't No Cure
Bird on the Wire
Everybody Knows
In My Secret Life
Who By Fire
Chelsea Hotel
Waiting for the Miracle
Anthem
-intermission-
Tower of Song
Suzanne
Sisters of Mercy
The Partisan
Boogie Street - Sharon Robinson
Hallelujah
I'm Your Man
1,000 kisses recitation
Take this Waltz
-small bow=
So Long Marianne
Manhattan
-small bow-
Famous Blue Raincoat
If it Be Your Will - Webb sisters
Closing Time
-small bow-
I Tried to Leave You
Whither Thou Goest (with crew)
Hamilton Place April 1993, O'Keefe Toronto July 1993, Center in the Square Kitchener June 2nd 2008, Hamilton Place June 3rd 2008, Copps Coliseum, Hamilton May 19th 2009, Labatt's London May 24th 2009, ACC Toronto December 4th & 5th 2012, Labatts London Dec 11th 2012 Copps Coliseum Hamilton April 9 2013 Tower of Song, Centre Bell November 6th 2017
da2008
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Hamilton, Ontario - May 19

Postby da2008 » Wed May 20, 2009 8:58 am

I was just going to say The Partisan!! Unbelievable...
da2008
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Hamilton, Ontario - May 19

Postby da2008 » Wed May 20, 2009 9:01 am

Great review, by the way - absolutely spot on. I don't know, even the three shows I've seen this year have had a different feel/dynamic/setlist/banter. Just please, Leonard, don't exhaust yourself. Don't know how he does it every night including all the travel.
Jarrah
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Hamilton, Ontario - May 19

Postby Jarrah » Wed May 20, 2009 9:12 am

Just got back from the concert and still floating.... It was my first chance to see a Cohen concert - and what an amazing experience. Would have loved more banter - but every minute was a treat. Now if I'd only had a bit of leg room....

I envy those of you who get to see him again.
captrenault
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Hamilton, Ontario - May 19

Postby captrenault » Wed May 20, 2009 4:35 pm

Agreed with the above.

I was worried that the show would be a carbon copy of what he had done here before, and what we've all by now memorized from the DVD, but things were just changed enough. Particularly through adding Partisan, but this version of Chelsea Hotel was new to me this time around.

And a good crowd too -- older people and younger kids, not too much between. Well behaved and enthusiastic, it was a better bunch than it was for Dylan the last time I was at Copps. Sound quality, too, was pretty good -- certainly for an arena show.

Spent too much money on merch, though. Oops.
Toronto, June 17/93; Toronto, May 13/06; Toronto, June 1/07; Hamilton, June 3/08; Montreal June 23/08; Montreal June 24/08; Hamilton, May 19/09, London, Dec. 11/12, Hamilton, Apr. 9/13; Irving Layton's 85th birthday party.
stfa
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Hamilton, Ontario - May 19

Postby stfa » Wed May 20, 2009 4:38 pm

Yes I forgot to mention -the sound at least where I was was crystal! Well done! And yes the merchandise!!!!!! Great stuff - spent way too much also but I rationalized by remembering that there wasn't merchandise at my first two shows last year!! :D
Hamilton Place April 1993, O'Keefe Toronto July 1993, Center in the Square Kitchener June 2nd 2008, Hamilton Place June 3rd 2008, Copps Coliseum, Hamilton May 19th 2009, Labatt's London May 24th 2009, ACC Toronto December 4th & 5th 2012, Labatts London Dec 11th 2012 Copps Coliseum Hamilton April 9 2013 Tower of Song, Centre Bell November 6th 2017
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Hamilton, Ontario - May 19

Postby bridger15 » Wed May 20, 2009 5:50 pm

Cohen grows venue, sheds warmth
May 20, 2009
Graham Rockingham
The Hamilton Spectator
http://www.thespec.com/News/Local/article/568749

It had been just under a year since Leonard Cohen performed his two amazing shows at Hamilton Place.

At the time, Cohen was in the first three weeks of his now well-chronicled come-back tour.

Those shows were stunning in their brilliance. We came to pay tribute to an aging poet before he closed the curtain on his fabled career.

But what we got was an artist still painting his masterpiece.

So last night he returned to repeat his triumph, this time in front of a crowd of 7,000 well-primed fans at the much larger Copps Coliseum.

But could he pull it off again, this time in a hockey arena? Would the subtleties of his songs be lost in the echo? Would Cohen’s genuine warmth and apparent humility be overwhelmed by the cavernous rink?

There were enough returnees in the audience to make these legitimate questions.

Well, the venue wasn’t the problem. Cohen’s sonorous monotone carried well enough and his impeccable nine-piece band — “a tiny ensemble,” he called it — cut through the void. There was no echo.

Every nuance of Javier Mas’s wonderful Spanish guitar intro to Everybody Knows rang through with perfection.

Neil Larsen’s masterful performance on Hammond B-3 organ was always noticeable but never overpowering.

