CONCERT REPORT: Sydney, Australia - November 16, 2013

The last leg of the Old Ideas tour in November and December 2013
sereneava
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Sydney, Australia - November 16, 2013

Postby sereneava » Tue Nov 19, 2013 11:27 am

Hey Bev
Your photo of Alex's flaming violin is now on One Heck of A Guy, The Other Leonard Cohen Site. Sorry, I don't know how to do links. Thanks to you and everyone on the forum for the reports, news and photos.
Susan
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Hartmut
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Sydney, Australia - November 16, 2013

Postby Hartmut » Wed Nov 20, 2013 12:39 pm

Nice review:
"KATE HENNESSY spends a night in the mesmerising presence of Leonard Cohen"
http://www.fasterlouder.com.au/reviews/ ... y-17112013
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sturgess66
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Sydney, Australia - November 16, 2013

Postby sturgess66 » Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:08 pm

Another video uploaded by Audrey Patterson -

Tower of Song (includes Leonard's comments about being in Sydney)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83KZLnVbyBU
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sturgess66
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Sydney, Australia - November 16, 2013

Postby sturgess66 » Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:23 pm

Hartmut wrote:Nice review:
"KATE HENNESSY spends a night in the mesmerising presence of Leonard Cohen"
http://www.fasterlouder.com.au/reviews/ ... y-17112013
Thank you Hartmut! It is a very nice review - one of the nicest I've seen in a while - and I'm copying it here - for posterity - in case the link goes bad.*
Leonard Cohen @ SydneyEntertainment Centre, Sydney(17/11/2013)
Tue 19th Nov, 2013 in Gig Reviews

Image

KATE HENNESSY spends a night in the mesmerising presence of Leonard Cohen

“I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come tonight to fool you.”


This line from ‘Hallelujah’ is far from Leonard Cohen ’s best. Neither is it the most transcendent moment tonight. It is significant because he adds the word “tonight” and because “you” is us. Cohen is singing about his approach to this show and possibly to his touring renaissance more broadly. He didn’t come to fool us.

When Cohen played in Australia in 2009, I was told the shows were incredible. Age 75, he played for hours, and although his “golden voice” had roughened to gravel many years before it was still mesmerising. My regret at missing out was swift and bitter – what was I thinking? A Leonard Cohen song had been one of just two played after our wedding vows! I didn’t think he would return but, having been overseas for his 2010 tour, at nearly 80-years-old, he did, and I got my second chance.

A long, astonishing show I expected, but this show’s greatest delights are found in the things I did not expect, like Cohen’s physical grace and verbal graciousness; his kindness, his humour and his generosity of spirit. I didn’t expect he would give so much of himself, an offering epitomised by a farewell that functioned more like a blessing, bestowed with the calm mandate of a man ordained (which he is, as a Buddhist monk).

Nothing, too, could have prepared me for the first sound of his voice. It stops you and commands you to listen yet it soothes and embraces too. You fall into it and into memories of it.

Cohen jogs on stage – it is his ritual, as is dancing off the stage, camply – and thanks us for coming. He is an old man now and his suit looks a few sizes too big but he still exudes a shadowy New York cool. He gestures to the nose-bleeds and quips about their remoteness. “Thank you for climbing all that way. But please don’t, in your enthusiasm, lean too far forward and jeopardise those beneath you.” Then he thanks us for sacrificing our household budgets to attend. It is the first time I have heard a high-profile performer mention the cost of tickets.

His opening words acknowledge that our longing for him makes us foolish. We’ll squint from seats high up in vulgar stadiums and pay too much money to do it. But it’s OK because Cohen is our comrade in the foolishness. He is profiting but he is on our side. He knows the exchange of music transcends that of money and to prove it, he will give us more than what we’ve paid for – “I promise you that we will give you everything we’ve got tonight” – and thus, together, we will cheat the man and exchange something extra for free. I may be reading too much into his words. But I’ve done that for all of my adult life. Why stop now when we’re together at last?

