CONCERT REPORT: Hamilton, ON (June 3)

Canada and Europe (May 11 - August 3, 2008). Concert reports, set lists, photos, media coverage, multimedia links, recollections...
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Re: Hamilton June 3rd 2008

Post by Olya » Thu Jun 05, 2008 8:54 pm

Did anybody record the Webb Sisters "If it be your will"?
I thought that was breathtaking..
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Re: Hamilton June 3rd 2008

Post by stfa » Thu Jun 05, 2008 9:58 pm

stfa wrote:
In Hamilton, I guess I was lucky enough to avoid most of your "fellow concertgoers".....thank goodness....I was quite a way back on the floor but didn't really notice the flashes (did see a few bluescreens though.....cover them up guys) but really once the show started I was completely focussed on Leonard (and sometimes the band). At the start of the show I thought the overall sound level was much much quieter than Kitchener and this may have added to the noticeability of the distractions........and the inevitable audience"THIS IS SPAM!" comment was more or less ignored in Kitchener but it did make for a funny reaction in Hamilton. Some of this is luck of seating I guess, in my location people were standing almost instantly. Enjoyed both thoroughly would love to hear about the second night in Hamilton!!!!
What happened to my post :shock:
The inevitable audience comment wasn't about SPAM :lol: :lol: it was about a drug that satrts with V and ends with A......I guess there is an oversensitive censorship program here or an overenthusiastic mod.......
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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Joe Way
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Re: Hamilton June 3rd 2008

Post by Joe Way » Fri Jun 06, 2008 6:34 am

Well, it has been a wonderful trip and we thought all three concerts were magnificient. Different in subtle ways-certainly because of seating. In Kitchener, we were 4th row Stage left. First night in Hamilton, we were direct center but in Row M. On the last night, we were Row J Stage right.

Certainly Kitchener was magical for us because it was the memorable first night, but I certainly didn't notice any drop off in performance skills throughout any night. In fact we thought that, "Hallelujah" became more powerful each night. After last night in Hamilton, Anne mentioned that she thought Leonard has taken back, "Hallelujah" now from all the cover versions.

The crowd was very animated last night in Hamilton with more standing ovations than one could count. Leonard said that this was the type of audience that performers dream of and the added encore of "Whither Thou Goest" certainly seems to indicate that they appreciated the reception they received.

Just want to mention a couple of things.

After the first Hamilton show and drinks at the bar with Mr. & Mrs. Blonde Madonna, John K. and new friends, Ray & Renee, we were waiting for the elevator to our rooms and ran into Sharon Robinson who is even more beautiful & gracious in person. When we told her that two of the group had come all the way from Melbourne, Australia, she said that she would tell Leonard. As Leonard welcomed the audience the next night, he said, (paraphrasing) "Some of you have come from great distances at great expense, and I want you to know how much I appreciate this." I am sure that this was partially related to that encounter.

On the second night, as we were waiting in our seats, Anne looked up to discover that it was Tony M., our friend last seen in Berlin, New York & Hydra passing by us. We had a wonderful reunion after the concert (that lasted not quite to the late hours of Hydra-but almost!).

In our minds, it seems that many wonderful people gather around Leonard Cohen and his songs. Not least of whom were the terrific folks who we were priviledged to spend time with in the past few days. Many thanks to all of you!

As we were crossing the border today, the customs/immigration man said, "Where did you come from?" When I told him we had spent the last couple of days in Kitchener and Hamilton for some concerts, he said, "That's a long way to go for a concert." I just said, "It was Leonard Cohen, eh."

Thanks much to Blonde Madonna and her husband, Jim, John K. Tony M. Lisa & Lloyd and if you are reading this to Ray & Renee. We hope the rest of your journeys are great.


Joe & Anne
"Say a prayer for the cowboy..."
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Hamilton June 4th

Post by pah811 » Fri Jun 06, 2008 9:21 pm

Hi all:

I was fortunate to be at the June 4th show in row L, left. I've seen Leonard (what can I say, Mr. Cohen is way too removed for me) three times in previous years, including a show in Jenkintown, PA, in an even smaller venue, and I felt myself transported to prvious concerts and present here.

Of course there are all songs we want to hear (the Stranger Song is mine), but really... come on now, could this be any less than perfect? And shame on you if you think so (whiners!)!

Whither Thou Goest was quite a surprise... people were still applauding (some silly fools actually leaving already) and when they started singing, once we realized and heard the beautiful acappella voices... what an ending! Simply sublime.

