CONCERT REPORT: London, O2 Arena (July 17) [merged threads]

Canada and Europe (May 11 - August 3, 2008). Concert reports, set lists, photos, media coverage, multimedia links, recollections...
Chris Hatten
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CONCERT REPORT: London, O2 Arena (July 17) [merged threads]

Post by Chris Hatten » Thu Jul 17, 2008 10:39 am

After years of waiting the great day has finally arrived!
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Re: London July 17

Post by MikeW » Thu Jul 17, 2008 12:30 pm

Am looking forward to this evening more than it is possible to express. We are off to London soon and the anticipation is already amazing. All those who will be there, enjoy!
Russell Harvey
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Re: London July 17

Post by Russell Harvey » Thu Jul 17, 2008 1:10 pm

One by one the guests arrive...Greenwich here we come.
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Re: London July 17

Post by tupelo » Thu Jul 17, 2008 2:50 pm

I've compiled a playlist made up of the songs played on this tour. I've been listening to it at top volume in preparation. :D Can't wait to hear it all for real at the gig.
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Re: London July 17

Post by catswhiskers » Thu Jul 17, 2008 11:39 pm

To EVERYONE at O2----have a truly wonderful night--I am thinking of you all.
I get to see him on saturday at Lisbon---MAGIC!!!
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Re: London July 17

Post by emmyloveslenny » Fri Jul 18, 2008 2:59 am

Well everyone?

10/10 Leonard & band for a faultless performance - but 1/10 for atmoshphere - it's a truly awful venue. The constant stream of people in and out to the bar / loo, or arriving late and leaving early really detracted from my experience. What did everyone else think?
Midnight Choir
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Re: London July 17

Post by Midnight Choir » Fri Jul 18, 2008 3:14 am

I was in the lower tier and was quite happy, though if I had been in a floor seat I think I would have felt a bit more like I was at a gig.

The O2 is always going to produce a different kind of show to a smaller venue. And a festival, like Glastonbury or Big Chill is going to produce another type of atmosphere. There's no point being disappointed because a venue lacks the standing atmosphere of a festival, and you can't expect the O2 to provide intimacy. It provides an epic auditorium. That's it. It's impressive, but I agree, it's not exactly intense. Still, at least you weren't sitting near me, presumably, and having Suzanne ruined by some unbalanced woman freaking out at the lady in front of her and threatening to knife her. That put me off my tea and oranges a smidgeon.

It was fantastic to see him at last. He is a piece of work, just majestic. I wasn't expecting Hallelujah to blow me away like it did, it was the highlight of the evening. The power, the force of it halfway through was astonishing. But it was all great, just lovely. I could do it again if I had a floor seat next time, and I might try to catch him at one of the other venues which are set up for a more atmospheric experience. I thought Bird On A Wire, I'm Your Man, Tower Of Song, Ain't No Cure For Love - they were just great. It was all great. He's the #1 act in the world imho. I thought his introductions of the band were charming, touching, and gentlemanly. Boo hiss to the whingers. The Webb sisters and Sharon Robinson were fantastic. The band was superb.

Lovely lovely lovely.
2008: O2 London - July 17 | O2 London - November 13 | O2 London - November 14 | RAH London - November 17 | 2009: Antwerp - July 4 | Weybridge - July 11
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Re: London July 17

Post by KimSolez » Fri Jul 18, 2008 4:00 am

Here are my images. We had a great time!

Best regards. - Kim
John Etherington
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Re: London July 17

Post by John Etherington » Fri Jul 18, 2008 4:04 am

This won't be very articulate, cause it's 2am, and I've been doped-up on Nurofen all day for a tooth abscess that I have to have treated tomorrow. However, Leonard's concert at (the 18-20000 seater) O2 was faultless, and a major triumph for him. I had the great good fortune to have a fourth row seat on the aisle - next to Gina and only a few along from Jarkko and Eija. Leonard has rehearsed this concert to perfection, as only a Virgo can. It was almost identical to Manchester, but every bit as good. I'm amazed how Leonard's is still in such good voice, after so many shows. Hallelujah and Anthem were awesome beyond words. Other great highlights were the recited A Thousand Kisses Deep, Boogie Street (with Sharon's superb intro), Take This Waltz, The Webb Sisters version of If it Be Your Will, and Democracy. The real bonus for me was hearing, for the first time this tour, Sisters of Mercy - which was where it all began for me, plus Whither Thou Goest. It was extraordinary hearing Leonard's music blasting out from the bar in the O2 afterwards, and I even saw a small boy wearing a Leonard T-Shirt on the train back. The whole thing was beyond my wildest dreams. I now have the dilemma of deciding which autumn show/s to go to. Not easy, when my own financial situation is so dire!