“It is as though he is doing cover versions of himself and reclaiming them as he does”

The gratitude Cohen shows us is tripled in the gratitude he shows his band, its members sourced from around the world. He introduces them individually, more than once, lingering on biographical details that tickle his fancy. Several times, he crouches at the feet of his 12-string guitarist Javier Mas (from Spain) or his violinist Alexandru Bublitchi (from Moldova) in a pose suggesting worship. If he is fooling them, or fooling us, he is doing it masterfully.

Sometimes he moves to an unlit part of the stage, places his hat on his chest, and just watches his three backing singers: his collaborator of more than 30 years, Sharon Robinson and English sisters Charley and Hattie Webb. They are deserving of his adoring eye. Cohen’s backing singers have always brought the sweetness and spice, light and shade to his dry tones and these three women couldn’t do that job better.

Cohen has roughly three postures, elements of which he blends. There is the broken man – body bent, voice coming from a bowed head, his face masked by hat. There is supplication – crouching low, curled in song. And there is a gospel posture, face uplifted, fists clenched around the microphone cable. He moves between these with remarkable nimbleness – though always slowly with a kind of Tai Chi flow – and mostly he sings with his eyes closed.

It is impossible to think my highlights are the same as anybody else’s. I assume everyone came with a song they longed for and, over three hours, Cohen tries to quench all those thirsts. I can say that the songs from the wonderful 1992 record The Future – ‘Everybody Knows’, ‘The Future’ and the perfection of sadness that is ‘Waiting For The Miracle’ – are played most like their album versions and sound incredible, perhaps also because they were written to befit Cohen’s older, desiccated voice, which in turn suits the jaded propheteering of the record exquisitely. “I’ve seen the future baby, it is murder.”

‘Who By Fire?’ is preceded by a passage of passionate Spanish guitar, its list of ways to die sung on a stage steeped in red. It’s bleak yet very beautiful though it wasn’t a song I thought much of before; I barely even logged its meaning. Having that meaning come to me now, as it is sung by the man who wrote it, is a thrill I won’t forget.

His sparer early material, like ‘Famous Blue Raincoat’, is lonely no more, befriended by full band arrangements, pace altered, which leavens some of the sadness and dark romance. Cohen does go solo for ‘Suzanne’ and ‘Chelsea Hotel #2’, playing guitar in a spotlight (rather plunkily). Mostly, the audience is very sedate but when he sings “We are ugly but we have the music” a woman has a moment which erupts from her in a strangled bellow of “YES!”. The rest of us keep our moments on leash, a stiff upper lip masking a swirl of emotion. Really, these stadium shows are strange beasts aren’t they? There are no dark corners to wander off and weep in. I wonder how Cohen is received in places like Latin America where emotion doesn’t make people uncomfortable.

Hearing iconic performers play their iconic songs can be difficult to grasp in its immediacy. There is a panic that the long-awaited moment is slipping away even as it happens and a suspicion (impossible to prosecute) that such songs are long divorced from their authors, absconded into our own narratives, with the singer’s role limited to acting out the song on stage. Fooling us.

Perhaps it is because Cohen’s voice is so changed from his early songs, that his most iconic songs evade that fate and hit their target. It is as though he is doing cover versions of himself and reclaiming them as he does. The lyrics were always nuanced and many-layered anyway so when he teases out a different angle, or tweaks a lyric (he sings “I’ll wear an old man’s mask for you” on ‘I’m Your Man’), the song is his again, to sing to us as its rightful owner, just the way it should be. But mostly these songs still have importance because of their poetry. The lyrics are timeless, even those about starry-eyed young love. He is older now but so are we, and those lines have lost none of their relevance for any of us.

So what did Cohen come to do, if not to fool us? The answer is found not in a single moment or utterance but in the inarguable feel of this entire show. Full of a kind of mellow potency, we are all given the permission and space to go to wherever that special song takes us, with Cohen leading by example.

