CONCERT REPORT: Detroit, May 9

USA and Canada (April 1 - June 4, 2009). Special concert for fans in NYC (February 19). Concert reports, set lists, photos, media coverage, multimedia links, recollections...
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Postby MiBasha » Sun May 10, 2009 7:56 am

I just saw LC in concert at the Fox in Detroit ...It was fantastic!!!!
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CONCERT REPORT: Detroit, May 9

Postby Walsh75 » Sun May 10, 2009 6:05 pm

This show was everything that I expected going into from all of the other reports. Same time length and same recent set list. That being said, you still had to see it even if you're like me wanting to know every detail going in, not wanting to be surprised.

What stood out to me was the lighting. It was on a simple scale compared to "big shows" I've seen over the years at The Palace and Madison Square Garden, yet it spoke so much!

The colors of the curtains changed with every song mood. At times those of us lucky enough to be up close where bathed in the lights with Leonard and the band.

Leonard's speech at the end was very humble and sad in a lot of ways. He told the crowd he didn't know when they would be back, if ever, and he thanked everyone for still keeping his music alive all these years. Seemed as if he got choked up on the last couple of words and ended it putting the mic back on the stand.

In a lot of ways a surreal night and a very special one.

On a personal note, very special thanks to Megan2c2b for being my guide of sorts in my times of trouble around the end of the show.
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Detroit, May 9

Postby Neophyte » Sun May 10, 2009 9:29 pm

Agree with you about the lighting, Walsh75! Wasn't in Detroit but was enthralled with the way the light blazed with the words, "that's how the light gets in" in Minneapolis (probably in Montreal, too, but I wasn't as aware). And the golden glow during Hallelujah both places was wondrous!! Yes, the lighting, like everything else, was perfection!
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Detroit, May 9

Postby sue7 » Sun May 10, 2009 9:52 pm

I wasn't there, but just picked up a swooning review through Google alerts. It was written by Steve Byrne of the Detroit Free Press. Here's the link: ... at+the+Fox
and, as it wasn't a very long review, I pasted the text of the review:

"It’s been about 15 years since Leonard Cohen last undertook a U.S. tour, but penance -- and then some -- was paid on Saturday night as a sold-out crowd at the Fox Theatre was gifted with a highlight-after-highlight performance.

The Canadian poet and songwriter unveiled a litany of his most-beloved songs, from the outsider’s mission statement “Bird on the Wire,” to the probingly sensual “Boogie Street,” to the cynical lament “Everybody Knows.”

Including a short intermission, the show lasted well over three hours, the 74-year-old gaining depth of voice and energy as the evening progressed — even to the point of doing spritely little jigs on and off the stage during multiple encores.

He was complemented by nine-piece ensemble, including three heavenly voiced backup singers who fully utilized the Fox’s fine acoustics. The band was filled with crackerjack players who lithely stepped around Cohen’s toes rather than on them, their dexterity evident whether providing sublime accompaniment or when frequently stepping forward for quick and tasteful solos.

They were a perfect backdrop for Cohen’s ethereal baritone, which moves from a husky whisper to a more demanding, oaken instrument. It’s Cohen’s signature voice that is the ultimate draw in this sort of live setting, and at more times than could be counted Saturday, it caressed the theater into rapt silence, the violet vibe more reminiscent of a church service than a pop performance. To steal the title of Cohen’s perhaps best-known tune, “Hallelujah.”"
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Detroit, May 9

Postby gothowens » Sun May 10, 2009 11:38 pm

A recent reviewer somewhere commented that for a Zen monk Mr. Cohen's show did not have much "Be Here Now". The reviewer commented on the fact that the set list and the between song "patter" was essentially the same as one could find on "Live in London". Apparently that was viewed as evidence of not being in the moment. So, I think there is a substantial misunderstanding of being here now. Mr. Cohen and band delivered over three hours of music in Detroit last night. This tour has been going on for a long time and these players have played this music very many times. However, Mr. Cohen seemed deeply engaged and present for each note, each word, each solo. It was a once in a lifetime experience. So, I think Mr. Cohen, through his presence, his demeanor, his lyrics, his rapt attention to the solos of his band, his acknowledgment of the the audience and of his band and crew, his comment on the privilege of being able to gather in such a beautiful theater, when so much of the world lives in darkness and chaos ----with all that, Mr. Cohen quietly, gently, and powerfully schooled his audience on what it means to "be here now."
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Detroit, May 9

Postby Walsh75 » Sun May 10, 2009 11:48 pm

Yeah friends have told me that I was crazy for spending all that I have the last few years on concerts. "You can just stay home for free and listen to his live album".

