CONCERT REPORT: Cleveland, October 25

October 17 - November 13, 2009. Concert reports, set lists, photos, media coverage, multimedia links, recollections...
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sturgess66
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CONCERT REPORT: Cleveland, October 25

Postby sturgess66 » Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:53 pm

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer - Cleveland.com - a pre-concert article including comments by Neil Larsen -
http://www.cleveland.com/music/plaindea ... xml&coll=2
A VOICE THAT SPANS GENERATIONS

Sunday, October 25, 2009
John Petkovic
Plain Dealer Reporter

Leonard Cohen never had a hit.

Then again, he never wanted to be a pop star -- or even planned on being a musician.

Yet Cohen is one of the great songwriters of our time. "Our," as in all who believe in the poetry of song.

You see, the 75-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, who hits the Allen Theatre in PlayhouseSquare tonight, is among the very few artists who have transcended generations.

Since 1967, when he released his brilliant debut, "Songs of Leonard Cohen," his music has been a rite of passage for serious music fans, no matter the age.

"We've been touring the world for a year and a half," says Neil Larson, a Lyndhurst native and keyboardist in Cohen's backing band. "And I can't believe the ages in the crowd, everyone from people in their 60s to 20-year-olds, even younger."

Part of the reason, says Larson, comes down to the covers.

There are more than 2,000 recorded versions of Cohen's songs. And he's been covered by artists ranging from U2, Roberta Flack, Johnny Cash and R.E.M. to Nina Simone, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, the Pixies and Judy Collins.

But it's the poetry -- the delivery of it, how it's sung, in that low baritone, and how the songs are arranged -- that has made Cohen one of the most idiosyncratic voices in rock.

"Leonard has this hidden special talent to write songs about drinking or girls or religion without making them advice' songs," says Larson. "He has these accessible melodies, but the songs are like little stories."

Cohen was telling stories years before he stepped up to the microphone.

By the early 1950s, he already was immersed in the poetry scene of his native Montreal. He published his first book of poetry in 1956 and his first novel in 1963.

By 1966, he was heralded as the Next Big Thing in literary circles, thanks to "Beautiful Losers." The novel, written while Cohen was living in Greece on the isle of Hydra in the Aegean Sea, not only became a best seller, it also established a style that would later reappear in song.

By 1967, Cohen had moved to New York -- to hang out in Andy Warhol's Factory scene and pursue a career as a folk singer.

"Songs of Leonard Cohen" is anything but a folkie offering.

Considered one of the most influential albums in rock, it's a collection of moody, melancholic ballads woven together with Cohen's delicate, deep voice and whimsical words. It's crafted but never slick, poetic yet never precious, and a musical mix of European cafe sensibilities and pop.

"People focus on Leonard's words and don't realize what he's doing on guitar," says Larson. "He learned to play from a flamenco musician and likes to tune his guitar down so it's not in a standard tuning -- it's really unique."

Cohen's idiosyncratic appeal has spanned his entire career, on- and off-stage.

Albums such as "Death of a Ladies' Man" offer up tales of wounded romanticism par excellence. "Death" also mocks Cohen's public image as a modern-day Casanova, which he debunks in the 2005 film "I'm Your Man."

"My reputation as a ladies' man was a joke," said Cohen. "It caused me to laugh bitterly the 10,000 nights I spent alone."

Cohen, who didn't speak for this story because he doesn't do interviews, spent months virtually alone in the 1990s, while studying with a Japanese Zen master.

In the film, he exhibits a Zenlike modesty that's rare among stars.

"I had the title poet, and maybe I was one for a while," he says. "Also the title singer was kindly accorded me, even though I could barely carry a tune."

It's a trait Larson has seen firsthand while touring the world with the master.

"People hang on every word he says, even when we're playing in countries where his fans don't know English," says Larson. "And yet there's no ego in Leonard. He talks with everyone on tour with him, whether they're musicians or stagehands."

And what does Cohen prefer to talk about?

"Well, anything. It's always an interesting conversation," says Larson. "But he'd rather just talk about, you know, girls."

To reach this Plain Dealer reporter:
jpetkovic@plaind.com, 216-999-4556
©2009 Plain Dealer
© 2009 cleveland.com All Rights Reserved.
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sturgess66
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Cleveland, October 25

