Re: CONCERT REPORTS: Dublin, July 19, 20, 22, 23
Posted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 6:40 pm
Here's a link to Whither thou goest on Monday night, Dublin
JudasPriest wrote: It's been a great few months for irish gig goers to have the likes of Bob, Neil Young, Bruce and Leonard all performing in the capital. Just who is going to replace these icons?? Nobody is coming through the ranks as far as I can see to carry on the torch. It's all very worrying....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njQaFhTp ... r_embeddedLeonard Cohen at the O2Posted in July 23rd, 2009 by James in UncategorizedWent to see Leonard Cohen last night in the O2. It was my first time in the O2 - I have been to the Point Theatre a number of times before they put the shed-part on top and renamed it the O2.
Before, I get in to the review of the Cohen concert, I had this premonition once that soon the world would be taken over by Google. O’Connell street bridge in Dublin would be renamed Google Bridge and all along the sides would be LCD screens flashing personalised ads at you, depending on what products or services Google felt you needed - if you were on a bike you would see ads about puncture repair shops and doctors surgeries, if you were on a bus, you would see ads about cheap cars; if you were in a cheap car, you would see ads for cheap haircuts and tracksuits and if you were in an expensive car you would see ads for enlarging your penis.
But I digress.
First of all, the O2 is one of the ugliest buildings in Dublin, consisting in part of the beautiful Point Theatre and in part of an aeroplane hangar that some architect clearly told the Emperor who has the cash was a beautiful new outfit for the building. However, small children can see that it looks like crap.
Inside, the building is much nicer. Definitely much nicer than the point was. The bars are nice, the jam-packed restroom facilities are much nicer and the amphitheatre and its sound is definitely much nicer. However, some of the angled walls are clearly a tribute to the same architect who was given far too much freedom to make the place impractical for large crowds, with lots of corridors leading to small bottleneck junctions etc.
Anyway, to the concert.
The stage was very simple, with some floor-to-ceiling curtains reflecting the lighting. Other than that, there were the instruments and the band.
The band came on first and then Cohen skipped onto the stage (seriously, he skipped onto the stage), where he held court for almost three hours. The band were very tight - arrangments were so well worked out that I have no doubt that any one member of the band could have played their part for the entire concert in a sound-proof room cut off from the others. I guess they have been touring for quite a while now, by for sure they didn’t miss a beat for the entire night.
Cohen sang magnificently and he, like his band, didn’t miss a beat. He started a little cold, his voice took a couple of songs to warm up and for him to get into the swing of things, but when he got going he really had the crowd in the palm of his hand.
We heard all the old classics and Cohen made no attempt to do a Van Morrisson and only play what he wanted to play. We heard everything we went to hear - Suzanne, Dance me to the end of love, ‘Aint no cure for love, First we take Manhattan, Hallelujah and so on - I didn’t write them down.
However, two songs deserve mention. The first is the song Marianne. The crowd that were at the concert last night were overwhelmingly of the “parents of grown-up kids” variety. Indeed, many of the people in the audience were of pensionable age. This meant that for the song Marianne, some of the crowd started to sway in a way that you might expect if you were in the audience of a cruise ship cabaret. Cohen clearly noted this and when it started he had a little laugh at it.
The second song that I felt that deserved mention was “Famous Blue Raincoat”. This - for me - was the best song of the night. He sang it perfectly, the audience were transfixed, he was clearly in the mood for singing it and he gave it everything. I don’t think I was on my own in thinking that he had done a perfect job on that song, because it got the biggest cheer of the evening.
Cohen’s voice is as steady and as strong as ever. He hit every note and although, of course, he has a very different and less energetic show that Britney Spears (or so I am told), there was plenty of energy coming off the stage. I know I already said his band were excellent, but it is worth saying twice. Cohen introduced each band member to the audience twice, so clearly Cohen thinks they are good too.
I’ll hardly see him again, he is 74 now and will be 75 in September. However, it was really a great concert and when he finally skipped off the stage after three hours of performing, I felt that I had seen something pretty special.