With music, for me, it isn't the same. You have to be there. With sports, pro wrestling, etc. I can stay home for free and watch that stuff and not "wish" I was there in person.

Live albums are great but don't give you every moment and every song.

As far as the shot of Cohen the same songs. 14 or 15 years was the last time he toured live. As much as I love The Who and Elton John, they have been playing the same hits in their playlists for decades. Yet they still manage to pack people in while being way past their primes without these people complaining. And they have toured far more often than Mr. Cohen the last two decades.
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Detroit, May 9

Postby evewaldman » Mon May 11, 2009 12:33 am

Gothowens, what an elegant, articulate defense of LC's presence in the moment! Yes! I am among those who have been inspired by Mr. Cohen's example of humility and his powerful ability to "be here now." Thank you.

My best,
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Detroit, May 9

Postby mnkyface » Mon May 11, 2009 8:44 pm

To me, the between song "patter" is sooooo well crafted and perfected it rises to the level of poetry. After all, no one would in their right mind would complain about the recitation of 1000 Kisses ("Oh, he's doing the same schtick with that poem every night."). His humorous insights between songs are in the same league because EVERYTHING he says has meaning and is worthy of repetition and documentation.
"In this world of shallow, he is the abyss."~ YouTube commenter greg450318
Lyon, July 2008 / Oakland x2, April 2009 / San Jose, November 2009 / Oakland, December 2010 / San Jose, November 2012 / Oakland, March 2013
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Re: Why were we looking for "One-line praises" of the tour?

Postby donalagata » Mon May 11, 2009 9:56 pm

Detroit Concert....
Last edited by donalagata on Sun Aug 12, 2012 7:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Detroit, May 9

Postby allan1 » Mon May 11, 2009 10:24 pm

I feel priveledged for having seen Leonard at this venue. I was enthralled the whole show, and had wet eyes more often then not.

My impresssions having never seen him myself in person:
1) He was thoroughly enjoying himself, and seemed humbled by the audience. I was sitting in the 2nd row, and when I looked back it was an awesome spectacle. I can only imagine what it must have looked like from stage. The Fox is just a great hall for this type of concert.
2) I never have seen a performer share so much of the spotlight with the rest of his "band". Twice he introduced and bowed to each performer, once early and again late. it was special and really illustrated his humility. Even though he probably does it with every performance, he still made it very original and heartfelt. Countless times in between in small ways he would also express his awe at and for them.
3) I pray that I am so sharp when I turn his age. His voice was more powerful then I hoped for. It came through so much more then on the latest live album even.
4) As has been said, his final goodbye was a touch sad. I fear also he will not come through our town again, and he must realize this. What a farewell performance he gave us though. I can't imagine a better way to say goodbye.

When he started the show he told us he knew that times were very hard, but it was so special that we could come together and share this evening together with song in such a beautiful place. It was truly a magical night.
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Detroit, May 9

Postby ladydi » Wed May 13, 2009 7:30 pm

My comments are are a tad late and I simply cut and pasted them from an email I sent a friend. The remarks begin actually at the end of the evening so hope everyone can follow :D

"Left downtown Detroit at 105am on Sunday but I have no idea where I am. My friend Lisa went home the same time but with friends who live in the next block. So...I made a wrong turn but realized I was on Woodward which is one of the main streets. Figured I'd hit a cross street with a familiar name. When I did finally reach one I realized I was probably 20 miles from where I needed to be. Worked my way westbound, found another reconizable expressway, headed south and eventually ended up on the expressway I needed in the first place This should have been a 30 min drive home and it took me 1 hr and 20 mins. Don't think I EVER want to be alone in downtown Detroit by myself again! Oh yes, I had earlier in the day picked up Lizzy and we drove together to the Fox, but then Marie took her to her hotel as it was close to where she lives. Of course, Lizzy would have been a whole lot of help ;-)

