CONCERT REPORTS: Bruxelles, October 19 and 20

September 21 - November 30, 2008. Concert reports, set lists, photos, media coverage, multimedia links, recollections...
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CONCERT REPORTS: Bruxelles, October 19 and 20

Postby jarkko » Mon Oct 20, 2008 12:13 pm

I'm opening this thread to get a link for The Files. Here is a copy of the setlist posted by Maarten in the other thread,

Vorst Nationaal, Brussels, Belgium - Oct 19, 2008

First Set

• 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
• Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye
• Sisters Of Mercy
• Heart With No Companion
• Anthem

Second Set

• Tower Of Song
• Avalanche
• Suzanne
• The Gypsy’s Wife
• The Partisan
• Boogie Street
• Hallelujah
• Democracy
• I'm Your Man
• Take This Waltz

First Encores

• So Long, Marianne
• First We Take Manhattan

Second Encores

• Famous Blue Raincoat
• If It Be Your Will
• Closing Time

Final Encores

• I Tried To Leave You
• Whither Thou Goest (tutti a cappella)
1988, 1993: Helsinki||2008: Manchester|Oslo|London O2|Berlin|Helsinki|London RAH|| 2009: New York Beacon|Berlin|Venice|Barcelona|Las Vegas|San José||2010: Salzburg|Helsinki|Gent|Bratislava|Las Vegas|| 2012: Gent|Helsinki|Verona|| 2013: New York|Pula|Oslo|||
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Re: Bruxelles, October 19 & 20

Postby aficionado » Mon Oct 20, 2008 12:34 pm

Thank you Jarkko,

I am overwhelmed by emotions and want to thank you Leonard, you the ladies, the musicians and the crew. Has Leonard found the elixir of youth ? A concert of 3 hours + is the kind of performance that the young generation should consider, isnt it ? In addition he runs on stage, dance and jumps out of the light to come back running again ! and again. But much more than this : an immense talent and sincerity.

I just would add a message to all of you who have the opportunity to attend one of his next performances : Run, get your tickets, it's the best investment available, Can not be lost at the stock exchange.

For those who read French : ... ard-cohen/

By the way I read on another thread a question about the French lyrics of The Partisan.
Leonard added at the end of a verse : vous savez, 'effacer mon passage' which does not appear on the record. This song ended in a long lasting standing ovation yesterday.

A long awaited concert but at long last Leonard. Thank you and god bless you too Leonard.
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Re: Bruxelles, October 19 & 20

Postby Nessus Jr » Mon Oct 20, 2008 11:27 pm

... someone just called me and I heard the Partisan ... live ... am overwhelmed ...
2008 Amsterdam
2012 Ghent
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Re: Bruxelles, October 19 & 20

Postby aficionado » Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:18 am

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Re: Bruxelles, October 19 & 20

Postby Wybe » Tue Oct 21, 2008 11:58 am

A link to a newspaper in Dutch; ... overzicht#

No dust on Leonard Cohen,
Three hours long Leonard Cohen gave the best of his old self in a completely filled Vorst Nationaal.

2008 -- Brugge, Amsterdam, London, Berlin, Helsinki, Oberhausen, Rotterdam -- 2008
2009 -- Antwerpen, Venice, Barcelona .-- 2009
2010 -- 2 x Gent, Lille, 2x Las Vegas, -- 2010
2012 -- Gent, 2 x Amsterdam, Dublin, Verona -- 2012
2013 -- Pula, Rotterdam -- 2013 -- +++ +++ --
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Bruxelles, October 19

Postby Silkku » Tue Oct 21, 2008 1:35 pm

Dear Jarkko,

Kiitos paljon, että hoitat ne Web-sivuja...

On Sunday evening, I attended Leonard Cohen's magistral concert in Brussels. From the very first song, he invited us to dance with him till the end of love. He brought us through his all repertoire; the time was still and his 'golden voice' completely filled the space.

Amongst the most beautiful moments, there was the poetry (extracts from the songs) he recited before singing.

'Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.'
(from 'Anthem')

If it be your will
That I speak no more
And my voice be still
As it was before
I will speak no more
I shall abide until
I am spoken for
If it be your will
(from 'If it be your will')

The mandoline solo, with a small ray of white light cast upon the musician, before "Who by Fire" was superb. A red carpet for this religious song.

The end of the concert was intimate, with a cabaret feeling since there were some jazzy improvisations. 'If it be your will' sung by the three-woman choir stood out since it was particularly soft and high-pitched. It gave the feeling of a lullaby, which quickly disappeared with the boisterous 'Closing time'.

So, I would like to say a big Thank You to Leonard Cohen and his team. Not only we heard magnificent music, which woke up a whole palette of emotions, but we also were in the presence of an artist, a human being, committed to excellence.

Another useful hyperlink (French): ... cohen.html
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Re: Bruxelles, October 19 & 20

Postby ines » Tue Oct 21, 2008 4:41 pm

Can somebody help me?
I only want say 'thank you' to mr. Cohen.
Not only for the Unified Heart I witnessed in Lisboa last summer and in Brussels last night.
But also for his complete oeuvre that often helped me to deal with life.
And, no doubt, will continu to do so.
Ines Buysse (Ghent, Belgium)
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Re: Bruxelles, October 19 & 20

Postby ika » Tue Oct 21, 2008 4:51 pm

Just returned from Brussels... How to find words to describe it?! Once again - a miracle – to sit there, to listen, to watch Mr. Leonard Cohen and his crew, to feel and vibrate at each song... To see thousands of people admiring the Maestro. An emotional feast for the soul!

Thank you Mr. Cohen for this memorable night! It was the best present that I could have wished for my birthday. THANK YOU!
Bucharest Sep 21st, Vienna Sep 24th, Brussels Oct 20th, London O2 Nov 14th, London RAH Nov 17th
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Re: Bruxelles, October 19 & 20

Postby Nicolas » Tue Oct 21, 2008 5:31 pm

To aficionado:
I once wondered too about the reason why the lyrics of the Partisan changed from year to year (live performances have been different over the years), and posted a topic here:
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=7562&p=73890&hilit= ... ics#p73890

What a performance! The emotions were so intense, I just couldn't hold my tears...
Would this be his very last World tour? I really hope not.

Myself beeing 28, never thought I could one day fulfill my dream of seeing him live,
my biggest dream came through and his performance overcame my expectations...

It was just the best present of my life.
I told you when I came I was a stranger...
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Re: Bruxelles, October 19 & 20

Postby racerbear02 » Tue Oct 21, 2008 7:32 pm

I just returned from the Brussels 20th October concert and it was very interesting to contrast it with the two earlier concerts that I saw and enjoyed in the first part of the tour.

The two previous concerts at Dublin and Bruges were both outdoor so there was a very obvious difference in the atmosphere at the Vorst Nationaal venue, Bruges in particular having very a very much more ‘familiar’ feel to it. The venue was packed for the second of 2 nights and an excellent feature was that there was none of the late arrivals pushing in front of people during early songs, the venue staff making late comers wait until a break in the music before seating them, an considerate policy that all concerts would do well to adopt.

There was no ‘warm up ‘ artist present, after the horrors of Bruges, this was a welcome relief indeed !. Cohen came on stage to rapturous applause as was only to be expected.

The, sometimes criticised, frequent acknowledgement of the band members by Cohen after featured solo performances was gone, replaced by two dedicated spots where all were individually recognised, one in each part of the programme, and also a quick individual thank you to each artist at the end, while the original format had not upset me, this later one I feel to be better.

The set list was changed as well as you would expect, this tour is evolving as it progresses and the songs presented last night offered, I feel, a better balance of Cohen’s work, as well as obviously including his more popular songs. Gone was the poetry reading from Dublin of ‘A thousand kisses deep’, a bit of a shame as that was a lovely counterpoint to the songs, the spoken introduction to the Webb sisters rendition of ‘If it be your will’ was excellent as was the song yet again!! those two girls really have lifted this song to another level for me, their haunting harmonies during this emotive poem really hit a chord with me. I was not the only one wiping tears from his eyes at the end of the song.

