CONCERT REPORT: NYC Madison Square Garden, October 23

October 17 - November 13, 2009. Concert reports, set lists, photos, media coverage, multimedia links, recollections...
Madeleine
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CONCERT REPORT: NYC Madison Square Garden, October 23

Postby Madeleine » Sat Oct 24, 2009 10:13 am

Four encores. Four. I waited forty years to see Leonard Cohen live. The man is a wonder. I have lived my life through his songs. The crowd was diverse; young and old.

At the end (after the four encores) Leonard Cohen thanked the audience for keeping his songs alive; rather, the audience, I am sure, are thankful to him for the songs.

Bravo to you L. Cohen and thank you for the music.
TheWrongMan
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: NYC Madison Square Garden, October 23

Postby TheWrongMan » Sat Oct 24, 2009 11:50 am

First video clips on youtube:

First we take Manhattan
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBhJxAwtayU

Closing Time (short clip) - Leonard Cohen
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbvKr9nGEo0

Closing Time (short clip 3)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YX1_pCY6AI

So Long Marianne (short clip)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=caQH-YStKyU
1993:London RAH 2008:London O2 x 2, London RAH, Brighton 2009:Weybridge, Liverpool, Barcelona 2010: Lille 2012:Wembly 2013:London O2
goldstei
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: NYC Madison Square Garden, October 23

Postby goldstei » Sat Oct 24, 2009 2:04 pm

another stupendous performance (yawn)...much more focus on javier in mad. sq. garden nyc concert than in philly previous night. javier and all shone, including sharon r. & the webbs. constant extremely warm crowd reception, folks went nuts for an outstanding "i'm your man" and wouldn't let LC move right on to next song as he generally does. as in philly, again no "whither tho goest" close, which i think was to the good, as "i'm still working for your smile" end of "i tried to leave you" finishes well. three encores, not four, as reported above. he's dropped "democracy is coming to the usa" from philly/nyc at least, maybe had dropped it earlier, version of "1000 kisses deep" was modified from in the past.

glitches very minor: in general sound/video excellent, from my seat some annoying echo/feedback in first few songs in second set but then it seemed to go away. mad. sq garden management needs to tell vendors to stop obnoxiouslly peddling their shit during concerts!!! didn't see any trouble w/ushers, relatively few folks using lighted up phone cameras, tho a few flash photography light-ups. not very much singing along, clearly far less than in some european concerts like dublin.

generally a great night: i went with a high school friend who'd never been and seemed to be blown away and our "lady di" was there with a friend who seemed to have similar reaction. she said: "you can read about it, but it's just words. you have to be there. it's just incredible"

kansas city & st. l. next for me. all my friends think i'm nuts so i'm asking my high school friends to write them and assure them that i am hanging on ok!!
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Mikeaus
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: NYC Madison Square Garden, October 23

Postby Mikeaus » Sat Oct 24, 2009 2:24 pm

For those of us who live half a world away, we wish we could experience the minor glitches and the annoying echos - just one more time.
Sydney & Bowral 2009. Lissadell Sligo July 2010 (what a night!). Sydney & Hanging Rock November 2010. Bimbadgen Winery, Hunter Valley, Nov 2013. Sydney Opera House, Dec 2013.
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sturgess66
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: NYC Madison Square Garden, October 23

Postby sturgess66 » Sat Oct 24, 2009 2:34 pm

Mikeaus wrote:For those of us who live half a world away, we wish we could experience the minor glitches and the annoying echos - just one more time.
:) :) :)
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cohenfreek
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: NYC Madison Square Garden, October 23

Postby cohenfreek » Sat Oct 24, 2009 3:21 pm

Does anyone know what the attendance figure was for last night's show?
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Mealyman
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: NYC Madison Square Garden, October 23

Postby Mealyman » Sat Oct 24, 2009 4:59 pm

Madeline.
What you said is so true, I'm sure to many of us.
LC has been around since the beginning and his music has been the soundtrack of our time!
This was my first live LC Concert, and I am in awe of the man. His humanity and his appreciation come through
in his performance. But it is the listener who should be appreciative.

Thank You Leonard.


