CONCERT REPORT: Nashville, November 5

October 17 - November 13, 2009. Concert reports, set lists, photos, media coverage, multimedia links, recollections...
User avatar
Posts: 459
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2008 4:09 am
Location: Manchester

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Nashville, November 5

Postby sirius » Sat Nov 14, 2009 4:41 am

Inner Dialogues with a Zen Musician

Leonard Cohen transforms audiences at the 02 Arena in London in 2008 and in Nashville in 2009

November 13, 3:24 AM
British Pop Culture Examiner

Donna Peerce ... le-in-2009#

Inner Dialogues with a Zen Musician

…sing the wandering soul back home.

~ Caitlin Matthews

We tend to think of the evolution of consciousness in terms of vertical metaphors. Over the long course of history, consciousness seems to strive upward toward an embrace of ever more refined and subtle heights. This comes to mind when watching Leonard Cohen perform. His singing, his words, are often expressed like a sermon. He has pushed the boundary of his own reality and found his center of primal power – his own evolutionary consciousness in his music.

Embarking on his first tour in 15 years, Leonard Cohen, age 73, took the stage at the famed 02 Arena in London, England in 2008. Then, on November 5th, in Nashville, Tennessee, Leonard Cohen took the stage at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s Jackson Hall. Singer, poet, writer, lover, novelist, thinker. Spiritual scientist. That this was a breathtaking, sacred event goes beyond saying. I sat with the hundreds of other music lovers as we watched history unfold. Dressed in a pin-striped suit and rakishly tilted fedora, Cohen looked ice cool. He and his band gave the appearance of a thirties era group of gangsters, their iconic appearance matched in panache by a set in which it was clear Cohen meant every word of his poetic and mystical lyrics.

As we sing our physical bodies into finer attunement, the people living on earth and the living earth itself will find a greater peace.

Spending an evening with Leonard Cohen was transforming. Did I reach a higher state of consciousness? I marched through the night and moved across the borders of my secret life…I walked on stars, I danced on the moon. I stepped into a moment in time that has no beginning and no end – and heard an inner dialogue with a Zen musician. In his solemn, haunting songs, I glimpsed the connection to higher states of consciousness and to an understanding of life that is what we all hope to attain one day.

It’s not possible to separate the desire to experience higher states from the desire to meet and connect with other people at a deeper level. When people begin to awaken spiritually, often they are drawn to form new relationships because they want to connect in the context of something deeper that maybe they weren’t aware of or connected to before.

Cohen’s singing was hungry. He unraveled great mysteries and stumbled on answers in the universe. He sings of missing his love and making love in his secret life, and how he’s always alone and his heart is like ice. But, reading between the lines, one hears the inner dialogue.

Human beings, even according to the spiritual traditions, have at least two components to them: one is absolute and one is relative. We intuit both. Human beings seek wholeness on the physical level because they intuit that they are infinite and eternal in a spiritual or absolute sense, but they apply it to a relative plane. When one’s own self evolves, depends, becomes more whole, then one naturally begins to seek for that same depth and wholeness in one’s relationship with others.

“There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in,” sings Cohen.

When we are closed – and we are closed or blocked when we have belief systems that hamper the flow – we will not be able to see the light. Can we see the light? Can we feel it? It opens us to those “beyond” experiences – the energy centers or “chakras” – and we begin to see with more clarity and balance. Sound is powerful and the human being is essentially sound, vibrations, and melody.

“I ache in the places where I used to play.”

Music runs through every cell of my body. This, I know: Songs are thoughts, sung with the breath when people are moved by great forces and ordinary speech no longer suffices.

“Dance me to the end of love….”

As we begin to awaken to higher states of consciousness, as we begin to see our own presence here in this unfolding presence in a larger context, and especially as we awaken spiritually, there is an unfolding process to…more. There is an unfolding of ourselves so we can dance…

I drifted back and forth from my inner dialogues to Cohen on stage. I danced, I flew, I loved . . . I know Cohen is 73 years old, but he didn’t seem to be 73 years old. Born on September 21, 1934 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Cohen seemed like a young 20-something full of energy, an acceptance of his life, and unbelievable hope. And in other ways, he seemed to be centuries old – timeless. He was young and carefree at heart – skipping on and offstage, teasing with the audience and hinting at the pleasure he generated from an adoring crowd. Cohen acknowledged his absence from the touring circuit with his usual charm and a humorous eloquence: “It’s been a long time,” he admitted, following this with a wry, “Fifteen years, I was just a kid with a crazy dream.” Cohen was backed by a slick adult contemporary band. The juxtaposition of his age-old wisdom and this energizing contemporary band was wonderful.

