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CONCERT REPORT: Auckland, January 22

Posted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 1:25 pm
by MasterThief
Auckland, New Zealand
22 January 2009

Set 1
1. Dance Me to the End of Love
2. The Future
3. Ain't No Cure for Love
4. Bird on the Wire
5. Everybody Knows
6. In My Secret Life
7. Who By Fire
8. Chelsea Hotel #2
9. Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye
10. Anthem

Set 2
11. Tower of Song
12. Suzanne
13. The Gypsy Wife
14. The Partisan
15. Boogie Street
16. Hallelujah
17. I'm Your Man
18. A Thousand Kisses Deep [recitation]
19. Take This Waltz

Encore 1
20. So Long Marianne
21. First We Take Manhattan

Encore 2
22. Famous Blue Raincoat
23. If It Be Your Will
24. Democracy

Encore 3
25. I Tried to Leave You
26. Wither Thou Goest

So apart from the solos in I Tried To Leave You, same as Wellington. But another perfect night.

Re: Auckland, Jan 22

Posted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 3:19 pm
by Rabbit
That setlist is correct as far as I recall. No "Miracle" or "Closing Time".

The concert was as near to perfection as I've ever seen. Leonard's energy has to be seen to be believed - the skipping on and off stage, the "white man dancing". The sound was superb, the band stunning, almost beyond comparison. Leonard's voice was silken, strong and vital. I watched it reduce grown women and men to tears and jelly.

The emotion was palpable. The love flowed freely between Leonard, the band and the audience. This was powerful magic at work.

I'm too tired to write more, but believe me I'm retiring to bed secure in the knowledge that tonight I witnessed a truly special event.

Love to you all, love to Leonard.

Re: The Auckland Concert

Posted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 5:31 pm
by Greg Ross
This is the email I've received from my cousins in Auckland, until a couple of months ago, they had never heard of Leonard -


We were just blown away by it - ready to do it all again tomorrow.

Well, there's no prizes for guessing that we really enjoyed the concert. We only went because you raved on about him so much that we thought we better satisfy our curiosity and see what all the fuss was about. We were a bit nervous as the days drew closer, if we would be bored to sleep but then as the days drew even closer, the reviews were so positive we couldn't possibly not enjoy it. So we went along upbeat and he exceeded our expectations. The band is just so polished and the backing singers amazing.

We got urged to clap and participate in places but when the master sang, everyone went quiet.

We lost count of the number of standing o's

So thanks for raving on Cuz - we wouldn't have known what we were missing if it wasn't for you.

Thanks from Opononi

p.s. the patches are not available on this tour, so we didn't get any. So now Hope owes you money!

pps How many expected at your venue? ( near enough to 15000 at our one)

Re: Auckland, Jan 22

Posted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 8:55 pm
by MaryB
I'm so glad you made converts of your cousins. It is so easy to do when attending an LC concert!
I was wondering what your cousins' age group is and what type of music they usually listen to?
Kindest regards,

Re: Auckland, Jan 22

Posted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 4:09 am
by Greg123
Loved the concert. Here's a short clip from First We Take Manhattan, sorry if I was a bit shaky. I have a few others I'll upload later.

Re: Auckland, Jan 22

Posted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 6:41 am
by Greg123
Here's a review from The Herald and they have a gallery with a few nice pics ... d=10553228
Review: Leonard Cohen at Vector Arena
9:16AM Friday Jan 23, 2009
By Russell Baillie

Leonard Cohen plays to a full house at the Vector Arena.

He might have a reputation as one of music's most depressing figures. But Leonard Cohen left an arena full of fans happy - and not in a sad kind of way - with this long-awaited memorable concert.

Seventy-four-year-old Cohen and his nine-piece band delivered a spirited wander through his extensive songbook to a reverent and largely grey-haired audience who welcomed him on stage with a standing ovation and were reluctant to let him leave it three hours and many, many eloquent verses later.