The Webb sisters also, had an almost otherwordly presence, and were quite lovely. But I must agree wholeheartedly with comments on Hallelujah and Leonord's voice in general. I can't remember, in person or disc (or LP, for that matter) his voice sounding so amazing. Hallelujah absolutely surpasses any previous version I've ever heard, and indeed, brought so much more to the song that I would have thought possible. It was absolutely staggering and breathtaking, I'm trying to keep flashing on to it, to imprint it on my brain.

I just feel so lucky to have been there.

Best to all, and thanks for this site and all shared thoughts,
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Re: Hamilton June 3rd 2008

Post by Rabbit » Sat Jun 07, 2008 2:22 am

The irony of all that flash photography is that at that general distance the flash is entirely superfluous, useless and futile. These people are not only selfish and rude, but they haven't the first clue about how to use their cameras properly.

I detest people who attempt to use flash photography at concerts. It demonstrates ignorance, a selfish disregard for other audience members, and even worse, disrespect for the performer. I attended a concert by David Gilmour where cameras were banned, but flashes were still going off all over the auditorium. Gilmour specifically asked people to cease and desist, because it was distracting for the band, and he was forking over a vast sum of money to have the concert filmed for a DVD. However his request met with only limited success. I was hopping angry about it all.

I mean, who do these people think they are?
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Re: Hamilton June 3rd 2008

Post by C.L » Tue Jun 10, 2008 5:10 am

I saw the Hamilton show on the 4th... i wish i had the money to go again on monday in toronto.. cause it's definately worth seeing a million times over ( well for me)

I"m quite young.. so in my life time this was the first chance i've had to go see him.. Finding someone to take with me.. was something else. You have no idea how frustrating it is to see LC and have no one to take that will appreciate him.. i was kicking myself thinking there is millions of people out there that would love to come with me i just don't know them.. I figured if i had to drag someone it was to be family.. my 9 year old daughter or my 38 year old sister... school night to the sister won.

I ended up taking my eldest sister, she did enjoy it.. probably not as much at me though.

I didn't care that there were flashes.. i didn't care many people went downstairs to get a closer look and stood on the side of the stage.. frankly i kind of admired the theatre for being so good about it.
I didn't care anyone yelled anything out. I just watched that stage and smiled as every song brought some memory back for me.

I was there in the top left back row as far away as possible.( never thought to look to see if he was doing tour.. i mean since i've gotten to know his work 12 years ago , he's never toured and i knew he was quite old.. )

He played all the right songs.. and a few i wish i had a chance to hear.. like " the partisans".. but nothing is going to change that night.. my only regret.. is not having a picture... cause i didn't bring my camera thinking i wouldn't be able to take pictures anyways.
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Re: Hamilton (June 3)

Post by MaryB » Tue Jun 10, 2008 1:24 pm

My husband and I had the extreme priviledge and pleasure of being able to travel from Ohio for the Kitchener (ninth row), the June 3rd (1st row second balconey) Hamilton, and the June 4th (3rd row center) Hamilton shows. We both have been long-time fans (although I am the fanatic). I was also fortunate to have seen the show in 1993 in Detroit.

I have to admit that I was one of the audience that was "a-whooping and a-hollering" especially during the June 4th show and hope I did not offend other concert-goers (I was also the one who threw the stuffed monkey onstage during 'First We Take Manhattan', which Bob Metzger told me was a first at any of the concerts and Dino Soldo says he still has in his posession.) Everyone has a different way of showing their appreciation for this absolutely sublime, wonderful artist and his band and it may not be deemed appropriate by other persons in the audience, but it is certain fan's ways of expressing the devotion they feel for this gentleman and his band (either by yelling, or taking pictures (preferably without flash), or standing, or trying to get as close to the stage as possible, etc.) for the excellence of these artisans' craft. If this audience response was not appreciated by the artists, why did they honor us by including 'Whither Thou Goest' at the last Hamilton show and then not add it to the subsequent Toronto show?

I just want to say that because my wonderful husband, George, put up with my request to wait outside the stage door after the two concerts in Hamilton for about two hours each night, we were able to meet all the band members and get their autographs (signed next to pics and bios I printed from the tour band info on this website) and chat with them awhile. They are all as gracious as Mr. Cohen and were so generous with their time (especially Bob Metzger and his lovely wife and Roscoe Beck, possibly because the right questions kept them engaged). Alas, Mr. Cohen was nowhere to be seen. But again, on the following day I asked my husband if he would be willing to go back to the venue to see if perhaps the tour buses were still there--off we went. There were the buses--alas, no Mr. Cohen. Based on a tip that he still might be in the Sheraton, George went off to find a parking spot and I went into the Sheraton. I walked into the front door and EUREKA!
There was the great man himself and I don't know, maybe one of his managers (he looked important) walking up to the desk of the cocierge. What to do? There he was chatting and laughing with this young female employee like he had nothing better to do and she was what was important in that moment in time. I could not pass up this opportunity. So, as he was leaving the desk, with an apologetic approach for intruding, I asked for his autograph and also had the temerity to ask to have my picture taken with him. He so graciously complied to both requests with his 'manager' taking two snapshots, at which point Mr. Cohen turned behind us and said,
"The light is coming from behind us from the windows, perhaps we should move where we can make sure we get a good photograh?" and there so we moved so there would be a solid surface behind us. Such an opportunity to say so many things beside the usual platitudes and then just going blank! Duh, duh, duh!!! There they went to the elevator. But what an incredible experience! Less than 30 seconds later, my husband walks in and says that he would also have loved to have met him, I should have said this to LC and maybe have offered to buy him a drink to hold onto him for a few precious seconds longer. Another opportunity missed! Worst case scenario would have been a no but it would have been worth a shot.

Now we are waiting for the tour to reach the U.S. (which very likely may happen according to his crew) so we can hopefully get many multiple Leonard Cohen fixes, because there is no such thing as a Leonard Cohen overdose!

Based on the caliber of all their performance, we know they will have the ultimate success, so we wish them much prosperity and health and with all our affection,

George and 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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Joe Way
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Re: Hamilton (June 3)

Post by Joe Way » Wed Jun 11, 2008 3:05 am

Hi Mary,

So sorry we missed you as we were at the same concerts. I just sent Jarkko an email telling him about the "stuffed monkey" which really took us by surprise. Anne will probably kill me for telling this, but a lot of our friends kept warning her not to throw her panties up on the stage (and the funniest part about that is that I am the fanatic) so when we saw something go flying up that is what I thought it was. When Dino picked it up and tucked it away, I began to think it was something else and then when he waved it at the crowd as they left the stage, I couldn't tell exactly what it was, but could see that it was a stuffed something and guessed monkey. Glad to hear it confirmed.

I have a few other observations from these concerts that Jarkko encouraged me to share.

It seems that he really tries to individualize each performance for the audience each night.

When we saw him in Kitchener, it seemed a very intimate crowd and Leonard tried to hear and respond to each audience shout out-often asking the band what had been said. It was all very good natured and seemed like the concert hall was a living room. I'm sure that there are various flirtations going on (especially since Charlie & Hattie are so attractive), but I thought that one of the funniest moments of the Kitchener show was during, "I'm Your Man" when Roscoe Beck echoes the, "Please" and he leaned toward and directed it at one of the Webb Sisters. She seemed to recoil just a bit, but then laughed and smiled.

There weren't as many standing ovations in Kitchener and a couple of times I jumped up (in the fourth row), but no one else did. I think that "Centre In The Square" seats about 1700, but it seems more intimate because it is designed more like an opera house with higher pitched boxes on each side. The other exceedingly memorable moment for us was when the Webb sisters sang "If It Be Your Will," Dino Soldo walked over to Bob Metzger and they both put their arms around each other in total mesmerization to the beautiful sounds breaking forth.

The next night in Hamilton (about 2200 capacity)-the crowd was quite rowdy already at the start of the concert-and Leonard made the comment about it being a "school" night. Again, he tried to listen and respond to the audience, but I think it was during his little monologue about prozac et al that someone shouted out, "V+i+a+g+r+a!" and he laughed long and hard. But it became quite apparent that the crowd was too rowdy for individual interaction and he stopped trying. It was still a very energized concert.

Second night in Hamilton, Leonard seemed more subdued and the crowd was even rowdier than the first night. By the time that he performed the second set, it was clear that the audience was in their back pockets and that they could do no wrong. Leonard did seem to let this energy revitalize him and he seemed more energetic in the second set. He spoke very little the entire night leaving out his "Prozac" remarks and hardly introducing any songs.

I just have to add a little bit about the band and singers. Dino Soldo is simply a bundle of energetic talent-I'm still wondering what several of those instruments were that he played. One was a woodwind that sounded like a trumpet. Bob Metzger is, of course, one of my favorites (being from Wisconsin and a Badger and Packer fan!) and his guitar skills are so understated-he really never showboats and only adds to the musical accompaniment to advance the song. When he plays the pedal steel, he is simply wonderful! Javier Mas must be close to Leonard's age and I think is equal to or surpassing John Belizikian in skills. I wish I knew more about the instruments like Bandurra and Archilaud. Neil Larson is quite simply, a true virtuouso keyboard player. The Hammond B3 adds such a rich sound to so many of the songs. For example-during "Hallelujah" there is that big break where all the singers pause and suddenly the organ fills the space with an extremely rich crescendo. Some people also said that "Whither Thou Goest" was a cappella, but it really wasn't with Neil playing behind it. Also, his accompaniment to the recitations was so rich and moving. Rafael Bernardo Goyol is, again, a tremendously understated and talented musician who never tried to bring attention to himself, but advanced the songs with an artful ear and a steady hand. His offbeat musings on some of the songs brought a new freshness to the numbers. Roscoe Beck is probably one of the most talented bass players in this country and his musical sense is precise. (Someday, I hope that my hero, Richard Davis, brings him to Madison for his Bass Conference). Of course, his fretless bass work on "Gypsy Wife" speaks for itself, but I thought that on a couple of occasions he was able to alter the tempo (and influence Goyol) to create some truly dramatic moments. Sharon Robinson, as I said in my post, is even more beautiful & gracious in person, but she has such a flair for both adding to Leonard's lines and taking the solo moment when it is offered. The songs from "Ten New Songs" were some of the highlights for me-"That Don't Make It Junk" just jumped into my top ten favorites after the concerts. The Webb sisters are destined to be stars in their own right, I predict. I would suspect that they won the audition due to their version of "If It Be Your Will" and with their beautiful voices and tender harmonies they blended so well into the great songs.

Just a quick note about the photography issue-I gave my darling Annie a camera last Christmas and I think that she wanted to please me with a photo from the concert in Kitchener since we were so close. She took one picture during "Hallelujah" (which I'll admit was even distracting to me-especially since I was worried about the negative reaction). An usher immediately came over and told her to turn her flash off (which she thought she had already done). She put her camera right away, but it made me realize that many of the pictures are intended as gifts of love for those not there. I'm all for teaching proper accepted practices but remember many of the people that you may be criticizing may simply be amateurs trying to "share the love." I don't think that it bothered Leonard and even the next two nights in Hamilton-it didn't bother me at all. When I brought it up to Anne, she simply said, "Tell them to get a little better concentration skills." That may be a little cruel, but she felt wounded, too.

I won't even go into the whooping stuff except to say that I mentioned to our friends from Australia that the Aussies and Yanks had been identified as the worst offenders and we resolved to sit stoically through the songs and only let the tiniest hint of a smile appear (of course, only through the better songs!).


Joe & Anne
"Say a prayer for the cowboy..."
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Re: Hamilton (June 3)

Post by C.L » Fri Jun 13, 2008 4:00 am

hahah i saw the blue monkey get thrown.. lol at the june 4th show

made me laugh

i think it's great people are soo moved by this music.. i didn't think anyone was disrespectful at all..

everyone at my job ( most of which are much older then i) laughed at me going to see LC. They told me i should get my sister to pinch me alot so i don't fall asleep

I don't think my heart stoped pounding that whole night.. it had more energy then any concert i've been to..

I hope LC tours China.. then i'll get to see him again.. but i wont hold my breath..

I got my one chance and it's more then i could have ever asked for. A night i'll remember for all of my life and a chance i'll probably never get again....

I'm very jealous you got to meet Mr. Cohen.. i would have loved to try to see him .. i don't think i would have said a word or even taken a picture.. just a smile and a hand shake.. but i was with my sister although she enjoyed the concert.. she's not a fan.. and she was sooo tired i couldn't have persuaded her and i didn't want to wreak the night
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Re: Hamilton (June 3)

Post by blonde madonna » Fri Jun 13, 2008 4:50 am

Way to go Mary! I was staying in the hotel and I did lay awake listening to the room service trolleys, tempted to do a bit of stalking...but I'm a coward. When we ran into Sharon at the lift we nearly didn't say anything at all. She looked like she may have been looking for a nightcap (we had just been kicked out of the bar ourselves) and we realised afterwards we should have chanced offering her a drink in one of our rooms.

