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CONCERT REPORT: Zurich, October 25

Posted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 12:12 pm
by swisschris
I thought, before the concert will take place at the Hallenstadion here in Zurich in a few hours,
I post a link where you can have a look at the place:

There will be seats for about 8500 persons. At the moment, it is nearly sold out, but there are still some tickets left.

I will report later about the concert and hopefully be able to provide you with a setlist!

Re: Zurich, October 25

Posted: Sun Oct 26, 2008 1:29 am
by swisschris
I have just come back from Leonard's concert in Hallenstadion Zurich.
A most memorable evening has come to an end. Leonard played only 10 minutes from where I live :lol:

I also posted the setlist at the "Setlist" thread.
No Avalanche tonight, but Sisters of Mercy, Famous Blue Raincoat and above all The Partisan, which summons up the highlights of the show for me. This setlist was just perfect (oh, maybe even better, if he had added Chelsea Hotel, Waiting for the miracle and A Thousand kisses deep; but one cannot wish for everything :lol: )

Some things I remarked:
Leonard didn't sing on Boogie Street, it was the solo spot for Sharon Robinson tonight.
During The Future, when Leonard announced the "white girls dancing" , Charley Webb proved that she is very acrobatic, she did the thing we in Switzerland call "das Rad schlagen" (I'm terribly sorry but I really don't know how to describe that in English. *))So when Leonard introduced the musicians after the first and second set, he said "Hattie and Charley Webb on vocals, harp, guitar and ACROBATICS" :D

Otherwise, Leonard did not talk much tonight. The crowd was quite reserved tonight, compared to the gigs in Lyon and Lörrach. He got the first real standing ovation only after the second set, but then everyone was standing during the encores (maybe with the exception of some folks in the golden circle rows for 200 CHF..)
I had a ticket on the 41st row, but still, a very good view to the stage and for the encores I was standing in the Golden Circle area ;-)

"I don't know when our paths will cross again" said Leonard at the end. I don't know, but I have the strange feeling that I probably saw him the last time tonight :cry:
Leonard, thank you so much for the songs and for this most memorable evening! (And a special "shout out" to Javier Mas, he is just incredible! What would a Leonard Cohen-concert be without him?)

**** *) do a cartwheel ??? / Jarkko ****

Re: Zurich, October 25

Posted: Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:11 pm
by swisschris
Yes, Jarkko! Do a cartwheel is the correct expression!

Re: Zurich, October 25

Posted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 3:40 am
by Tsdhav
Returned earlier today from Zurich via SNCF TGV and Eurostar and a Drive from Ebsfleet to Norwich here in the UK. Left Zurich on the 07.02 for Paris and home in Norwich UK time for tea!

Had a wonderful weekend. We (partner and I)left here Friday morning and took the train to Paris where we spent the afternoon and evening wandering around aimlessly bumping into a few sights (such as that big pointy pile of metal down by the river, some sort of triumphal arch, a big shopping street of champs and lots of other things). Saturday morning the 08.24 to Zurich to meet my son and his partner who live in Switzerland at 1pm. We have a great afternoon and evening ending up in a restaurant near Hallenstadion. I've bought my son and partner tickets and they're not fans but interested to come.

So to the gig - the icing on the cake (although seeing my son and his partner was really the highlight). Never been to Hallenstadion before but would go again. Not too big but reasonably big. Remarkably easy to get into and not too crowded compared to some venues. Perhaps this is because the whole top circle has clearly not been sold. Was this delieberate from the beginning or not enough sold to release them?

So to showtime and I'm hoping it's as good as Manchester and Edinburgh were and the O2 (damn ... should have waited for RAH!) and NEC will be... I hope.
Mr Cohen comes on stage looking even more sprightly than I remember him in the summer. There are a couple of early technical issues - the first word or two sung was to an off/dead/muted microphone and the first set seemed to need a bit more balance control with an odd echo where I was sitting stage right. It takes several numbers for the audience to warm up but they do get there and clearly L Cohen is on form tonight. My partner notes that she thought that this was going to be Groundhog Day but it wasn't. Excellent idea to give Sharon Robinson the lead to Booglie Street. It seemeed to give him time to build up the passion for Hallelujah. The Partisan was superb and the general musicianship throughout was excellent - as an aside, Bob Metzger seems to play fewer notes on the guitar every time I see him! For me Famous Blue Raincoat was a first live this year so that was a highlight. Throughout he was singing well and, I sensed, truly with passion. Even though it was similar to the summer it lost nothing of its power. Maybe not as emotional as Manchester but the power was intact.