(Lead photo from Perth 2010 tour by williamb).


*Some news sites contribute to the problem of link rot by keeping only recent news articles freely accessible, then removing them or moving them to a paid subscription area. This causes a heavy loss of supporting links in sites discussing newsworthy events and using news sites as references
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Link_rot
Last edited by sturgess66 on Fri Nov 22, 2013 1:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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sturgess66
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Sydney, Australia - November 16, 2013

Postby sturgess66 » Thu Nov 21, 2013 2:51 am

http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/mus ... 2xo4n.html
Near 80, Leonard Cohen Still Balanced Like A Bird On The Wire

Date - November 17, 2013

Bernard Zuel, Senior music writer

In recent years he has been here almost as often as Pink, sold tickets as fast as Beyonce and attracted swoons in greater numbers than Justin Bieber.

Luckily, no one in the Entertainment Centre was expecting Leonard Cohen to swing out over the audience or twist his hair into a just-tumbled-into-a-vat-of-product do.

That's not because he is nearly 80.

Cohen's habit of bounding on to the stage, practically skipping with enthusiasm, and his liking for three-hour shows suggest the great Canadian poet and songwriter (and in his own way, great Canadian singer) does not lack for vitality.
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Nor is it because he might be some sour or grumpy old man.

Charm and wit flow through his shows, backed by a clear gratitude that, after not touring for decades, his returns to the stage since 2007 have been greeted like a multi-religious second coming.

However, as we saw in his 2009 and 2010 tours, those elegant suits, courtly manners and a hat regularly doffed to the audience or to a musician taking a solo, tell you that crass doesn't play here.

No, the byword for a Leonard Cohen show is, to borrow from Singing in the Rain, dignity, always dignity.

And maybe songs, always songs.

A man who can start with an ending, asking that we Dance Me to the End Of Love; who can tell us soon after that he's seen The Future and knows ''love is the only engine of survival''; and who can then balance effortlessly like a Bird on the Wire, isn't going to run out of quality in anything under five or six hours.

In the gravelly tones that now define his always highly individual singing style, Cohen, even before the interval, let alone the second encore, had us all singing Amen in quiet celebration.

It was already clear we were going to have one of those nights.

Beyonce, Pink and Bieber could wait - we had a date with Marianne, Suzanne and a much-loved grey-haired man in a suit.

Leonard Cohen also plays at the Opera House on December 2.
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B4real
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Sydney, Australia - November 16, 2013

Postby B4real » Thu Nov 21, 2013 10:36 am

sereneava wrote:Hey Bev
Your photo of Alex's flaming violin is now on One Heck of A Guy, The Other Leonard Cohen Site. Sorry, I don't know how to do links. Thanks to you and everyone on the forum for the reports, news and photos.
Susan
Thanks Susan, I've seen it! And I hope to give you more reports from most of the concerts!
Be for real. Free yourself to find the real Self ~~ Me
Happiness is like learning the violin, the more you practice it the more it comes to you ~~ Me
Without the heart, there can be no understanding between the hand and the mind ~~ Gore Vidal
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AlanM
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Sydney, Australia - November 16, 2013

Postby AlanM » Fri Nov 22, 2013 2:35 pm

Alex, Sydney 2013-11-16 30%.jpg
Alex concentrating during a solo in Sydney.

Videos to follow, but I won't get them all uploaded tonight.