Postby sturgess66 » Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:32 am

Sounds like everything is proceeding well - :D :D

A few tweets -
kebtron Seeing the legendary Leonard Cohen! 14 minutes ago from txt
hbram Leonard cohen at the allen theater in cle. Gorgeous music in a magnificent place. 5 minutes ago from Tweed
stephenrclark Intermission @ the Leonard Cohen concert. So far, expectations have been exceeded. Wow. 4 minutes ago from txt
ruthie23 Leonard Cohen was simply awesome awesome awesome awesome awesome awesome. about 2 hours ago from TweetDeck
maidmyriad I cannot remember the last time I cried, but tonight's performance brought me to tears multiple times. Thank you Leonard Cohen and band.
KatharineHanna While I was about a generation younger than most of the crowd, I thoroughly enjoyed the Leonard Cohen concert. He is truly a master. about 2 hours ago from web
CarloWolff Leonard Cohen's the man. 3.5 hours in Cleveland, finally. What a writer, dancer, lover. What a band. One of the best shows I've ever seen. about 2 hours ago from web
davepolak Just got back from seeing Leonard Cohen. What an incredible 3 hour show. Him and his band were just perfect. about 1 hour ago from TweetDeck
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sturgess66
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Cleveland, October 25

Postby sturgess66 » Mon Oct 26, 2009 5:54 pm

A review in the Cleveland Plain Dealer - and it includes a set list -

http://www.cleveland.com/popmusic/index ... ard_c.html
In a rare appearance, Leonard Cohen sings of all kinds of love during a marathon concert at the Allen Theatre

By John Soeder, The Plain Dealer
October 26, 2009, 10:00AM
LC-Cleveland1.jpg
Leonard Cohen, left,and guitarist Javier Mas perform Sunday, Oct. 25, 2009, at PlayhouseSquare's Allen Theatre in Cleveland.

Time and again, Leonard Cohen dropped to his knees and serenaded the floor, as if crumpled at someone’s graveside. The Canadian singer-songwriter had just the voice for the job, too. His deep baritone was as murky as a moonless midnight.

A standing ovation greeted him Sunday evening at PlayhouseSquare’s Allen Theatre, where “Dance Me to the End of Love” cast a haunting spell from the get-go.

“I don’t know when we’re going to pass this way again, but I assure you it is our intention to give you everything we’ve got tonight,” said Cohen, 75.

Making good on his promise, he treated 2,300 concertgoers to nearly three hours of music, with selections from every phase of his 40-year career. It felt like not only a heartfelt “thank you” to fans, but a summing-up by way of farewell, all wrapped up into one transcendent show.

Cleveland was one of the last stops on Cohen’s first tour in 15 years. He abandoned the music business altogether in the ’90s and spent five years in a Zen Buddhist monastery.

In the spotlight, Cohen made a dapper mystic. Nattily attired in a dark suit, he intoned poetic lyrics about love in all its guises, from down-and-dirty to divine.

The music was similarly far-reaching, incorporating everything from R&B grooves to old-world melodies. “First We Take Manhattan” even ventured into disco.

Cohen crooned “Everybody Knows” with all the gravitas of an existential Frank Sinatra. Ditto other calling-card numbers such as “Bird on the Wire,” “Suzanne” and “I’m Your Man.”

Cohen had a charming habit of removing his fedora to acknowledge applause, as well as the contributions of his excellent nine-piece band.

Ex-Clevelander Neil Larsen was a standout on keyboards, testifying in the middle of “Hallelujah” with a glorious Hammond B3 organ solo. Sublime vocal harmonies were provided by longtime Cohen collaborator Sharon Robinson and the Webb Sisters, Charley and Hattie, whose angelic take on “If It Be Your Will” was a knockout.

Cohen dabbled with a synthesizer for “Tower of Song” and played guitar on other tunes, including a charming “The Gypsy’s Wife.”

When his songs weren’t quoting Scripture, they often found him taking stock in the bedroom. Amid the relentless soul-searching, a raging libido and a withering sense of humor were never far behind.

“You told me again you preferred handsome men
/ But for me you would make an exception,” Cohen sang, pricelessly, in “Chelsea Hotel #2,” a lilting tell-all detailing a tryst with Janis Joplin.

Lucky for us, Cohen proved lousy at goodbyes. He returned to the stage for three encores, before finally signing off with “I Tried to Leave You.” Suffice it to say that he wasn’t the only one who didn’t want this particular one-night stand to end.
LC-Cleveland2.jpg
Portrait of a dapper mystic: Leonard Cohen in concert Sunday, Oct. 25, 2009, at PlayhouseSquare's Allen Theatre in Cleveland.

SET LIST:

Dance Me to the End of Love

The Future

Ain’t No Cure for Love

Bird on the Wire

Everybody Knows

In My Secret Life

Who by Fire

Chelsea Hotel #2

Waiting for the Miracle

Anthem

(intermission)

Tower of Song

Suzanne

Sisters of Mercy

The Gypsy’s Wife

The Partisan

Boogie Street

Hallelujah

I'm Your Man

A Thousand Kisses Deep

Take This Waltz

FIRST ENCORE:

So Long, Marianne

First We Take Manhattan

SECOND ENCORE:

Famous Blue Raincoat

If It Be Your Will

Closing Time

THIRD ENCORE:

I Tried to Leave You
Last edited by sturgess66 on Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
KoolWhp
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Cleveland, October 25

Postby KoolWhp » Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:24 pm

What a fantastic concert. The last chance I had to see Cohen was in 1993, when I was 14. I'm now 30, and so grateful that I got to see him live. Simply wonderful.
MaryB
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Cleveland, October 25

Postby MaryB » Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:37 pm

sturgess66 wrote:A review in the Cleveland Plain Dealer - and it includes a set list -
His deep baritone was as murky as a moonless midnight.
Oooh, I like this!