Most of the evening was a comedy of errors. We made it to the Fox Grille about 15 mins late but they held our table. Met up with Jamie (the 19 yr old from England) and Stephen (also from England but working on his doctorate in Kentucky). Waiter took our order at 530pm. At 630pm we still had no dinner! Lizzy and I left because I had to pick up the will-call tickets, and she had to find Marie who had her ticket. No problem. I get my 2 tickets at will-call and enter the lobby. A Fox security person races over yelling "you have to get rid of that thing!". What thing? "That balloon...get it out of here". It's not going into the concert, it's so people can find me. "I don't care..either it goes or you go". Hmmm, welcome to Detroit. So there went my lime green balloon. :( Then I realized I had Lisa's ticket and she couldn't get in. Had to de-scan both tickets and I ran back to the restaurant with hers. Still no food. Return to Fox but now Lizzy is getting worried because no Marie in sight. I go back in the lobby to look for her. That's when I met up with Roscoe and Rafael Roscoe in his cowboy boots, black pants and jacket, black cap and his monkey t-shirt!

Someone came over to me and said I had upgraded tickets and to check with the desk. er, that would be the same person who took my balloon. I asked how they knew and they said they were looking for the woman who had the green balloon.....sigh. Back to desk. Yes, moved up! But we need both your original tickets. I'm now calling Lisa who has turned her phone off and leaving messages to get to the theatre quick! Lizzy is frantic in the outside lobby because no Marie and we're yelling back and forth in front of one of the ticket takers. I'm trying to call Marie but phone is off too and I'm leaving messages and paging her. I suggest to Lizzy to return to the box office and see if Marie left her ticket there. Well, of course, eventually it all came together. Lisa showed up, and Marie ran into Lizzy.....and I drank a wine! :D Oh yes, in the middle of all this Lizzy yelled that she needed my car keys because Lisa was going to put our pizzas in the trunk!

Very excited about the upgraded seats because they are in Row 2 of the pit. BUT....they were far off to the left. In fact you couldn't get any further to the left if you tried and we were smack in front of the speakers! However, the concert was as perfect as always and we didn't even mind being blown away by the bass and treble.

I was amazed at the audience. Was this Detroit? They were incredible. Even Marie said the 2 shows in Chicago were quiet by comparison. It was like everyone was at a hockey game! Applause deafening! At least 10 standing ovations and then the lights would play over the audience and to turn and see 3000 (?) people all standing, clapping, waving their arms and shouting brought a shiver down my spine. Leonard, and everyone on stage, seemed to feed off the audience and it was like everything kicked up a notch or two. What energy!"

Final thoughts...Leonard seems to be getting younger all the time! Where does he get the energy? I would love to know. I still cry during "A Thousand Kisses Deep" and get misty-eyed during "Whither Thou Goest" and his touching benediction. I feel like everyone on stage is becoming "family". And I think I need rehab because I've gone from the Forum to Flickr to Twitter to Facebook. But not my fault...I blame Dino and Joey ;-)

Also it was wonderful to touch bases with so many fans and friends! Marie, Lizzy and Ken I've know for awhile. But SO meaningful to meet up with Jamie, Stephen, Walsh, beautiful Cara, and Bill and his wife!

All the best,
Diana (come on Red Rocks!)
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Detroit, May 9

Postby allan1 » Thu May 14, 2009 12:04 am

Well I was close to Lizzie after all. I was seated in Row 2 of the main floor towards to left end. I hope you weren't stuck behind the gal I noticed over toward that end in the pit who was standing and dancing most of the night.

Wait a minute, maybe that was you!

The Fox capacity if 5000, and you are right, Detroit knows how to throw a party. Sorry you're evening had a bad start. It was a special evening for me, so I rented a Limo for our group. If Lizzie hadn't turned me down for dinner then you could have joined us! There was room to spare.

Next time maybe.
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Detroit, May 9

Postby ladydi » Thu May 14, 2009 12:36 am

Hi Allan,

Anything that may have gone awry was worth every moment of hearing Leonard! Actually Lizzy was sort of in the center at about Row H or so. Lisa and I were over by the dancer! ;-) It's fun to see someone express themselves, but I guess not if you're sitting behind them! Better at an outdoor concert where everyone is standing!

