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CONCERT REPORT: Vancouver, April 19

Posted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 10:39 am
by JohnTheBaptistJr
Hello to all board posters and lurkers. I just registered with the forum, and this is my first(and probably last) post.

I just arrived back at my hotel room from the show. I travelled from Alaska to visit Vancouver for the first time, and too see Mr. Cohen perform, being that he's closer and closer to taking that elevator one hundred floors up and joining his buddy Hank Williams in that 'song tower' any day/week/month/year now. Of course, I'd love to see Mr. Cohen live to 100, but none of us knows when our time is up, so I figured I'd better catch him now, because tomorrow is not guaranteed for any of us.

I'm happy to report that 'Lenny' is looking well nearly three weeks into this tour, and I can't type enough about his wonderful band and crew who are with him. One thing that cannot be denied about this man is that he is a generous and gracious performer- repeatedly thanking the crowd, and everyone else- from his band mates, to the crew, to the staff of the facility, to the truck drivers, to the caterers, and to 'the people who watch over our hats', as Leonard put it.

The setlist was consistent with the rest of the shows thus far. 'Waiting for the Miracle' was performed before 'Anthem', and there was no fourth encore...or rather, there was no third encore of either 'Lullaby' or 'That Don't Make It Junk' and 'Closing Time' went from 'Democracy' to 'I Tried to Leave You'/'Whither Thou Goest'.

The show was tremendous, and the crowd was thrilled to be there. Best wishes to you all, and thanks to the administrators and moderators of this website for maintaining a place on the web for fans to congregate.


Re: GM Place- Vancouver, 04/19

Posted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 11:55 am
by Iconoclastic_Bitch
Wow, all the way from Alaska? That's fantastic. I just got home from the Vancouver show as well and I really don't know what to say. It was amazing, very surreal and I'm still trying to process it all. I was a little disappointed that they didn't play Closing Time, but the show was quite long and I was so grateful to be there - what an enormous privilege.

The band, Sharon Robinson and The Webb Sisters were absolutely outstanding.

I hope my fellow Vancouverites enjoyed the show.

P.S. Imaginary Friend - your heels were absolutely fabulous!

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Vancouver, April 19

Posted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 6:46 pm
by imaginary friend
Hello All,

The anticipation and excitement I felt at the prospect of seeing Leonard in my hometown was well rewarded last night. The show was superb. By the third song or so, the audience was eating out of the palm of his hand. I watched as the reserved couple sitting in front of me changed from polite pitty-patty clapping to wildly enthusiastic raving, yelling 'Bravo' and rising to their feet (along with all the rest of us) time after time. At the end of the show, after 'Whither thou goest', the audience mood was calm and benign. We all filed quietly into the lobby area. Strangers exchanged smiles. People seemed a little kinder and a little gentler. Thank you Leonard, for another beautiful evening with your wonderful musicians and your mighty heart.

A review of last night's show (a female POV for a change 8) ) from this morning's Vancouver Sun can be found at

Notes on the balloon thing:
- Icono Bitch, why didn't you introduce yourself?? Now that I see your avatar again this morning, I realize who you were. Wish we had chatted... will you be at the Victoria show on Tuesday? Thanks for liking my shoes!

- It was lovely to meet Linda Lakeside, she came right up, as did a few others, but I'm sure there were lots of other Forum peeps there that didn't. Anyway about 6 of us ended up at Lucy Mae Brown's afterwards, including Linda and I, which was fun.

- On the way to my seat, I suddenly saw a familiar face standing in a small group. 'Adam Cohen' I exclaimed, as if I bloody knew him. He put out his hand and said: 'Yes, hello! And you are... ?' I said, 'Oh, you don't know me, but I recognize your face, I'm on Jarkko's website'. He responded, glancing at my yellow balloon: 'I like your festive approach!', so I pulled down the balloon so he could see written on it and they all laughed.

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Vancouver, April 19

Posted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 3:12 am
by lizzytysh
What a great and unexpected pleasure for you to meet Adam, Sheila 8) !