Gosh, how I fervently wish Lover,Lover,Lover makes it back on the setlist for tomorrow's Columbus concert - PLEEEEEEZE!

Wonder if they went to tour the RnR Hall of Fame while in Cleveland?

Again, Linda, thank you for posting this.

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
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sturgess66
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Cleveland, October 25

Postby sturgess66 » Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:55 pm

From the ClevelandScene.com - and I love the first line - "If there were a lounge in heaven, rest assured that Leonard Cohen would be the only choice to be the divine house band."

http://www.clevescene.com/c-notes/archi ... en-theatre
Concert Review: Leonard Cohen at Allen Theatre
Posted by Vince Grzegorek on Mon, Oct 26, 2009 at 9:36 AM
LC-ClevelandAllen.jpg
If there were a lounge in heaven, rest assured that Leonard Cohen would be the only choice to be the divine house band. Not that Cohen, now 75, is anywhere near ending his reign as de facto poet laureate of rock here on earth anytime soon, as his show last night at the Allen Theatre proved.

For over three hours (with one brief intermission) Cohen showed everyone that he's still one of the coolest people on the planet. Dressed to the nines, performing with a nine-piece accompaniment (three backup singers and six musicians), and staged in front of curtains that completely circled the back of the stage, Cohen rolled through his extensive collection while making everyone in the room wish he would tour more, but thankful that they were in attendance for this show.

He was dapper and charming and spry and energetic and earnest. He crooned in his own particularly entrancing way, running through romantic songs powerful not for their romanticism, but for their searing imagery, honesty, and otherwordly poetry. When love is good, it's great. When it's not, it's still worth it. We are flawed creatures -- beautifully flawed creatures. And it's lovely.

“I don’t know when we’ll be passing through here again,” he said early in the show. “So I want to tell you that it is our intention to give you everything we’ve got tonight." He did, and more. Cohen hit all the career high notes — "Suzanne," "I Am Your Man," "Take This Waltz," and "So Long Marianne," among many others — and, of course, played "Hallelujah," a piece as close to divine as you're going to find even with the cover-song and soundtrack saturation, made more powerful in concert with Cohen at his age, displaying youthful showmanship in the figure of a worn, experienced, but strident old man. It was times like this that you appreciate when Cohen performers these songs, these songs so often covered, beautifully I might add, by others. But rarely if ever do they come out like they did last night.

After multiple of encores, each lasting a couple songs or more, Cohen finally took his fourth or fifth bow to a standing ovation from the crowd. No kidding — three hours might sound like a long time, but the crowd would have stayed for five.

(Personal highlight of the night: "Chelsea Hotel 2" — our favorite Cohen song.)

Tags: concert reviews, leonard cohen, allen theatre, one of the five coolest dudes on the planet
MaryB
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Cleveland, October 25

Postby MaryB » Mon Oct 26, 2009 9:25 pm

sturgess66 wrote:From the ClevelandScene.com - and I love the first line - "If there were a lounge in heaven, rest assured that Leonard Cohen would be the only choice to be the divine house band."
Concert Review: Leonard Cohen at Allen Theatre
Posted by Vince Grzegorek on Mon, Oct 26, 2009 at 9:36 AM

It was times like this that you appreciate when Cohen performes these songs, these songs so often covered, beautifully I might add, by others. But rarely if ever do they come out like they did last night.

one of the five coolest dudes on the planet
I like these lines also. Wonder who the other 4 are?
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
Judith511
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Cleveland, October 25

Postby Judith511 » Tue Oct 27, 2009 12:33 am

Last night was wonderful! We had great seats, worth every penny to sit close. Not as close as Waterloo 75 when we sat right below the stage but great seats all the same. Thank you Leonard and everyone involved for such a special evening. :D
Waterloo January 30 1975 , Hamilton June 3 2008, Toronto June 9 2008,
Cleveland October 25 2009 ,Toronto December 4th 2012
rmurdoch
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Cleveland, October 25

Postby rmurdoch » Tue Oct 27, 2009 2:44 am

At the risk of annoying fans who were not able to do what I did, my wife and I shelled out the big bucks for last night's Cleveland show. We were front row, center. It was as amazing as you might imagine. The Allen Theater puts the front row less than a foot from the stage. We could see everything: the band, the technicians, we could even see under the stage during the intermission. At any moment, we could have stood up, jumped up on stage, and given Leonard Cohen a huge hug and a thanks for all the fantastic music. Only good manners kept me from doing just that!