Somehow, Cohen's ensemble, a sort of gypsy-soul rock-noir cabaret outfit dressed, as was their fedora-ed double-breasted leader like particularly stylish members of the French Resistance, were able to shrink the vastness of the venue down to the intimate scale of the music.

They were also able to inject an acoustic warmth into much of Cohen's 80s and 90s material which, on record, veers towards antiseptic muzak.

Everything pivoted on Cohen's baritone voice, that still sexy sonorous rumble which has long made him the Barry White of the bookclub set. Yes, unlike many a rock elder statesman, Cohen isn't just a guy thing.

And he was given to some self-effacing - if you suspect much-rehearsed - between song humour.

"It's been 15 years since I was on stage - when I was 60, a young kid with a crazy dream then I took a lot of Prozac," he quipped before listing the other medications which got him through his darker days. "I studied all the religions of the world but cheerfulness kept breaking through," he added.

And so it was with his set, which neatly wrapped up the key songs of his 40-plus years as the songwriter's songwriter, ladies' man and ribald wit.

"Give me crack and careless sex," he rumbled on the early The Future, before, a few songs later taking us to that scene in Chelsea Hotel #2 with the unmade bed and an obliging Janis Joplin.

Along the way he reclaimed the much-covered likes of Bird on a Wire, delivered with a punchy blues guitar and Hallelujah got an inevitable standing ovation, with Cohen resisting the urge to make it a centrepiece or obvious encore.

The energy dipped occasionally along the way and those multiple encores sure made no effort in leaving us wanting more.

But the occasional sense of languor was just as frequently leavened with solo turns by Javier Mas on 12-string bandurria and near the end, a magic moment by backing singers the Webb sisters who, after Cohen's spoken early verses, took If it Be Your Will somewhere celestial with their intertwined voices, guitar and harp.

At the end Cohen thanked the faithful "for keeping these songs alive", an admirable sentiment.

But he had returned the compliment, and then some, in a show which brought all those verses to life in all their literate glory.

This wasn't an old Laughing Len looking back in some nostalgia exercise, but Cohen the performer revealing the depths of his glorious songs. And doing it quite brilliantly.

Re: Auckland, Jan 22

Posted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 3:31 pm
by jarkko
Can an ancient scribe hold an audience for three hours? Reviewer Michael Field says he sure can.

Leonard Cohen
Where: Vector Arena, Auckland
When: Thursday, January 23

Leonard Cohen's Auckland performance was as close to perfection in live music - and poetry - as you will ever get.

He came onstage to a standing ovation from the sellout crowd; he left it just over two hours later to repeated stage calls.

That distinctive voice is unchanged and powerful.

"I was last here 15 years ago, I was 60-years-old, a kid with a dream," he says with a beguiling smile complementing his very droll sense of humour.

Most of the songs were there: Bird On A Wire, Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye, Suzanne and Hallelujah.

They sounded fresh and new and in the concrete pit that is Vector, they sounded clear.

Way up high, every word was there, every note from his nine-piece band.

Like solid classics, the basics have not been changed, yet they sound fresh and relevant.

Cohen is solidly political and yet strikingly naïve for a 75-year-old.

The lyrics are often very sexual, yet always sensual, subtle and, at times, simply sweet.

When he speaks to his audience there is a striking humility and humanity.

And always that droll humour, noting he had delved into philosophies and religions, yet "cheerfulness keeps breaking through".

Cohen comes across as an utter gentleman, caring of his marvellous band.

Lead backing singer Sharon Robinson could easily hold an audience in a smoke-filled-bar; in Vector her solo number had the audience wanting more. And Hattie and Charlotte Webb proved spellbinding.

The highlight though was Cohen's awesome political statement, Democracy Is Coming To The USA.

He flies out today to play his first USA show in 15 years next week and the song is set to be the new anthem of our times.