For the final encores a mob made their way down through the central aisle and made it to the front. This is obviously the best way to do it to overwhelm the security. I felt sorry for a youngish girl sat in the seat in front of me who tried to get to the stage but because she was alone was picked off easily by security. Three of them spent the last few songs watching her! Take heed, move in numbers

Can't believe how fast the time went. Great night, great weekend. Must go buy Mojo tomorrow!


Re: Zurich, October 25

Posted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 11:57 am
by The Captain
Tsdhav wrote: Must go buy Mojo tomorrow!
Thanks for the tip, Sir. I'm definitly going to try to find a copy of this!


Re: Zurich, October 25

Posted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 2:02 pm
by swisschris
Here is the article in today's "Tages-Anzeiger" about Leonard's concert in Zurich. "Tages-Anzeiger" is one of the biggest newspapers in Switzerland. Unfortunately, I don't have the time to translate it in English.
They say that there were 6000 people in the audience.

© Tages-Anzeiger; 27.10.2008; Seite 42



Leonard Cohen

Zürich, Hallenstadion. - Die Superlative, für einmal gar nicht übertrieben, gleich vorweg: Es war schlicht phänomenal, grandios, überwältigend, Leonard Cohens dreistündiges Konzert, Samstagabend im Hallenstadion. Wir waren allerdings seit seinem Auftritt im Sommer in Montreux vorgewarnt, wussten von der bravourösen späten Rückkehr des 74-jährigen Kanadiers auf die Bühne. Und diese hier, so problematisch in ihrer Grösse, konnte dem Vortrag des Sängerpoeten und seiner Band nichts anhaben. Zu stimmig waren nun mal die Ingredienzen, die Gesten und die Stimme, der Sound und das Licht.

«Dance Me to the End of Love» sang Leonard Cohen gleich zu Anfang, nachdem er ans Mikrofon herangetänzelt gekommen war, und wie ein langer imaginärer Tanz mit dem Publikum, mit den Mitmusikern, sollte sich der ganze Abend anfühlen. Das Haupt leicht nach vorn geneigt, die linke Hand halbhohl vor dem Gesicht, einladend und beschützend zugleich, der Kniefall ab und zu, Demut oder Anbetung, aber niemals kitschig, und dann immer wieder den schwarzen Hut ziehend, vor den Leistungen der Begleiter, vor dem brandenden Applaus. Und er sang, die alten Lieder und die jüngeren, «The Future», das mörderische, und «Bird on the Wire», das liebestrunkene. Und die Stimme, diese tiefe, raue, klang warm und schön, schöner jedenfalls als es uns die famose selbstironische, spontan applaudierte Wendung im «Tower of Song» verkauft («I was born with the gift of a golden voice»). Und die Musik spielte, dezent und differenziert, wie es die Kompositionen und die Haltung des Meisters verlangten, mal mit bluesigen Akzenten in der Elektrogitarre, mal eher jazzig bläserseits, aber immer mehr als bloss begleitend; geradezu konzertant etwa die impressionistische Koda zu «Who by Fire», die verspielte Einleitung zu «Sisters of Mercy». Wundersam wie die alten Mauerblümchenlieder plötzlich zu köstlichen musikalischen Bouquets aufblühten. Und die langen, halb durchscheinenden Vorhänge saugten dazu die schönsten Farben auf und leuchteten karmesinrot, ultramarin, lachsrosa.