Love to all, John E

P.S. Hi to everyone else that I met at the show - Jim Devlin, Celia & her daughter, Roy, Marianne (so glad you got near the front!), Davido, Barry & Shannon, plus Greg and Agniezska on the train on the way back (and anyone that I might have forgotten!).
Last edited by John Etherington on Fri Jul 18, 2008 4:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: London July 17

Post by yhtrownu » Fri Jul 18, 2008 4:31 am

I thought tonight was special. I was on the floor, and everyone stayed on their feet for the encores which was lovely. Leonard seemed delighted. I saw Sharon mouth "oh my goodness!" when she saw the audience get to their feet, and stay there, and sing along to parts. I especially enjoyed when the audience finished Leonard's determined "First we take Manhattan" with a resounding refrain of "Then we take Berlin." He was visibly excited, the kind of excitement you get when something goes a bit better than expected. Dino Soldo waved his arm in the air to encourage the audience to wave their arms back. Leonard performed a perfect "Sisters of Mercy" following that, the contrast between the more tender song really rubbing up beautifully against the more aggressive insistent song that preceded it. When the concert began, I felt Leonard's voice was showing a little (predictable) strain, since Manchester, but by the end, Leonard sounded stronger than ever. Leonard's passion and focus was 100 percent from start to finish.

I don't know if it's my imagination, but the meaning-of-life "Tower of Song" do-dum-dum joke seemed more extended today, compared to Manchester. Leonard was enjoying the response, so paused longer, asked more questions, looked more mischievous, enjoyed it more.

Having seen Leonard in Manchester, my eye was drawn to surrounding details a little more this time, the way Neil Larson's mouth gapes open, how Dino Soldo gets so energetic that his head sweats so much his hat needs to come off so he can wipe that glistening pate, how Javier Mas is just the most ecstatic band player, appearing even to chew his laud at times, and how he really tries to engage Leonard, when Leonard kneels to sing to him, by bouncing smiles and rhythmic head bobs towards him, and succeeds in getting Leonard to laugh, how Charley Webb makes a little circle with her hand, connecting her thumb and forefinger when she counts the beat, how a wisp of Sharon's hair formed an independent little ringlet at the start of the concert, and how that wisp remained in a perfect circle right to the very end, how very big Hattie Webb's white shirt cuffs are, and how Roscoe Webb finds life so bright he's got to wear shades.

In the break after "Anthem", I noticed Bill Nighy, Richard Curtis, and Mariella Frostrup, all looking animated, chatting about Leonard.

On the tube home, I ran into David, who I'd met at the Trafalgar Tavern earlier in the day (along with Jonathan and Simon and Jim and Gina and Dominic). It was his first Leonard concert, and he thought it was absolutely wonderful. I agree with him. :)
Manchester, June 18 2008
Manchester, June 19 2008
London O2, July 17 2008
London O2, November 14 2008
Royal Albert Hall, November 17 2008
Mercedes Benz World, Weybridge, July 11 2009
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Re: London July 17

Post by Bela » Fri Jul 18, 2008 4:41 am

I'm a night owl so I'm wide awake and feeling on top of the world. It was terrific: exhilarating and moving - everything I expected it to be. The man was in such good form, and so sweet. That wry smile! Lovely!

The musicians were unbelievable - an expected bonus. And I loved Sharon Robinson and the Webb Sisters.

The venue, though, was something else: completely soulless. I too was distracted by the constant comings and goings of the sort of people who cannot sit for half a second without having a glass in their hands. I too had Suzanne spoiled by an usherette who was trying to sort out - very loudly - some problem with the seating right next to where I was sitting. When a few of us in that corner of BK 106 tried to shut her up, the person she was talking to turned on us and told us she was only trying to do her job. Could she perhaps have done that job farther away from the audience? As usual, there weren't enough ladies' toilets (the entire interval was taken up with queueing), but those are minor quibbles in the end.

I won't be able to attend any of the other concerts, but tonight I am very happy. :-)

Re. famous people in the audience: I saw Jim Broadbent in the interval.

Edited to add link to minuscule clip:
Last edited by Bela on Fri Jul 18, 2008 6:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
London O2 Arena 17 July (with binoculars)
London RAH 17 November (without binoculars)
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Re: London July 17

Post by dick » Fri Jul 18, 2008 5:52 am

Thanks all for your reports

Don't matter where he is.... OUR MAN ROCKS!

Hugs and cheers all around!!!

dick and linda

meeting jarkko, the cohen pope, and eija, his beautiful companion, tomorrow nite!
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Re: London July 17

Post by paddieu » Fri Jul 18, 2008 5:58 am

did they not use video screens then ?!

glad u had a great time though
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Re: London July 17

Post by richardrj » Fri Jul 18, 2008 8:36 am

Did people notice if there were many empty seats? I'd love to know what happened to all those tickets that suddenly appeared on the Ticketmaster resale thing at hugely inflated prices on the day tickets went on sale.
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Re: London July 17

Post by stephencharlton » Fri Jul 18, 2008 10:18 am

A great night, it was good to see the band enjoying the show too ! The sound was excellent, and the video screens clear & bright. Yes, the O2 can be a bit like an airport with people continually on the move, but i must not compare the night with the Manchester concert, the two were very enjoyable, yet very different. These shows have been unforgettable, thanks to Leonard Cohen and his band, a memorable summer, roll on Berlin in October ! :D
2008 Manchester
London O2 x3
2009 Berlin
2010 Poland
2012 Belgium
2013 London 02
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