Good idea with the limo. If I EVER go to downtown Detroit by myself again at night, I'll hire one just for me...or take a cab! I have a great sense of direction everywhere else in the world BUT Detroit! Go figure...

Hope to meet you at some other concert!

All the best,
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Detroit, May 9

Postby MusicCityGypsy » Thu May 14, 2009 5:49 am

Just returned back down south. Hope to share my feelings (and very few photographs) of my magical evening with l. Cohen and the talented musicians that performed at the fox on may 9th. This show was life changing I need a day to just put it into words and share.

Cara (sorry if misspellings writing from iPod!)
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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Detroit, May 9

Postby lizzytysh » Thu May 14, 2009 6:28 am

Oh Dear! I've only just gotten here and through this thread just NOW. I don't have time to write anything beyond how habituated I've become to seeing Leonard and the group perform and how desolate it is going to feel after Red Rocks. I got such a strong STRONG feeling of this not just being my new normal, but something I need to thrive. This time, I actually fully appreciated how pure is the sound of the voices of the Webb Sisters as they come together in perfect harmony. I continue to feel the poignancy of watching Leonard, more with each performance, and like you, Diana, I cannot listen to A Thousand Kisses Deep without crying. Leonard. With such great care and subtlety, he lifts every layer and nuance of meaning from every word and lyric. There is no one, and I mean no one, who can bring Leonard's words to life and put them to rest in the ways he can. He's a master of the spoken word. I only long more and deeper for him to record himself reading or reciting his own poetry. Going beyond even what is already recorded with his Book of Longing, simply as much as possible. The impact on his audiences is felt when he does 1000 Kisses. The auditorium fills hushed and full with the feeling and there is no describing it. I've never felt such deep satisfaction from anyone's singing and performance... ever. Repeatedly, I felt throughout the concert, as I have before, how grateful I am to be alive and to be a witness to the words and voice and being of Leonard Cohen. Thank you, G~d, for this privilege.

Diana ~ Before I quit here, as I must within minutes... I feel terrible reading this. Whatever made us think that the night should make such a dramatic shift of dynamic, heaven only knows... because it didn't... OUTSIDE of the theatre, that is. As I'd said I was going to do, I returned to ask Marie about having you follow us out. She immediately agreed and I guess I should have waved to you accordingly, but instead we quickly turned to go get her car. That did not take so long, at all... however, we couldn't seem to get out of the parking garage... and that did take so long! We were going up and down and I finally just burst out laughing when I saw that our two alternatives at one of the levels inside the garage were [to the left] "No Left Turn" and [to the right] "Exit" [except it was going Up and the street was below :shock: ]. It was Twilight Zone all the way and it still took us awhile to get out and it seemed that suddenly we were a couple blocks away! After a number of turns, we came upon the place where I'd left you... and there was your now-empty parking space... and some guy standing in the middle of the street trying to direct us into it, as though we'd slowed down to park. Ey yi yi. Did she think we'd just gone on without her!?! She could she possibly have thought that!?! We wondered what to do, how long you'd been gone, if you might call, and all that... but nothing came clear, and we finally decided we might as well go on, as you clearly had... but now, reading your own account, how I wish I'd signaled or yelled to you that we'd be right back ... even if "right back" wouldn't have actually ended up that way. I'm so sorry that you got lost! Maria didn't have your phone number, as when you'd called her, you didn't leave it, so we just had nothing to do but to go on. [Oh, and actually, I was in Row S ;-) on the aisle... intently watching and listening.]

Hi Allan ~ Oh, no, it wasn't me dancing :lol: ... and I sincerely wish we could have met. Refused your dinner invitation?? :lol: Really :lol: ? Well, next time, we won't! Of that you can be sure ;-) ! I was so happy to finally meet Walsh, who couldn't stay as long as we all would have liked... and to meet and talk at least a little with Stephen and Jamie and to meet up again with Ken[adian] 8) ! The theme of this past weekend was, in so many ways, easily "Time"... which reminds me, I never got to meet you, Cara [seeing your posting, when I went to post mine]. Saw your beautiful photo, though 8) .

~ Lizzy
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde

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