Mitten in dieser intimistischen Bühne schien immer wieder, auf die Grossleinwand projiziert, des Sängers fast schon verlegenes Lächeln auf, die schiere Freude an der Freude der rund 6000 Fans; sie widersprach dem latenten Pessimismus von Leonard Cohens Poesie. Frei nach jener Zeile aus dem Lied «Anthem»: «There’s a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.» Benedetto Vigne

Re: Zurich, October 25

Posted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 3:30 pm
by Momto5
We retutned yesterday from Zurich. We came there on Friday evening from Israel, spent a lovely day in the city and saw the show in Saturday evening and returned home Sunday noon. We were in Zurich less than 48 hours. It was worth every penny! It was really amazing.
We are old Leonard Cohen fans, from the early 70s, when we were almost young... But it is the first time we have seen him live.
Everything was perfect - the venue, the band and of course Leonard Cohen!
We have never done such a thing - buy a ticket to fly to another country in another continent to see a show, and we were afraid that it won't be worth it. But it was truly the most wondrful weekend we have had in 25 years of marriage.
If anyone has the chance to do this - go for it! Don't miss Leonard Cohen live!

Re: Zurich, October 25

Posted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 12:29 am
by andiwaltermichel
It was a really great gig and a memorable evening at the Hallenstadion. For the first time I saw Leonard Cohen live on stage. Sitting in the Golden Circle, Third Row, I had a wonderful sight and the sound was excellent. Leonard Cohen was in a perfect mood and his voice and performance impressive. I had the opportunitiy to make two videos with my little handycam. "Dance me to the End of Love" and "Hallelujah" are available now on my Youtube-Account. The qualitiy is quit nice. Have a look and dive into the wonderful concert again: (Hallelujah) ( Dance me to the End of Love)

Cheers and Hallelujah


Re: Zurich, October 25

Posted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 4:56 pm
by Womanfromaroom
swisschris wrote:Here is the article in today's "Tages-Anzeiger" about Leonard's concert in Zurich. "Tages-Anzeiger" is one of the biggest newspapers in Switzerland. Unfortunately, I don't have the time to translate it in English.
They say that there were 6000 people in the audience.

© Tages-Anzeiger; 27.10.2008; Seite 42 [...] [see above]

Hello erveryone,

I have tried a translation of the "Tagesanzeiger"-article for the English-speaking Cohen fans who have been to Zurich; if you have got any suggestions for amendments, just post them!
I don't know whether I have managed to convey the almost poetic style of the review, for I have had to more or less ignore some of the stylistic devices (like some inversions), they are simply too hard to tranlsate... :(

Leonard Cohen
Zurich, Hallenstadion. –The superlative, not an exaggerated term for once, to start off with: It was just phenomenal, terrific, Leonard Cohen’s three-hour concert on Saturday evening in the Hallenstadion. We had, however, been warned ever since his summer performance in Montreux, we have known of the brilliant late return of the 74-year-old Canadian onto the stage. And this specific stage, so problematic in its size, could not do any harm to the recital of the song-poet and his band: Too coherent, too harmonious, after all, were the ingredients, the gestures and the voice, the sound and the light.
Leonard Cohen sang ”Dance me to the End of Love“ right at the beginning, after he had come skipping to the microphone, and the whole evening was going to feel like an imaginary dance with the audience, with the co-musicians. The head bowed slightly to the front, the left hand in a semi-concave posture in front of his face, inviting and protective at the same time, the fall to the knees from time to time, humility or worship, but never slushy / sentimental rubbish, and then again taking off his black hat to the achievements of the accompanying musicians, to the thundering applause. And he sang, the old songs and the younger ones, the murderous “The Future”, and the lovesoaked “Bird on the Wire”. And this deep, rough voice sounded warm and beautiful, much more beautiful, at any rate, than the splendid, self ironic and spontaneously applauded line in “Tower of Song” suggests («I was born with the gift of a golden voice»). And the music played, discreetly and varied, just as the master’s compositions and attitude demanded, at times with bluesy accents from the electronic guitar, at times rather jazzy from the wind instruments; almost concertante, for example, the impressionistic coda along with “Who by Fire”, the playful introduction to “Sisters of Mercy”. Wondrously strange how the old wallflower songs blossomed into rich bouquets all of a sudden. And at the same time, the long, half-transparent curtains absorbed the beautiful colours and shone in crimson, ultramarine, salmon pink.
In the middle of this intimiste stage the singer’s almost embarrassed smile kept appearing, projected onto the large screen, the sheer delight in the delight of the almost 6000 fans; it contradicted the underlying pessimism of Leonard Cohen’s poetry. To paraphrase that line from the song “Anthem”: «There’s a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.»
Benedetto Vigne"