A fan.
heavensgate2024
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: NYC Madison Square Garden, October 23

Postby heavensgate2024 » Sat Oct 24, 2009 7:11 pm

cohenfreek wrote:Does anyone know what the attendance figure was for last night's show?
seemed really close to sold out. maybe a few stray seats here and there, so fairly close to 20,000
goldstei
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: NYC Madison Square Garden, October 23

Postby goldstei » Sat Oct 24, 2009 8:18 pm

An exchange with my high school friend Bonnie, who I dragged her from his rural idyll in the Hudson Valley for the concert in NYC:



On Sat, Oct 24, 2009 at 8:03 AM, Bonnie wrote (to me and many friends whom I've been deluging w/LC propaganda and who think I've gone berserk):

One of the tentacles of 9/11 is my compulsion to check Drudge in the first blinking moments of wakefulness. This picture [included with her e-mail, not here], stargazing, of a night sky with stars was what reassured me that we are ok this morning, and the picture also clicked on one of my passions: where I live there’s no ambient light, and I can see every star in the sky at 5 a.m. before I get into the damned car. These people with the star picture are members of the International Dark Sky Association, and their desolate place on the edge of Scotland has been recognized as a Dark-Sky Park, a rare honor, and they take it as such:

“There will be a little bit of pride. I will be able to say ‘I live in the dark-sky park’ and I’ll push it for all its worth,” says Robin Bellerby, 69, a former headmaster and chairman of the Wigtownshire Astronomical Society. “All teachers are missionaries. This can be a solitary hobby but we like to interest people to join with us and turn their heads up.” From Times Online October 24, 2009

This brings me to your and my friend, Bob Goldstein, whom I went to high school with and caught up with at a reunion a few years ago, and brings me to one of Bob’s passions, the music of Leonard Cohen, whom he talked me into seeing at Madison Square Garden last night. What Bob wrote in a blog a few months ago made me gasp at his passion; passion is so rare these days. What he wrote made me feel that I would miss something great if I ducked the inconvenience of hauling myself into MSG on a Friday night in order to hear LC. As Robin Bellerby, 69, said, “All teachers are missionaries.”

As the time for the concert got closer, so did Bob, and his blogs as he literally followed LC from city to city became steady reading. Last night the Garden was packed, sold out. Do you know how frigging big the Garden is? When LC came on stage, there was a roar. He knelt, and the impeccable music of the artists in his court began. It’s “Hallelujah” that got me. Swear to God I’d not heard it before yesterday.

This is why they follow him, the court of musicians, the thousands in MSG, and Bob. This is why they say it’s like a religious or spiritual experience. “Hallelujah” is about redemption. I love redemption; I wrote about Shakespeare’s THE WINTER’S TALE, which is all about redemption, in my dissertation. What is possible when everything’s gone wrong, been ruined, been lost? How can the last nail, permanently fixing you to cynicism and bleakness, be resisted?

LC sings the secret chord that pleases the Lord and even though the voice in his heart is cold and broken, and even though it all went wrong, he stood and knelt last night before the Lord of Song and me with nothing on his tongue but Hallelujah. All teachers are missionaries.

Hallelujah.

My response:

Thanks, Bonnie!

These concerts have been joyous, life-affirming events, probably the most amazing I've experienced in my 62 years. Ok, maybe not as good as sex, but, at three hours, they definitely last longer!

As I may have said to some of you in prior e-mails, Cohen sings in his song "Everybody knows," that

Everybody wants a box of chocolates
and a long-stemmed rose
as everybody knows.

As the world, or at least the U.S., seems to have plunged from one disaster to another in recent decades, I suspect that most of us haven't been getting enough chocolates and/or roses. For three hours, at least, these concerts have provided non-stop quantities of both. I've considered it well-worth the time, trouble and money to join this feast. I know, Bonnie, that you and Don did the same last night, driving a long while and returning to your home in the Hudson Valley very late at night at a time when you are usually fast-asleep, to see the concert. I am so very pleased I was able to help lead to it, and so very pleased that you liked it so much also.

Most of the time I still believe, with Dylan:

Don't follow leaders,
watch your parking meters.

But every once in a while it's a great joy to park the cynicism at the meter, feast on the chocolates and smell the roses. And, Bonnie, I know that we'll be forever bound by having shared this extraordinary moment.

I'm back home in Ann Arbor and trust you got back home safely also, Bonnie.