It was virtually the same show we saw in Toronto last summer but even more surreal because of the front row. Back when I first discovered his music, I never thought I would ever see Leonard Cohen perform these magical songs live and now I've seen him twice and each time was a performance of the highest order. The band is even tighter than they were last summer and the set list still remains a testament to Leonard Cohen's extraordinary songwriting ability. It's a shame he doesn't interact with the audience a bit more but frankly, he's earned the right to just sing the songs without a lot of between-song banter.

It really is an awe-inspiring thing to be in the presence of such a humble, creative person celebrating a monumental career in song. Words fail to do the experience justice. My wife and I will treasure these concerts in our memories forever. We hear you singing sweetly from your Tower, Mr. Cohen, and your notes ring true and beautiful in our ears.
goldstei
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Cleveland, October 25

Postby goldstei » Tue Oct 27, 2009 3:00 am

Your words did pretty well, rmurdoch!

I'm still high from the NYC concert on Friday night.

LC's a living legend now. In 20 years he will be a myth. You should be sure to pass these memories on to your children--although their children will probably not believe that you saw Cohen performing live.

Although I've never shelled out the superbucks for superupclose, even from midway or far back, the concerts have been amazing experiences, indeed hard to convey to folks who haven't attended (who, one call tell, think one has become rather unhinged). But your account is a good job.
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Cleveland, October 25

Postby ingmar27 » Tue Oct 27, 2009 5:32 am

Does anyone know what the one poem he recited was called? It wasn't A Thousand Kisses Deep, it was one about being a snowman, having a second hand physique and standing out in the rain and sleet. It was just really moving and I can't remember what it is. If it's a piece from one of his books I'm going to have to go out and get it. Fantastic show last night and I hope he comes by again or somewhere close enough for me. It was an amazing performance and one of the best I've ever seen. Three hours was not enough.
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Cleveland, October 25

Postby sue7 » Tue Oct 27, 2009 5:44 am

ingmar27 wrote:Does anyone know what the one poem he recited was called? It wasn't A Thousand Kisses Deep, it was one about being a snowman, having a second hand physique and standing out in the rain and sleet. It was just really moving and I can't remember what it is. If it's a piece from one of his books I'm going to have to go out and get it. Fantastic show last night and I hope he comes by again or somewhere close enough for me. It was an amazing performance and one of the best I've ever seen. Three hours was not enough.
Ingmar27, it was the version of Thousand Kisses Deep that is spoken, not sung. It's in "Book of Longing," and in that book Thousand Kisses Deep has two distinct parts: the first is the spoken part, the second is the sung part which appears on Ten New Songs. It has been the most incredible and powerful part of two of the concerts I've attended: I don't have words to describe the experience of listening and watching as he recites that poem.
Sue
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Cleveland, October 25

Postby Kenadian » Tue Oct 27, 2009 5:15 pm

Being a man of few words, I'll just say the show was awesome and one of my favourite Cohen shows. I was almost weeping during Famous Blue Raincoat!

We were allowed early entrance but so was everyone else, so no big deal. Raphael and Roscoe came out and chatted for a bit. Nice venue too.

I am saddened to think that it is coming to an end soon (only Nashville left for me..OK maybe San Jose too), but I'll refuse to believe it until it is true.

Cheers,
Ken(adian)
2008: Kitchener|Hamilton x2|Toronto x3|Montreal x2|2009: New York|Detroit|New York x2|Hamilton|Kingston|Ottawa x2 |Colmar|Vienne|Nimes|Philadelphia|New York MSG)|Cleveland|Nashville|2010: Sligo x2|Lisbon |Caen|Grenoble|Strasbourg|Marseille|Tours|Lille|Victoria|Vancouver|Oakland x2|Vegas x2|and more.
ingmar27
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Cleveland, October 25

Postby ingmar27 » Tue Oct 27, 2009 6:07 pm

Thank you so much sue7. I would have to agree with you, it was such a powerful reading/performance. He really blew me away. I've never seen someone just keep going on like he did, song after song, with the same intensity and emotional investment in his lyrics. I would love to see him again, but I don't think I'm going to make it to another show. One of the highlights of my concert-going experience if not the best.
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Cleveland, October 25

Postby da2008 » Thu Oct 29, 2009 10:50 pm

I don't know what, why and how, but this was one of the best LC shows I have ever seen. Maybe it's all the emotional pain from seeing Cleveland and its beautiful deserted buildings, but I was really lost for words. Absolutely amazing.

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