Alan

Sydney ones all on YouTube (see below), Melbourne to follow after I sleep!
Last edited by AlanM on Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Too much Leonard Cohen is never enough.
London 1972, Adelaide 1980, 1985, 2009
Sydney 2010; Adelaide 2010
Sydney 2013 X2; Melbourne 2013; Adelaide 2013
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AlanM
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Sydney, Australia - November 16, 2013

Postby AlanM » Fri Nov 22, 2013 2:43 pm

http://youtu.be/dAqemo8NJRI
Chelsea Hotel #2

Alan
Too much Leonard Cohen is never enough.
London 1972, Adelaide 1980, 1985, 2009
Sydney 2010; Adelaide 2010
Sydney 2013 X2; Melbourne 2013; Adelaide 2013
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AlanM
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Sydney, Australia - November 16, 2013

Postby AlanM » Fri Nov 22, 2013 3:20 pm

Bev & Alan Sydney 2013-11-16 A.jpg
After all these years, Bev and Alan meet in Sydney, 2013-11-16.

Great to make your acquaintance, Bev, you are a charming lady.
Best wishes on the rest of your travels, and I will see you again in Adelaide.

Many thanks to my son, Paul, for taking the photo, and finally confessing after many years that he likes Leonard Cohen.

Alan
Too much Leonard Cohen is never enough.
London 1972, Adelaide 1980, 1985, 2009
Sydney 2010; Adelaide 2010
Sydney 2013 X2; Melbourne 2013; Adelaide 2013
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AlanM
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Sydney, Australia - November 16, 2013

Postby AlanM » Fri Nov 22, 2013 3:51 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHktIQO3fiE

Take This Waltz Sydney 2013-11-16

Alan
Too much Leonard Cohen is never enough.
London 1972, Adelaide 1980, 1985, 2009
Sydney 2010; Adelaide 2010
Sydney 2013 X2; Melbourne 2013; Adelaide 2013
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AlanM
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Sydney, Australia - November 16, 2013

Postby AlanM » Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:18 pm

Setlist compressed.jpg
Scanned with scanner rather than camera.

Alan
Too much Leonard Cohen is never enough.
London 1972, Adelaide 1980, 1985, 2009
Sydney 2010; Adelaide 2010
Sydney 2013 X2; Melbourne 2013; Adelaide 2013
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AlanM
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Sydney, Australia - November 16, 2013

Postby AlanM » Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:32 pm

http://youtu.be/Lli6q18qlGY

So Long, Marianne

Alan
Too much Leonard Cohen is never enough.
London 1972, Adelaide 1980, 1985, 2009
Sydney 2010; Adelaide 2010
Sydney 2013 X2; Melbourne 2013; Adelaide 2013
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AlanM
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Sydney, Australia - November 16, 2013

Postby AlanM » Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:52 pm

http://youtu.be/CfahmPaqfCM

If It Be Your Will

The Sublime Webb Sisters "from the billowing wild flowers of Kent, England".

Alan

It is hours past my bed time (1:22am), I will post my Melbourne videos later today.

Make that 2:22am (see next post).
Now I really AM going to bed.
Last edited by AlanM on Fri Nov 22, 2013 6:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Too much Leonard Cohen is never enough.
London 1972, Adelaide 1980, 1985, 2009
Sydney 2010; Adelaide 2010
Sydney 2013 X2; Melbourne 2013; Adelaide 2013
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AlanM
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Sydney, Australia - November 16, 2013

Postby AlanM » Fri Nov 22, 2013 6:49 pm

http://youtu.be/oi7SeEZmIsI

I forgot I had this!

First We Take Manhattan

Alan
Too much Leonard Cohen is never enough.
London 1972, Adelaide 1980, 1985, 2009
Sydney 2010; Adelaide 2010
Sydney 2013 X2; Melbourne 2013; Adelaide 2013
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sturgess66
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Sydney, Australia - November 16, 2013

Postby sturgess66 » Mon Nov 25, 2013 6:21 pm

Alan - thanks so much for all your video. :) And thanks to everyone else "down under" for their reports and pictures, etc. We "virtual followers" - we're watching you! :D Bev - I think your camera has a little ghost in residence - with a creative mind of it's own? :lol:

Video uploaded by Nathan Parsons -

Tower of Song
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6x49RyzcR8

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