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CONCERT REPORT: Melbourne, February 10

Posted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 11:26 pm
by skipper1967
Who's going to the last show of the tour? It might even be Leonards last ever Australia show (god I hope not).

Re: Melbourne Tuesday 10 Feb

Posted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 3:50 am
by ania
ill be there :)

Re: Melbourne Tuesday 10 Feb

Posted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 8:58 am
by dce
For those going to the Melbourne show and keen to meet-up beforehand ... might I suggest that the Cafe in the Rod Laver Arena (I think it's called Cafe Arena) would be a good location. I'm going to try to be somewhere around there for an hour before the show starts ... if other forum folk want to come up and say hi that would be great.

I'll be the guy sitting on his own in jeans and a black short-sleeve shirt (my lucky LC watching shirt) ...

dce (looking forward to tomorrow night's show, but also a bit sad that it's the last)

Re: Melbourne Tuesday 10 Feb

Posted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 11:31 am
by skipper1967
Hi dce

I will drop in and say hello.

I will also be alone, I fly into Melbourne in the morning.

I will have jeans, and cohen shirt on, plus my brown leather jacket.

Hope to see ya.


Re: Melbourne Tuesday 10 Feb

Posted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 7:52 am
by ania
last nights concert was beautiful and very moving. leonard graciously and subtly referred to the tragedy going on down here with the fires. he was soft and seemed in very good spirits. for me this concert was as good as the rochford winery concert. he was in top form and sounded incredible. so very sad its the last one for australia. i got used to my weekly leonard fix! :)

a most fine artist, a wonderful performer and a gracious, lovely, warm person. i miss him already.

Re: Melbourne Tuesday 10 Feb

Posted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 12:31 pm
by Greg Ross
Two dear friends of mine couldn't attend the Perth concert (they were in Tasmania), but on reading my review of Sandalford, they bought tickets for the last show in Melbourne. Here is her email to me this morning:

You were so right. Absolutely fantastic. How terrible it would have been to
have died without going to see/hear him and his astonishing sidekicks.
Now we really can legitimately come to the BBQ (split infinitive)

The BBQ: Well, we're having a concert reunion in March and just for good measure, here's a couple of close-ups from the Sandalford Concert.

Re: Melbourne Tuesday 10 Feb

Posted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 1:54 pm
by turns
wot a show! absolutely enthralled with goosebumps for half the show!

Thanks for coming all the way down under Mr Cohen! :razz: :razz:

Re: Melbourne Tuesday 10 Feb

Posted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 2:09 pm
by skipper1967
My favourite parts from another exceptional show were,

1 Leonards early references to the bands donation to the bushfire appeal and his heart felt sympathy to the victims.

2. His introduction and explanation to Who By Fire

3. A female voice from the crowd making a reference to Leonard still being sexy making him laugh.

4. The remarks at concerts end about the tour and his comments about "not sure when we will next be in in Australia" also his kind words for Paul Kelly (who had earlier mentioned the privilege of touring with Leonard and the kindness Leonards people had shown him".

I must make mention of my love for Gypsy Wife, The Partisan and Famous Blue Raincoat live, really I should not pick out individual songs as the show itself was truly unique.

Re: Melbourne Tuesday 10 Feb

Posted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 3:25 pm
by dce
Well, last night's Pacific tour closer in Melbourne was a very fitting end to what has been -- by anyone's standards -- an extraordinarily successful and wonderful series of live shows. In front of a close to capacity audience in the big and boomy Rod Laver Arena, our man poured out his heart with a vigour that you'd more associate with a first performance than a last. The crowd was an interesting mix: mostly made up of more restrained, older fans ... but with sprinklings of very loud and enthusiastic fanatics (including myself) scattered throughout. This gave the concert an unusual vibe -- for the most part the audience reaction was quite controlled and civilized, as it has been at other stadium venues such as Sydney (second night) and Brisbane ... but the groups of die-hard fans added lots of noise (and energy) to give the show some zing.

Also (as a bit of a side note), the audience last night seemed to contain a greater-than-average proportion of Paul Kelly fans: maybe not surprising as this is Paul's home town.

Perhaps the most notable aspect of Leonard's performance last night was the unusually comfortable way he interacted with the audience. This is something that has been steadily growing as the Pacific tour has unfolded. At the beginning of the tour, most of the banter with the crowd was drawn from the familiar set of wry comments and jokes that he has used in numerous shows through Canada and Europe. But as the tour has unfolded, LC seems to have become a lot more comfortable with varying his audience interactions (and even ad libbing) -- something which seems to go against the man's obsession with carefully considering his words before uttering them out loud. It's almost as though the extraordinary warmth that the Australian audiences have heaped upon him have (gradually) made him feel 'accepted' enough to be comfortable talking that way. Since the Hunter Valley show (destined to be a legendary performance IMHO) our man's been visible more comfortable on the stage -- and last night was no exception.