His vocal delivery was as good as Cohen gets on songs such as Suzanne, Hallelujah, Sisters Of Mercy, Bird On A Wire and Ain’t No Cure For Love.

Cohen’s set list has remained fairly static in the 100-plus shows he’s performed since starting out his worldwide tour in Canada last spring.

It became evident that that mini-Canadian tour was simply a warm-up for the bigger arenas he is now facing.

The first seven songs of the three-hour concert, were a duplicate of what we saw last June and what we’ve heard on his newly released Live In London double CD.

But on the eighth song, he dropped in a pleasant surprise — Chelsea Hotel No. 2, his wry ode to Janis Joplin and their brief affair in a room at Manhattan’s bohemian mecca.

I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel
You were famous, your heart was a legend.
You told me again you preferred handsome men
But for me you would make an exception.

The irony of the song’s lines — spoken with tender detachment by a 74-year-old poet still considered a sexual icon by many of his fans — drew huge applause.

The humility was still there, as was the passion.

Cohen opened many of his songs on bended knee and closed them clutching his grey fedora to his chest with both hands, while graciously bowing his head to the adoring crowd.

But the warmth was lacking. Gone was the carefully spun between-song patter that had made Cohen such an endearing on-stage figure in those earlier shows at Hamilton Place.

He didn’t even address the audience until shortly before the close of the first set — and then only to say “it’s great to be back in Hamilton and great to be back in Canada.”

In many ways, it was good that he didn’t try to retell his little self-deprecating stories about sex, pills and aging. The first time you hear them, they seem spontaneous.

The second time — like on the new CD — they seem staged.

Large video screens on either side of the stage narrowed the distance between audience and performer, but at times — especially on some of those bended knee numbers — that it looked like he was playing more to the cameras than the audience.

It just wasn’t the same.

But, then again, how could it? Only Star Wars and The Godfather were better the second time around.

grockingham@thespec.com
905-526-3331
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
da2008
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Hamilton, Ontario - May 19

Postby da2008 » Wed May 20, 2009 7:41 pm

I don't know what Graham Rockingham expected from this show, but if you're looking for something to be wrong you'd definitely find it. So he didn't address the audience until later in the set? Is that a problem? What if he did it in the beginning - would that be scripted then, I guess? Or just trying to be too pleasing? I really don't know why there always seems to be this negative bent, but I guess if you're a critic and you get in for free to see two shows of the artist you might like, but don't admire then you're good. I just don't see a point in the live reviews published in the media, tbh. That's not about the music, not about the poetry - it's about something that's happened in the past and won't happen again. He won't sway the opinions of those who went and won't re-create the atmosphere for those who didn't. But yes, another review, another dollar.
da2008
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Hamilton, Ontario - May 19

Postby da2008 » Wed May 20, 2009 7:44 pm

Seriously, mathching the setlist with the CD? That's a review? The stlist is static because he wants to/can do those songs live. It's a three hour concert, by the way - you don't go there to pick the songs, you're going to see it live and have the goosebumps. What an idiot.
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Hamilton, Ontario - May 19

Postby John K. » Wed May 20, 2009 8:58 pm

From a venue standpoint, it was the worst type of place to see a concert. The acoustics were dead, the audience was unknowing of much of Leonard Cohen's most well-known work. An example; lines in Chelsea Hotel like "you told me again you preferred handsome men" drew widespread laughter. Ok, nevermind, it's good to get Mr. Cohen's work out to a broader audience.

From a musicianship standpoint, the band continues to be of the highest quality.

From a performance standpoint, this was my third show in the 2008-9 world tours, and in my opinion the strongest. Last year in Hamilton the band was still learning about each other. The Beacon Theater was a great show from an emotional standpoint, but I heard several places where the travel had taken it's toll. All members of the band were rested and in top form last night.

From a personal standpoint, I spent more than half the show in tears. Twice I held myself back from sobbing. It was just so beautiful. I'm such a wimp.
I love to speak with John
He's a pundit and a fraud
He's a lazy banker living in a suit

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da2008
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Hamilton, Ontario - May 19

Postby da2008 » Wed May 20, 2009 10:31 pm

John K. wrote:...the audience was unknowing of much of Leonard Cohen's most well-known work. An example; lines in Chelsea Hotel like "you told me again you preferred handsome men" drew widespread laughter. Ok, nevermind, it's good to get Mr. Cohen's work out to a broader audience...
I know what you mean, but to be completely honest, these lines have also drawn cheers and laughter at the Beacon and RCMH. I don't really care about that. What (if only one thing) was pretty bad last night was the way A Thousand Kisses Deep was interrupted by some very inappropriate laughter from the audience. But then I don't know, Leonard seemed to have been smiling and just being very serene through moments like that so maybe I should not worry about it. All in all, I liked the crowd much better at Hamilton than at RCMH and significantly better than at the Beacon. That's not important though.

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