It's been a few good hours since I got back from the concert and I am still overwhelmed with emotions..
Imagine a breezy end of summer/beginning of autumn evening and a soccer stadium filled with 48,000 people who’ve been anticipating this concert for a very long time. Imagine the famous Israeli warm hospitality welcoming Leonard and the band to the stage- the great warmth, sing-along, repeated hands clapping and numerous standing ovations. Imagine this concert, the Cohen lyrics, taking place in Israel during this special time of the Jewish High Holidays. Imagine the theme of this concert that’s so unique and rare and you got yourself a potion of pure magic. This is what we had tonight – pure magic.
A few minutes into “Dance Me to the End of Love”, people found the sticklights that were put on their seats and tens of thousands of green lights were sparkling from one end of the stadium to another, creating one of a kind scenery that lasted till the very end of the concert. I was fortunate to sit in the front, and kept on turning sideways and backwards to take it all in. The sight was so magical and unique, I kept on thinking how amazing it must look from the stage.
After “Waiting for the Miracle” , Leonard spoke about the ‘Parents’ Circle -Families Forum group’ (http://www.theparentscircle.com
), about the Israeli & Palestinian parents who lost their children in the course of the conflict, and through all the agony, had found it in their hearts, to reach out a hand to their enemies, in a "holy holy holy response to human suffering" and "God willing" it could mark the beginning of a process toward peace. It takes a lot of courage to take the road not taken. The parents took it, Leonard took it, showing he isn’t just a great artist, but an exceptional human being, larger than life yet so so humble.
‘Anthem’ followed and the lyrics “Ring the bells that still can ring, Forget your perfect offering, There is a crack in everything, That's how the light gets in” received a very special meaning, moreover when the stage was flushed with golden hues.
The last thing one can say about Ramat-Gan stadium is that it’s intimate and yet it was that moment that I’ve realized that Leonard Cohen and the amazing band are probably the only ones who can make 50000 people feel they’re in an intimate forum.
Oh the band, just amazing - Each and every one with their soul-filled solos, and all of its members together. Sharon Robinson, the Webb Sisters, Roscoe Beck, Neil Larsen, Bob Metzger, Javier Mas, Rafael Gayol and Dino Soldo – you all deserve being mentioned personally.
Hallelujah was a climax of the concert: a ~50,0000 people choir, when literally everyone sang along. I’m replaying in my head this roar of Hallelujah only to have the goose bumps reappear.. I’m Your Man and Take this Waltz that followed, were just the same.
So long Marianne & First We Take Manhattan developed into a standing choir. The entire crowd, on their feet, singing and clapping and waving those precious green lights. And not only that Leonard thanked us all, you could see how magnificent the sight looked from the reflections on the band members’ faces.
This was for sure one of my best moments ever. totally unforgettable. I feel privileged to have attended this concert..
Thank you Robert Kory, Rob Hallett from AEG Live and our own Jarkko for making it happen – it’s so very much appreciated.
A worthy conclusion would be repeating Leonard’s quote of 'Blessing of the Priests' (Birkat Kohanim) with which he closed the concert and wish you all a very happy and blessed year:
May God bless you and guard you.
May God make God’s face shine upon you and grant grace to you.
May God lift up God’s face to you and give you peace
• Dance Me To The End Of Love
• The Future
• Ain't No Cure For Love
• Bird On The Wire
• Everybody Knows
• In My Secret Life
• Who By Fire
• Chelsea Hotel #2
• Waiting for The Miracle
• Tower of Song
• Sisters of Mercy
• The Gypsy’s Wife
• The Partisan
• Boogie Street
• I'm Your Man
• Take This Waltz
• So Long, Marianne
• First We Take Manhattan
• Famous Blue Raincoat
• If It Be Your Will
• Closing Time
• I Tried To Leave You
• Hey, That’s no Way to Say Goodbye
• Whither Thou Goest