Here are some of the highlights of the final show that, for me at least, mark it as a unique experience:

1. LC twice referred to the terrible bushfire tragedy that continues to plague Victoria. First, straight after "Dance Me To The End Of Love", he stepped forward and gave a little speech to the audience. He said: "Sometimes the losses are too deep .. and the pain is too acute for anyone in those circumstances to be comforted. So, far from us to try to comfort those in those circumstances. All we can do is provide blankets, and clothes and shelter and money. That's our position, and we hope it's yours too." Later, when introducing "Anthem" LC did the usual references but ended with "Friends, it's very touching to be here at this very moment, when this state is undergoing this ordeal. I'm touched to be able to share the feelings with you. So ... Ring the Bells ..."

2. Sharon Robinson was on fire ... doing some absolutely stunning solo performances. The highlight was "Boogie Street" which had a brand new arrangement as well: towards the end, after the last verse had been sung the band dropped out to allow Sharon to sing a few more refrains with the Webb Sisters harmonizing (in similar style to the very opening of the song). Then the band kicked back in for a few bars at the very end. Kind of interesting arrangement, but one which definitely showed off Sharon's vocal talents.

3. Who By Fire: just as the band was about to start playing the (long) musical intro, someone from the crowd cried out "We love you Leonard". Normally, these have been met with a polite nod of recognition, but this time LC stepped forward to the mike and gave a little impromptu spoken intro: "Thanks so much friends, thanks for your warmth and hospitality this evening. It's deeply appreciated. This song is based on a prayer ... a memorial prayer. You'll understand it as we sing it."

4. Sisters of Mercy: in a brief silence just before the song, someone in the crowd cried out something like "You're Still Sexy". Leonard didn't appear to hear, but Sharon repeated it to him, and he looked kind of embarassed, as if he didn't know what to say. But he had a HUGE grin.

5. Anthem: as well as the reference to the bushfires, LC also gave a much more casual version of his intro ... "This is our last concert here in Australia. It's been such a great and warm and hospitable experience. It's been a long time since I stood up on the stage ... was about ... (pause) ... it's longer all the time". The list of antidepressents was also delivered with a bit more casual wit also .. he even added Tylenol to the end :-)

6. I Tried To Leave You: was again performed without the second verse.

7. Closing blessing: Leonard gave quite a long version of his closing address, thanking an even more extensive list of crew than usual. He thanked the woman who takes care of their hats "when we're not wearing them ... which is vary rarely." Also he poured praise upon Paul Kelly who he labelled "truly a national treasure".

8. LC began his very final closing message with "Until next we meet ..." which should be enough to give us antipodean fans some hope for a future visit :-)


Not tired ... but distracted?

Posted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 3:34 pm
by dce
Interestingly, after the Melbourne show last night I met up with a couple of fans who had flown down from Sydney to get a second taste of the tour ... their comment was that, compared to the earlier Sydney Entertainment Centre shows Leonard seemed "tired".

Personally, I didn't see that in the show ... certainly he belted out a few of the songs (notably Marianne and Hallelujah) with a vigour that I'd challenge anyone to associate with a tired performer. And then there was the enthusiastic way he skipped onto the stage -- crab-like (sideways) -- for the last encore. But LC did seem a bit distracted last night ... on at least three occasions he paused for a moment, recollecting some of the little epithets he uses to praise the band during his introductions. Maybe, this is what those Sydney-siders were aluding to.

Not sure what others thought?


Re: Melbourne Tuesday 10 Feb

Posted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 3:39 pm
by ania
youre not allowed to say that leonards tired!! tsk tsk tsk... :lol:

i felt that he was very tired on the 5th but last night he seemed very alert and in great spirits. but honestly how could anyone be surprised at him being tired, hes been working so hard for the past almost a year now... its a gruelling schedule.

and no doubt each show differs.... its normal, no? but i didnt get the sense of tiredness last night, not the way i did on the 5th.

Re: Melbourne Tuesday 10 Feb

Posted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 4:11 pm
by lizzytysh
Who did the sculpture 8) and where does it sit? Oh, to have that in your home.

~ Lizzy

Re: Melbourne Tuesday 10 Feb

Posted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 5:33 pm
by Greg Ross
Hi Lizzie

The sculpture sits on my piano at home (see attached photo). The sculptor is Robert Hitchcock and he's created a series of busts of Leonard, the latest featuring the fedora hat and he's offering fans (he's one himself obviously) a deal at $1,250AUS each in cold cast bronze, which is what mine is - I HAD to buy one!

If you'd like to contact him , the details are as follows:
Studio: Unit 8, 26 Rudloc Road, Morley Western Australia 6062, his phone numbers are: +61 9 9275 2537, Mob: 0414 476 406 and email: The website is:

Re: Melbourne Tuesday 10 Feb

Posted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 5:53 pm
by jglBB
I'm probably not alone but I have to say that I will miss dce's concert reports very much. Are you sure dce that you can't extend your vacation untill the very end of this Tour?

Re: Melbourne Tuesday 10 Feb

Posted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 3:57 am
by blonde madonna
I too have enjoyed reading your reports dce. Thank you.

It has been special having Leonard here.