What a great evening you obviously all had :D !

I love your choice of words here...
Thank you Leonard, for another beautiful evening with your wonderful musicians and your mighty heart.
... especially, Leonard's mighty heart. So perfectly true.

~ Lizzy

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Vancouver, April 19

Posted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 4:04 am
by ladydi
Hi Sheila,

I was with you in spirit last night and I will be with you tomorrow in Victoria! The concert sounds awesome! I echo Lizzy's words on how you spoke of Leonard's "mighty heart". That heart has been leaving bits of itself all across the world, and we have all been blessed because of it! How do they do it? Night after night? I know all groups who tour need to try and keep it fresh, but after several concerts, this is more than "fresh". They all keep simply giving and giving and giving, with their enormous talents, and each time it is like the first!

My heart is very much with the Victoria concert (and wish I could be there) as Victoria was my Mom and Dad's retirement home for many, many years and I know the city intimately. Victoria is (IMHO) the most beautiful hidden gem of a city in North America (well, San Francisco comes close), and at this time of the year it simply blows one away...the green, the blossoms, the daffodils and if clear, that incredible view across the strait to the Olympics!

Once again, I'll be with ya in spirit! You, and Natalie, and everyone else! And may Leonard find a little respite in the peacefulness and beauty of the area!

All the best,

ps...AND, the chance encounter with!

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Vancouver, April 19

Posted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 8:50 am
by Iconoclastic_Bitch
Imaginary Friend,

I wasn't able to get tickets to the Victoria show unfortunately but was delighted to be at the show last night. You had your hands full and I didn't want to interrupt you, I'm also a tad shy at

Where were you sitting? And I can't believe Adam was there, I wish he gone on stage and did a number with his Dad! I was in row 9 with a friend, we were the ones with the big funny sign..LOL

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Vancouver, April 19

Posted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:20 pm
by mnkyface
Icono- what did your sign say?

Leonard Cohen full of classy contradictions in Vancouver

Posted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 7:09 pm
by DrHGuy
Leonard Cohen full of classy contradictions in Vancouver by John Lucas is a powerful, insightful, and terse look at, as advertised, Cohen's "classy contradictions." ... -vancouver

A whippet-thin septuagenarian clad in a two-piece suit and a bolo tie makes for an unlikely pop star, but that’s Leonard Cohen for you. The 74-year-old icon is a walking contradiction (and occasionally a skipping-around-the-stage contradiction), part beatific Zen monk and part Old Testament prophet of doom. The Montreal-born poet’s best work is seemingly best absorbed in dark-side-of-midnight moments of solitary contemplation, but it somehow comes across just fine in a hockey rink filled with enraptured fans.

Beyond the odd “Thank you, friends,” Cohen didn’t say much to his Vancouver audience. When he did talk, he told the same jokes that he used last summer when he played the O2 Arena, as many will discover when they crack the shrink wrap on the copies of Live in London they picked up at the merch booth. Not that a little recycled stage patter made much difference; Cohen speaks superbly through his songs, and during a show that clocked in at around three hours, he said plenty.

Backed by a crack band attired in variations on his own well-tailored outfit, Cohen delivered selections spanning most of his recording career. Over the decades since 1967’s Songs of Leonard Cohen, his voice has acquired depth both sonic and symbolic: it’s lower in tone, dipping into the bass-baritone range, but it also has a rich timbre suggestive of a life lived in pursuit of intangibles like truth and beauty. It was predictable, then, that the lines that generated the biggest whoops of appreciation were these from “Tower of Song”: “I was born like this, I had no choice/I was born with the gift of a golden voice.”

It’s funny, yes, because Cohen’s weathered croon is no one’s idea of a heavenly instrument, but it’s also true. Nobody can sing a Leonard Cohen like Leonard Cohen, which he proved with “Hallelujah”. Thanks to a seemingly endless stream of covers, that mid-’80s tune has become Cohen’s best-known song, even among those who have never heard him sing it. They should, because, at least on this occasion, the author’s version bests them all, sounding simultaneously carnal and divine, like two angels fucking. (And if you think I’m being needlessly vulgar, you clearly haven’t seen the picture on the sleeve of New Skin for the Old Ceremony.)