When we are clear about who we are and what we are doing, the energy flows freely and we experience no strain.

There is a self-awareness and gentle humor inflected in Cohen’s every gesture with a disarming humility and grace, which was evident in the generous relationship he shared with his band. He paused at one point to thank us for coming to see him, reminding us that so much of the world is now plunged into chaos and darkness – that an evening of music is a joy. He introduced the song “Chelsea Hotel No. 2” by telling a story of riding in the elevator and asking a woman (presumably Janis Joplin) if she was looking for someone and she said, “Kris Kristofferson.” “You’re in luck,” he told her. Then, he proceeded with a chilling “Everybody Knows” and “Who By Fire” – complete with a “beyond this world” solo Spanish guitar intro.

Cohen also sang “Suzanne” and “Sisters of Mercy” – both transcendent – both sending me back to dance on the moon. He played a new song, a haunting song called “Darkness,” and the soul wrenching “Hallelujah” which crawled up my bones and down my spine. It took me into haunted ancient memories where I roamed atop mountains in Spain and on frothy beaches in the South of France.

I am brought back to the music again and again. . . For over four decades, Leonard Cohen has been one of the most important and influential songwriters of our time, a figure whose body of work achieves greater depths of mystery and meaning as time goes on. No one has ever matched his seriousness and range in sex, spirituality, religion and power – always relentlessly examining the largest issues of humankind. In London, he wowed his audience and the result was a DVD and 2-disc CD called Live In London, which is available on

Leonard Cohen stands among the highest and most influential echelon of songwriters of all time. He remains one of the most fascinating artists of our times. And each night, I stand by my window, looking out at the stars and moon, and I remember his words, I hear his songs, I feel his spirit, his energy. And I am changed forever.

Music touches our innermost being and in that way produces new life, a life that gives exaltation to the whole being, raising it to that perfection in which lies the fulfillment of man’s life.

~ Hazrat Inayat Khan

"Live in London" DVD and 2-CD set, available on
We are so small between the stars, so large against the sky
User avatar
Posts: 4110
Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 2:50 pm
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Nashville, November 5

Postby sturgess66 » Mon Nov 23, 2009 5:56 am

Here is a very short - but cute - video from "alkmert" on YouTube -

Leonard Cohen, Nashville - Fancy Footwork ("I'm Your Man")
User avatar
Posts: 401
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 10:11 pm
Location: Magnolia, Texas USA (ex UK)

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Nashville, November 5

Postby joyezekiel » Mon Nov 23, 2009 7:10 am

Nice! I remember that little dance :lol:
1976 Leicester 2008 London O2/Cardiff 2009 NYC/Austin/Weybridge/Nashville 2010 Ghent x 2/Las Vegas x 2 2012 Ghent x 2/Austin/Montreal/Quebec City/Boston x 2 2013 Memphis/New Orleans/Winnipeg/Birmingham/London O2/Amsterdam/Auckland
User avatar
Posts: 2068
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 8:49 pm
Location: Los Angeles - ex Toronto

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Nashville, November 5

Postby bridger15 » Thu Nov 26, 2009 7:55 am

I just found this audio link on Mod Marie's, Speaking Cohen website. It is the patter that LC gave exclusively at the Nashville concert about the years he lived in Tennessee. Included in his description of his life during that time, he talks about having a Winchester rifle and his elusive horse that he was never able to catch.
This is priceless!

It was recorded by Linda Straub. ... hville.mp3

2009-San Diego|Los Ang|Nashville|St Louis|Kansas City|LVegas|San Jose
2012-Austinx2|Denver|Los Ang|Seattle|Portland

Arlene's Leonard Cohen Scrapbook

Return to “The Fall 2009 Tour in USA”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest