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CONCERT REPORT: Lisbon (July 19)

Posted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 10:51 am
by Juan Luis Corcobado
Translation to English of this published article Cáceres's Extremadura newspaper
( )
where I speak about the next show of Leonard in Lisbon.
Translation: Ethan Mansur

Leonard Cohen in Lisbon

In these times when any whippersnapper, weakly propelled into fame by a television converted into an emporium of bad taste, can reach audiences of millions who will faithfully echo whatever they read in newspapers and magazines, the public is rapturous in the silence maintained by the Spanish press about the world tour by the charismatic poet and singer Leonard Cohen that began last month in his home country, Canada, and has recently come to Europe. Along with a group of musicians of exceptional quality to accompany his seductively rough voice, which still sounds like one of a man in his 50s, Cohen, 73, has returned to enthuse large crowds on both sides of the Atlantic ocean with his sober elegance, his poetic irony, his desperate vision of existence, his unwavering search for beauty. One of the poets who inspired him in his youth, by the way, was Frederico Garcia Lorca, and in homage one of his daughters goes by the same name.

A newspaper as prestigious as The Independent wrote that “the level of cultural excitement”, referring to the three performances that took place in Dublin from the 13th to the 14th of this month, “bordered on mass hysteria”. If we keep in mind that the audiences were composed of thousands of people, the majority of which have left their teenage years far behind, we can get a pretty accurate image of what it is like to attend a recital by the author of Suzanne for any spectator with even a minimum amount of appreciation for music.

Leonard Cohen will perform only once in Spain at the Benicàssim Festival, which is perhaps not the best atmosphere to enjoy his music and poetry, but the citizens of Extremadura that want to have what I can assure you will be an unforgettable experience will find it easier to head to Lisbon, where on the night of Sunday the 19th of July, in the Paseo maritime de Algês, the old troubadour will offer what will be, without a doubt, an performance that will remain for years in the memory of all those who see it.


Re: Leonard in Lisboa.

Posted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 7:27 pm
by NealAlex
I have been lucky enough to get two tickets for my wife and I to attend the concert in Lisbon on July 19th. This was one of the main reasons for heading to Portugal for our summer vacation. We will be watching Neil Young on the 12th and Leonard on the 19th. Great way to spend a vacation.

Has any one ever been to the Passeio Maritimo de Alges? Mr. Corcobado makes it sound as if it is a fantastic venue. I'm hoping that it is small and intimate.

Thank you.

Re: Leonard in Lisboa.

Posted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 9:50 pm
by Juan Luis Corcobado
"Passeio Maritímo de Algês is a big open space near Tejo River 10 m by train (Cascais Line) from Cais do Sodré Railway Station"

From Google Maps:



Re: Lisboa (July 19)

Posted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 6:35 am
by st theresa
Dear Juan Luis
Thank you for the translation and for the picture of Passeio Maritimo--I had searched fruitlessly for the exact location and a picture for a couple of months. The article you posted shows a sensitivity to Leonard and a masterful use of language to express what others have also attempted to say. I never tire of reading about others love for Leonard. For so many years, I felt myself to be a valiant lonely supporter of genius, and now I see I was never alone. I look forward to Lisbon more and more.

Re: Lisboa (July 19)

Posted: Sat Jun 28, 2008 7:49 am
by NealAlex
Very helpful. Thank you Juan!

We'll meet in Lisbon (can't wait)

Posted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 5:50 am
by boirina
I first heard of LC when a guy whom I had met not long before sang "Chelsea Hotel" in my ear. That was in January 1985, I know that because on the first day of February we run into a homeless man in a park and he married us. I remember that on that day my friend had written the words of that song on a paper for me. I fell in love with that song, and then came another song, and another... I got to know LC's songs pretty well. I also got to know my friend very well too.

In 1987 (or maybe it was 1988) I heard that LC would perform in Majorca (that's where I'm from). My friend wasn't living there at the time and I phoned him with the news. I added that if he managed to come over for the concert I would get the tickets. I couldn't imagine going with anyone else.

Now twenty years have gone by, and I live in Portugal with my husband. When he asked me what I wanted for Christmas I couldn't think of anything I really fancied. But early into the year I heard of LC's World Tour, and I knew what to ask for. Tickets to see him live again, somewhere. At the time I didn't know where or when I would see him again, but I knew it would happen.

When I had a look at the dates and places I decided that the most convenient place would be Lisbon and I bought two tickets. So I made a phone call again, to my dear friend, the one who used to sing LC's songs in my ear ages ago, the one who came to our wedding with a silver tray full of sweets to wish for a long happy marriage, and I asked him to come over to Lisbon for the concert. He said he would try. I really hope can manage. If not... I'll still be there.

Re: Lisboa (July 19)

Posted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 7:22 pm
by st theresa
Just read your post and see you are another Lisbon concert goer. If you check the other threads you will find a group meet up in Lisbon --you (and your friend) are welcome to join us. We are following a thread now in the section entitled Pre tour information for summer tour or something like that --under Lisbon

19 July - Lisbon gig

Posted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 12:38 pm
by marianavilas
I went to my first LC concert last night, perhaps the best gig I have ever been in my life. LC and the band seemed so spontaneous that it seemed to be the first gig of the tour. It was on the side of the river Tejo, and the full moon rose all the way up before the eyes of those on stage . LC kept on making us feel as beautiful people, as friends and lovers, the audience, (all standing) had no choice but to feel so blessed for being there. Although some people were so excited that, in my opinion, they would clap too often to the rhythm of more quiter songs, there were moments of pure bliss and of spiritual and humorous revelation. He came hoping in and out of the stage, smiling for the various encores. it was Amazing!!!

Re: 19 July - Lisbon gig

Posted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 6:11 pm
by jaykay2
We too were at our fist Leonard gig last night, having waited over 40 years to see the man, it was, in a word....AMAZING

the professionalism of the man & the band, the politeness towards the audience, moments of genuine
spontaneity, like for instance, someone threw flowers onto the stage & Leonard (ever the gentleman that he is)
presented them to the 3 girl backing vocalists, who in turn looked amazed!

Also during "I'm your man" when Leonard sang the line "the moon's too bright"
he looked into the follow spotlight at the back of the audience
and did a double take, as the almost full moon was shining bright right behind the spotlight,
( i know because i saw his expression change & turned and saw it for myself).

Also for me, the level of emotion by him during Hallelulia, i was close to tears myself....WOW

The Portuguese crowd really knew their lyrics & whilst i would normally not want to have the artist drowned out by the audience,
it really worked last night,
there is something special about a crowd singing songs that are not in their native tongue.

it is a compliment to any artist, i saw Joe Cocker in Porto, 2a few weeks ago and experienced the same thing then.

So, to summarise a gig that will last in memory for a very long time,
i cannot wait to see any DVD that his mamagement are going to produce from this tour.

Sorry about the rambling,
JOhn & Jennifer

Re: Lisboa (July 19)

Posted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 8:53 am
by Juan Luis Corcobado
I am sorry because my English is not good enough to express, as I would like to do it, the exciting and moving feeling that Leonard and his band caused in Lisbon the other night, while they were playing their wonderful songs and moon shined over the Tajo river. ¡Thanks, Leonard!

Re: Lisboa. (For people who can read in Spanish)

Posted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 1:56 pm
by Juan Luis Corcobado

Re: Lisboa (July 19)

Posted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 8:04 pm
by karen finch
We were lucky enough to be at the Lisbon concert on Saturday 19 July - it was my husband's birthday present!

Leonard was truely inspirational, animated and looked as if he were fully enjoying his time on stage. The band and the girls were incredible. It was the fulfilment of one of my husband's ambitions to see him live and the memory of that concert will stay with us forever.

Re: Lisboa (July 19)

Posted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 12:52 am
by nickw
I've now uploaded some short videos from Alges to youtube and I can see there are already others there from the same gig. The quality isn't brilliant but they bring back happy memories.

Re: Lisboa (July 19)

Posted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 5:19 am
by susanafc
July 19, was the dream of a lifetime.
Mr Cohen took 15 eyears to let us see him on stage but i surely wait for him more than that. I was a teenager when i meet his voice and since then i`m absolutly in love with his charm, sensibility, his poems... He`s my man! A gentlleman. An extraordinary human being that gave me/us in Lisboa, the most unique experience of emotion and happyness.
It`s not easy to write how grateful i am with this tour 2008 to include Portugal.
I drove 774km to see him. It was nothing comparing with this celestial feeling that is fullfilling me since then.
Thantk you Mr. Cohen for that memorable evening.

Re: Lisboa (July 19)

Posted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 2:29 am
by LauraSidenius
I too attended the amazing koncert in Algés, Lisboa. I am currently working here (originally from Denmark) and I first heard about his koncert in Copenhagen. Was sad that I couldn't make it until I found out he was also coming to Lisbon. I saw him in koncert the first time 15 years ago. I was no more than 10 years old when my mum introduced me to Leonard, I am ever grateful! It was therefor a very special experience to see him again - older, yes but excactly as charismatic and wonderful as I remember and expected.
I'm returning to Denmark in time to see him his second time in Copenhagen in October. Got the tickets same day they were issued. Wont be the same though - the moon will not be blessing the stage as it did in Lisboa that magic night.