Mind you, it didn’t hurt Cohen’s case that he had Sharon Robinson and the Webb Sisters backing him with pitch-perfect midnight-mass vocal harmonies, or that keyboardist Neil Larsen’s swirling Hammond B3 sent the song’s chorus pealing through the stadium like a cathedral bell. Indeed, the supporting cast provided the evening with many of its highlights, with Cohen graciously stepping aside (and doffing his trilby) to give each member of his band a turn in the spotlight. Spanish multi-instrumentalist Javier Mas, for instance, displayed lightning-fast fretwork during a stunning laud solo that served as the intro to “Who By Fire”, providing an apt Middle Eastern touch to a song based on an ancient Jewish liturgical prayer. Later, Robinson took the lead vocal on a soulful “Boogie Street” (which she cowrote), and Charley and Hattie Webb gave the fatalistic “If It Be Your Will” the benefit of their impeccable duet singing.

Things were just as impressive when the focus was on Cohen himself, as during a shiver-inducing version of “The Partisan” and a simply haunting take on “Suzanne”. That Cohen can still uncover fresh layers of meaning in his own writing was evident in “The Future”: he punctuated the line “I’m the little Jew who wrote the Bible” with a chuckle, as if the lyric conveyed a joke that he was only just starting to get. It all goes to show, I suppose, that if you keep seeking after the aforementioned intangibles, you never stop learning, even from yourself. Cohen is abundantly aware of his advancing years; he even quipped of the last time he played Vancouver, about a decade-and-a-half ago, “I was 60 years old then; just a kid with a crazy dream.”

He said that in London, too. But so what? When someone delivers a show as deeply satisfying as this one was, he can get away with telling as many corny old jokes as he likes.

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Vancouver, April 19

Posted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 8:45 pm
by linda_lakeside
I have nothing to add to the fine article posted above, or the comments made by Sheila. After waiting a lifetime to see Leonard, I can say with honesty it was the most incredible show I've seen. I was so pleased that his voice sounded as good, golden and 'sexy' as it did. As Sheila said, he and the band just kept on giving. I like the analogy of Leonard leaving bits of his mighty heart around the world. I have a little wee piece of his heart now, and I'll treasure it forever.

I was surprised by the number of 'lurkers' that introduced themselves (Sheila brought 2 balloons, so we split them), and I was approached by a number of 'lurkers'. Funny. I knew there were some out there, but I'm now guessing there are a great number of them. It was strange that a number of people were just as familiar with our posts and avatars as if they were on the board with us all the time.

It was a beautiful evening, meeting Sheila and other members (and lurkers :)) made it even more so. I bought some merch - although I hadn't planned on it. I love the Beautiful Losers t-shirt - which I wore yesterday causing the poor souls not familiar with Leonard to think I was on a weight loss program. 8)

All that has been said about his concerts is true. If there is anyone out there 'siting on the fence' because of ticket prices or travel - GO! By all means don't let a concert slip past you. You won't regret it. It was the high-point of my concert-going days. Also, likely the last major concert I will see. A brilliant closing out for me. I think it was fated to be this way.

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Vancouver, April 19

Posted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 8:54 pm
by lizzytysh
John Lucas also pulls us in to the spaces of memory where Leonard reigns. I really like the approach he took illustrating the contradictions one sees everywhere with Leonard, not just in the trademark nature of his songs. It's hard to imagine that I'll be seeing only one more concert of his; every time I read another elucidative [or not] review of his shows, I start trying to figure a way to show up in New York in the Fall.

Thanks for posting this one, DrHGuy.

