Live in Dublin Redux
We decided to view Live in Dublin a few evenings ago. I read my original review beforehand and gave it to Joann to read. When she did, her first comment was, "you didn't send this yet, did you, I found some errors?" (Joann used to work as a copy editor, so fortunately her errors were confined to spelling and grammar rather than content--not that the content did not warrant criticism.)
My initial review covered the songs one-by-one, that is not something to be re-done here. Instead I am just going to relate some general thoughts and impressions that crept into my brain as I watched and listened.
"The Future" jarred me as I listened to the words, and I thought about its relevance when it was written (early 1990s) and today. Cohen could always paint vivid images with his words, and the images one gets from lyrics like these are terrifying: "no one left to torture...absolute control...slide in all directions...noting you can measure anymore...overturned the order of the soul...it ain't going any further..it is murder"! "The Future" was written at a time when, for the first time in a long time, good seemed to be defeating evil; communism, at least the Russian variety, was in decline, technology was starting to benefit the masses, and swords were being beaten into plowshares (quite literally--the US defense budget was slashed to provide what was termed a "peace dividend.") Yet this is when Cohen threw all those scary lyrics out to us. He was right, of course, but how could he know then just how bad things might become 20 to 30 years hence? Now, in 2019, those same scary lyrics seem more like a news report than a dire prediction. I surmise that it does not necessarily matter whether (to quote from "Democracy") you are left or right, both sides can find ways to use the frightening lyrics as justification for their own views and causes.
When "Bird on the Wire" played, I told Joann (what I hope was) the genesis of the song, seeing the birds quickly acclimate to the first electric lines on Hydra and using them for perches as only birds can do. Hope the birds are still there in June.
About midway through the first set I began to pay attention to Neil Larsen. Because of his position on stage (and maybe his nature) he does not usually stand out. After concentrating on him awhile, I started to really appreciate his contributions--some pronounced and some subtle. His solo on "The Darkness" reminded me of Ray Manzarek of the Doors; Manzarek was hardly the virtuoso that Larsen is, but he did manage to turn a seven-year stint with the Doors into a lifetime career.
If one is into extreme self-deprecation, "Lover Lover Lover" offers the ultimate self-loathing line: "the one (name) I'm using now it's covered up with fear and filth and cowardice and shame." Talk about being hard on oneself.
Now, after having been depressed by "The Future," "Anthem" is saying there's still hope. Both songs appeared on the same album, which may (but not necessarily) mean they were written around the same time. I wonder which was written first. Maybe "Anthem" was meant as a continuation of "The Future," yeah it will be murder, but we can still try to make good triumph over evil. "Anthem" on the album "The Future" plays the role of "You Got Me Singing" on "Popular Problems."
I began to nod off occasionally as the second set began, so have nothing worthwhile to add. According to Google this DVD was recorded at the September 12, 2013 concert at O2 Arena in Dublin. The concert began at 7:40 pm and ended at 11:20 pm, so Cohen and the band played thirty songs over about 3 hours and 20 minutes (allowing for a 20-minute break). There is no explanation for the length of this, and of all the concerts after he went back on the road, other than that Leonard and the band wanted to--for themselves, for the audiences, or both. What gifts those concerts were (sorry you were late to the game Vickie).
2010 DECEMBER 10 - CAESARS COLOSSEUM, LAS VEGAS / 2012 SEPTEMBER 28 - L'OLYMPIA, PARIS
2012 OCTOBER 3 - PALAU SANT JORDI, BARCELONA / 2012 DECEMBER 13 - K-ROCK CENTRE, KINGSTON
2013 APRIL 6 - RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL, NEW YORK CITY / 2013 JULY 9 - PIAZZA NAPOLEONE, LUCCA
2017 NOVEMBER 4-8 - MONTREAL "TOWER OF SONG" CELEBRATION - RIP, YOU GOT ME SINGING!