From the wars against disorder,
from the sirens night and day,
from the fires of the homeless,
from the ashes of the gay:
Democracy is coming to the USA
It's coming through a crack in the wall;
on a visionary flood of alcohol;
from the staggering account
of the Sermon on the Mount
which I don't pretend to understand at all.

Cohen's Auckland concert would have been sublime perfection had one small oversight been corrected - he didn't do Sisters Of Mercy...

All the same, it was an honour to be there.

Re: Setlists

Posted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:54 am
by small child
amazing show, best i have ever been to.
i got to meet him during the day and get a record signed and a pic with the gent himself.
its on
and yes, im wearing a dillinger escape plan tshirt.

Re: Answering Mary's Questions About My Cousins

Posted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:41 pm
by Greg Ross
Hi Mary

Although one should NEVER discuss a lady's age, let alone those of two ladies, I will, with trepidation, take the risk!
Hope is 64 and her daughter Naomi is 41. I'm really not sure what music they listen to, however, it was Hope who introduced me to Rock & Roll when I was a small boy - she had Elvis and a Kiwi rocker named Johnny Devlin on 45s she played all the time when she was baby sitting me, so there's a lovely synergy in that some 50 years later, I've introduced her to my music.
I've pasted in below, another email Hope sent about the concert.

Well what a concert & not at all melancholic as people would have you believe. I met a friend in the city the other day & she said no way would she go even if she were given tickets. Her loss. & that seemed a lot of peoples opinion when that don't really know the man. Even Tracey was worried, she said I should listen to u- tube, but with only dial up I'd still be waiting!!!!
What a polished presentation. When I saw some of the flowing beards on some of the audience I did begin to wonder, were we in for several hours of hard rock? I believe he bedded Janis Joplin - hence Chelsea Hotel , quite a man & he still has charisma, will til he goes.
At 7.30 for 1/2 hr we had Sam Hunt, then the show started at 8.15 & ended 11.15 with about 15-20 min interval & about 6 encores, superb. The music has been in my head all day, didn't go to bed until 3.30, so wired.
Cheers Cuz

Re: Auckland, Jan 22

Posted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 10:24 pm
by MaryB
Hi Greg,
Thanks so much for the response. I did not mean for you to disclose exact ages :oops: , a vague idea would have been fine. The reason I asked these questions is because it seems to me (and I may be way off base on this) that after an extended period of listening to music, no matter how well-rounded one may be in their music choices, one may be more receptive to something 'new' and/or different. For a number of fans, LC becomes a wonderful 'discovery'. It also seems that people who have listened to 'European' music, more easily accept the music of LC. So, to me it is always a pleasant surprise to hear that someone very young or someone whose music choices seem to be RnR (ie. Elvis in this case) so readily embrace the intensity of lyrics and music of Leonard Cohen (as well as all people should :D ). It is wonderful that you made converts of your cousins - go forth again and conquer :lol: .
Kindest regards,

Re: Auckland, Jan 22

Posted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:43 pm
by margiegras
Can any one tell m e what time he came on stage & what time he finished - also length of interval!

Thanks so much

Re: Auckland, Jan 22

Posted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:51 pm
by MasterThief
For the 7:30 shows in NZ, he came on about 8:20. Interval after about an hour for 20 mins then finish at 11:20. He is sticking with the same setlist so I assume all shows will follow this sort of timing.

Re: Auckland, Jan 22

Posted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:19 am
by lush42622
Oh how I wish I was could have attended one of the concerts.
but I am so pleased for all who could afford to go that the great man gave such a polished performance
His music is in my head all the time.
Does anyone know if a dvd of the show will be released and if so when?
thanks Lesley

Re: Auckland, Jan 22

Posted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:09 am
by margiegras
Thanks for that mate, was there support act in Auckland?? Sydney says doors open 7pm

Re: Auckland, Jan 22

Posted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:31 am
by MasterThief
margiegras wrote:Thanks for that mate, was there support act in Auckland?? Sydney says doors open 7pm
Yes poet Sam Hunt. Paul Kelly in Melbourne.