It sounds like you had a great time with your balloons and gathering, Linda. I didn't realize 'til now that Sheila brought two... shoulda known ;-) . Now, c'mon all ye lurkers and just take a stand... admit that you read here... til seeing our Man... [lalala :roll: ].

Why will you not be going to any more major concerts, tall woman in the red coat? Personal choice to let it all go at its zenith?

~ Lizzy

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Vancouver, April 19

Posted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 10:08 pm
by linda_lakeside
HI Lizzy,

Hmm..well, I wasn't the tall woman in a red coat afterall. I was the tall woman in a khaki trench coat as it was leaning to the rainy side (per usual), and it wasn't as cool as I thought it would be. Yes, Sheila thinks ahead. Two balloons. :)

Re: my concert going or not concert going, I can't think of too many performers I feel like seeing. I don't like arena events, so the 'major' concerts are no more. From here on, I'll buy the CDs instead. Although, I plan and hope to go to the three day Bluesfest in Thunder Bay in July. Take advantage of the cheaper airfares - and I have a very cool companion out there who will put me up, pay my concert ticket and generally get loopy with me. 8) I wouldn't mind seeing Jennifer Warnes in May. She is not an arena act, so a smaller room suits me fine. As I mentioned to someone first there was Judy Collins, Leonard a few days later, now Jennifer. How she must long for the days of taking the stage with Leonard. I would at least, if I were in her shoes. She has a lovely voice, so I may see her. But, yes. For the Big concerts, why not just have it as the jewel in the crown and be done with it. I'm not getting any younger you know (but I'm sure everyone else is) :lol:

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Vancouver, April 19

Posted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 5:08 am
by st theresa
Thanks for posting all this info and more rave reviews of Leonard in Vancouver--I can hardly wait till Sunday. I feel so lucky to have managed a seat in the venue that seats only 1800. I plan to be there at 6:30 sharp to see the merchandise and with luck, meet a band member or two. I would love to thank them for their hard work on this tour and willingness to give along with Leonard. :D

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Vancouver, April 19

Posted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 7:39 am
by linda_lakeside
Hi St. Theresa,

The merch was fun. I also bought a key chain, which, if you take the 'ring' part off (the part that holds your keys), you can string a piece of leather thru it and wear it as a pendant. It's quite large and heavy. Looks like pewter. But what do I know of 'metals' - except the 'good' ones?? ;-) It was the 'Unified Hearts' - the hearts and hands. We had a long time to browse, while the 'others' (not in the 'fan-club') had to wait in the rain, outside, wondering "who are those lucky people browsing merchandise early, and sipping a drink?" It made me feel 'important'. :D

I saw one band member signing a program for a woman, but I don't know if they roam around the stadium pre-show. GM Place is pretty big. An 1800 seater would be great! Why they didn't hold this at The Orpheum Theatre or the QE, is beyond me - well, I can guess holds more people~ Still - there are other more 'user friendly' venues in Vancouver.

You're going to love it! If you've not seen Leonard yet, you ain't seen nothin' yet. Haha...~ Have fun!


Re: CONCERT REPORT: Vancouver, April 19

Posted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 6:15 pm
by st theresa
Hahah Linda

I am now also looking forward to feeling 'important'. The weather in Alberta is taking a turn for the colder so it will be lovely not to have to wait outside ;-) I did see Leonard in Portugal last summer at an outdoor venue. We stood for the entire three hour set (well I should say I danced ), but I look forward to being able to sit in a comfortable seat (balcony) and just enjoy. I live in Edmonton so am taking a little retreat weekend in Calgary to go shopping, hang out on the Steven Avenue Mall--and hang around waiting for the band to arrive at the Jack Singer Hall. What more could anyone ask? I also need to buy a pair of 'binocs' as one friend of mine recently referred to them as. I have never bothered to do that, but I think this time may be different.

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Vancouver, April 19

Posted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 6:32 pm
by lizzytysh
Hi JohnTheBaptistJr ~

Welcome to the Forum :D ... the first I can understand, but why would this be your last posting? You barely got here.

~ Lizzy