Best to all,
victhpooh
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: NYC Madison Square Garden, October 23

Postby victhpooh » Sat Oct 24, 2009 8:23 pm

Wow. Just WOW.
From 1968 till now, Leonard is and has been by standard by which all music is compared. (he ruined me for other music, to put it another way).
To sit there last night with about 20,000 other fans and 5 great friends was the most powerful experience.
I'm from the day of "Leonard WHO?".
I wish I had another show to look forward to.
there is a crack in everything........that's how the light gets in............
smellslikefritos
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: NYC Madison Square Garden, October 23

Postby smellslikefritos » Sat Oct 24, 2009 8:57 pm

Highlight: I'm Your Man followed by two (!) standing ovations.
Lowlight: Leonard not coming out until 815, making me think that something might have been wrong (which was totally not the case, thankfully!)
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sturgess66
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: NYC Madison Square Garden, October 23

Postby sturgess66 » Sat Oct 24, 2009 10:06 pm

smellslikefritos wrote:Highlight: I'm Your Man followed by two (!) standing ovations.
Lowlight: Leonard not coming out until 815, making me think that something might have been wrong (which was totally not the case, thankfully!)
slf - the show at the Tower in Philly did not start until 8:15 either.

Sounds like you had a great show!

Wish I had been there. :lol: :lol:
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sturgess66
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: NYC Madison Square Garden, October 23

Postby sturgess66 » Sat Oct 24, 2009 10:52 pm

From EW.com - I like the tags for "categories" :lol:
http://music-mix.ew.com/2009/10/24/leon ... re-garden/
Oct 24 2009 12:33 PM ET

Leonard Cohen at Madison Square Garden: The master at 75

by Simon Vozick-Levinson

Categories: Concert Reviews, Leonard Cohen, Things That Are Beautiful, Things That Are Canadian
leonard-cohen_MSG.jpg
leonard-cohen_MSG.jpg (33.85 KiB) Viewed 12305 times
Last night, about a month after his 75th birthday, Leonard Cohen packed NYC’s Madison Square Garden to the rafters. Earlier in the week, he’d released Live at the Isle of Wight 1970, a CD/DVD package documenting a festival set he played when he was just shy of 36. And here’s the thing: Ask me which of the two performances was more compelling, more full of life, more can’t-look-away transcendent, and…I’ll have to get back to you on that.

Sure, Cohen had a certain bright-burning intensity 39 years ago. He waited til after 2 A.M. to go on stage in 1970, which I imagine he wouldn’t be as happy to do today. His voice could hit a few more high notes back then. But that’s about all the obvious advantage that young Cohen has over old Cohen.

“I don’t know when we’ll be passing through here again,” he told the Madison Square Garden crowd early in last night’s set. “So I want to tell you that it is our intention to give you everything we’ve got tonight.” Leonard Cohen does not make empty promises. Backed by a tight folk-rock-jazz band of mostly gray-haired virtuosos, plus three otherworldly backup singers (including frequent collaborator Sharon Robinson), he played for nearly three hours. Cohen (pictured above at another recent show) hit the major peaks in his catalog along the way: “Suzanne,” “So Long, Marianne,” “Bird on the Wire,” “Famous Blue Raincoat,” “Chelsea Hotel #2,” “Hallelujah” (earning a standing ovation), “I’m Your Man,” “First We Take Manhattan” (of course), “Everybody Knows,” “The Future,” “Anthem,” to name just a few utter classics.

His voice today — deeper, wiser, more gravelly even than in his deep, wise, gravelly youth — imparts something to those songs that they were always meant to have, as several critics have noted in recent months. Cohen himself cuts a dashing figure as he kneels, bows, and dances lightly on and off the stage in his sharp suit and hat. He remains every bit the winking showman, laughing drily mid-song at his own lascivious punchlines. Most of all, Leonard Cohen is grateful to be performing arena concerts in 2009. He told us as much, thanking us during one of several encores “for keeping my songs alive all these years.” He’s the one who deserves our thanks, of course.

Have you seen Leonard Cohen in concert recently? Were you there at the Garden last night? Share your thoughts on his remarkable return to concert touring in the comments below.
Damfino
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: NYC Madison Square Garden, October 23

Postby Damfino » Sun Oct 25, 2009 12:50 am

We seem to be at a point now where we all expect the show to be wonderful and generous and gracious, and yet it still manages to surpass those expectations

Last night’s MSG show was the first I had seen since Boston, five months ago. And it may have been the best I've seen. Leonard’s performance and playfulness last night dropped my jaw repeatedly, making me shake my head in fresh wonder — and in lots of new and unexpected places.