Thanks for your write up Joe. I love your dissecting of the wonderful experience that we shared. I only saw two concerts (Hamilton and Toronto first nights) and although the songs were the same and the audiences similar, they were each different. One example I noticed was Leonard's gesture when he sang the line "Here's a man still working for your smile". In Hamilton he hung his arms down rag-doll like he was really tired and we laughed. In Toronto he raised his arms towards the audience in a loving gesture and I felt his generosity and warmth. I want to remember all the tiniest of these details. The band, the singers, Leonard, the audience and each individual all interact in a way that makes each night a one off experience, that is the gift of live performances.

It was also special to meet others fans and share it with them. To see their enjoyment. I feel blessed.

P.S. Joe, Leonard also said something about people coming a long way at great expense in Toronto too and I thought that maybe he had heard about our trip. :D

the art of longing’s over and it’s never coming back

1980 -- Comedy Theatre, Melbourne
1985 -- State Theatre, Melbourne
2008 -- Hamilton, Toronto, Cardiff
2009 -- Rochford Winery, Yarra Valley
2010 -- Melbourne
2013 -- Melbourne, The Hill Winery, Geelong, Auckland
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Re: Hamilton (June 3)

Post by stfa » Fri Jun 13, 2008 6:52 pm

An article from last Saturday......not bad......but I don't know why the reporter felt he needed an "opening line"......Leonard seems pretty approachable from what I've reading anyway!

How I had lunch with Leonard Cohen ... almost

(Jun 7, 2008)
A Spectator reporter got a surprise, and a memorable encounter, this week while grabbing lunch in downtown Hamilton.

I was sitting in a small sandwich shop at Jackson Square when he walked in. He was immaculately turned out in a trench coat, suit, tie and hat, and had a subtle distinguished air about him, as he ordered at the counter.

It took me a few seconds before I realized it was Leonard Cohen.

I had always admired his music and poetry, and I desperately wanted to go up and introduce myself. But I didn't want to appear to be just some star-struck fan. So, I racked my brain for some kind of gambit that wouldn't appear too crass or obvious.

Then I remembered his concert at Hamilton Place about 15 years ago, when he introduced the song Chelsea Hotel, about the pop star Janis Joplin. He said he was living at the Chelsea Hotel in New York City when he wrote the song back in the 1960s. There were a lot of artists and Bohemian types living there at the time. He described it as the kind of place where you could be on the elevator with a "bear and midget" at 2 o'clock in the morning, and no one would notice.

One night, while he was riding the elevator, Janis Joplin suddenly popped in. Giving him a quick once over, she asked, "Are you Kris Kristofferson?"

"Yes," he replied, "I am."

Recalling his story from that Hamilton Place concert all those years ago, I knew I had a perfect opening for this week's encounter in the sandwich shop.

By now Cohen had made it around the lunch counter and had turned around with his tray of food and was scanning the room for a place to sit. There were only a few tables, including the one where I was seated. There was also a line of stools along a narrow counter on the wall, which nobody was using.

He looked over towards my table and we made eye contact for the first time. I indicated I was leaving and he could have my place, but he said something to the effect "That's OK," and lifted himself onto one of the stools.

I knew this was my last chance to strike.

"By the way," I said, "Are you Kris Kristofferson?"

A quizzical expression spread over his well-furrowed face as he gave a half-laugh.

Then I launched into a quick explanation about the concert 15 years ago when he'd used the line.

"Do you remember saying that?" I asked.

"Yes, I do," he replied. "You have a good memory."

By now word had quickly spread around the room that there was a famous person in the cafe.

The couple at the next table turned to me and asked, "Is that Kris Kristofferson?"

"No, it's Leonard Cohen."

The man at the table immediately turned to Cohen and asked, "Are you Leonard Cohen?"

Yes, he replied and shook the man's proffered hand.

I started to feel a bit bad because Cohen was just trying to keep a low profile and have a quiet lunch by himself.

"I'm sorry for blowing your cover," I said. "But I've been reading your poetry since the 1960s, and I think Suzanne is one of the greatest songs ever written."

"Thank you," he said.

"But I'm sure you hear that all the time," I continued.

"Yes, but it's always good to hear."

Leonard Cohen performed in concert in Hamilton on 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
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