Leonard’s singing at MSG was more powerful and affecting than ever. And he seemed, from the very start, to be having a hell of a lot of fun. High points of the performance overall... where do I begin...?

After the warm heart red that engulfs the stage at the close of Dance Me, Leonard launched into The Future... and he was on fire! He SOLD The Future (in which the white man, pointedly, did not dance last night, but stood stock-still, smiling devilishly, almost tauntingly, at his angels). He brought new clarity in his reading and acting of Tower of Song. He startled and touched me anew with his Suzanne. He put more blazing light into his Hallelujah than I had ever seen before. I’m Your Man (or perhaps it was really just THE man himself) earned the nearly three-minute, multiple-wave standing ovation it received. In Marianne and Manhattan, he sang with his whole body and voice — and during the bridge of Manhattan, in possibly my favorite moment from all the concerts I’ve seen, he was laughing as he emphatically pointed to himself as he insisted, “I was one of those.” For added sweetness, the one-on-one love fests with Javier were perhaps even more warm and delightful than ever. For the chroniclers of such things, there were at least four or five pronounced bouts of sinister chuckling that he seemed to truly relish delivering. And in I Tried to Leave You, he funnily and aggressively punctuated his guitar picking. In fact, across the entire concert, his playfulness and seeming joy in performing appeared absolutely evident. Two songs into the show, after Leonard tore up The Future, I said to my date, “he looks like he’s having FUN tonight!” And though she was fairly new to Leonard and his music, she had already noticed.

Three songs in, in what would turn out to be the only extended speech to the audience,
(aside from If It Be Your Will and the slightly revamped and still stunning Thousand Kisses) Leonard noted, as usual, that he did not know when he might be passing through again. But he also assured the crowd that he and the band had every intention of giving us their all. They did. Hallelujah, they did. We were all graced again.

Despite apparent efforts to keep the pace up after a late start — the show was very tight, with all inessential chat eliminated — it ran until just after 11:30PM. A feast.

It looks like I might be in a minority, but I somewhat miss “Wither Thou Goest,” and the more complete benediction that LC had been sending the audience home with. Though, of course, the “man still working for your smile” is also a perfect note to close on.

So, there it was. Yet another definitive performance. I suppose that, now, every performance to come will become the new definitive performance. But, man, song for song, the MSG show was pricelessly good. So, someone, please bring on the YouTube clips, another live cd, dvd concert 2.0....

Thank you again, Leonard and company.
2-19-09 - Beacon, NYC / 5-14-09 - Palace, Waterbury, CT / 5-15-09 - Webb Sisters - Webster Hall, NYC / 5-16-09 - Radio City, NYC / 5-30-09, Boston, MA / 10-17-09 - MSG, NYC / 11-5-09 - Nashville, TN / ??
ladydi
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: NYC Madison Square Garden, October 23

Postby ladydi » Sun Oct 25, 2009 1:01 am

smellslikefritos wrote:Highlight: I'm Your Man followed by two (!) standing ovations.
Lowlight: Leonard not coming out until 815, making me think that something might have been wrong (which was totally not the case, thankfully!)
I will post my review of the most awesome concert at MSG tomorrow when I have more time...just got home. But felt I HAD to respond to this. First of all, the standing ovation after "I'm Your Man" gave one goose bumps, but it was just one 5 (that is FIVE) minute standing ovation...there were several others, but this was the "mother" of ovations! Leonard's incredible rendition of "Hallelujah" was immediately followed by "I'm Your Man" and I think the audience was pumped to a high point! Although I sort of whined (pre-concert) about my seats further back, one thing it did afford was a complete, total view of MSG. The standing ovation just wouldn't quit. I mean...these are jaded New Yorkers! I kept thinking the roar would subside but it never did....it was like the primal roar at a college football game when the home team scores, but it never let up! I was in tears....

Secondly, the reason the concert started at 815pm was because of the probably couple of thousand of fans (don't want to single them out as New Yorkers, but this is sort of standard) who were still filing into the arena and searching for their seats! It had nothing to do with Leonard, or his managment!

More tomorrow...I am still in heaven... :D

Diana

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