I got the impression that the songs had been ‘toned down’ somehow, this is a difficult thing to specify and to pin down and explain what I mean, it could indeed just be the difference between a concert hall and an outdoor venue but there were renditions which lacked the vibrancy of earlier performances, ‘Democracy’ was one that did just not hit the same high as before, the most disappointing for me however was ‘Hallelujah’, this song is one of my all time favourites but after last nights version I did not feel the elation that I normally have afterwards, it was as though each of the choruses were building up to a crescendo which just never arrived, they reached a high plateau, but not the actual summit. At first I wondered if it was a deliberate plan to scale up to a really stunning final chorus, but sadly even that fell short of its normal vibrant triumphalism, strange and very sad.

However the rendition of ‘The Partisan’ was absolutely stunning, by far and away the best I have ever heard, it was everything that last night’s ‘Hallelujah’ was not. The arrangement was truly excellent and particularly emotive in a French speaking country ( well some parts of it anyway ) which was battered by wars in the last century. A real tour de force for Cohen and all the other artists. If there is going to be a DVD of this tour, then this just has to be included.

How on earth can a 74 year old man do a 3+ hour set and still have the energy to skip and dance on and off stage? I don’t know the answer to that, I am however just glad that he can.

Thank you once again to all concerned, I am looking forward to Paris. Perhaps by then the merchandising team can have organised some fat b***artd size tee shirts :lol:
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Re: Bruxelles, October 19 & 20

Postby Maarten » Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:32 pm

I've got some questions:

One: Who's the girl standing next to Dino Soldo during "Whither Thou Goest" on Oct. 19?
P1070101bis.jpg (44.73 KiB) Viewed 11137 times
Two: Why hasn't anyone told me yet that Leonard is using a different Godin guitar (not the pearl black one any more) than the one he used during the summer leg?
P1060871bis.jpg (44.99 KiB) Viewed 11121 times


One: Dino Soldo decorated his microphone with the "thing" ;-) Laura asked about and wore the Unified Hearts ring.
P1070038bis.jpg (43.57 KiB) Viewed 11097 times
Two: I shot some movies with my photocamera and I'm uploading them right now on MegaUpload. This will take another 6 hours, because the movies are 1.2GB in total. I filmed Avalanche, Bird On The Wire (with the new lines), Famous Blue Raincoat and The Partisan. I'll post the links here later if someone wants to download them...

Three: Leonard addressed the band members by their first names after they played their solos at the end (Thank you Dino... Thank you Roscoe... etc.) which was very nice.

Four: The first concert (Oct. 19) was the longest of this tour so far with 27 songs and "Whither Thou Goest", equalizing the Montreal June 23 concert. But in Montreal he "only" played 26 songs, because it included the recitation of "A Thousand Kisses Deep" and "Whither Thou Goest"... So the winner is... Brussels!

That's it for now...
Maarten (writing this from a cloud close to heaven)

By the way: setlists can be found in the setlist thread...

2008 Manchester | Bruges | Amsterdam | London | 2x Brussels | Rotterdam |2x London
2009 New York | Cologne | Antwerp | Venice | Colmar | Barcelona | Las Vegas | San José
2010 Salzburg | 2x Sligo | Helsinki | 3x Ghent | Lille | 2x Las Vegas
2012 5x Ghent | 2x A'dam | Helsinki | Dublin | Verona | 3x Paris | Lisboa
2013 Paris | Antwerp | Oberhausen | Brussels | Pula | Rotterdam | Amsterdam | 2x Wellington | Auckland
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Re: Bruxelles, October 19 & 20

Postby Shake » Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:58 pm

Here are some pics from Brussels (20th October): ... 5154%40N00
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Re: Bruxelles, October 19 & 20

Postby ayllina » Wed Oct 22, 2008 1:39 am

Good evening,

Lot's of you are so kind to post links ( youtube) photographs etc. but is there anyone who can provide me an entire (good) copy CD/DVD of the concert of October 19th in Brussels ?
It woud be for my own personal use, not to be copied or distributed, or shown to anyone else and stay with me here in my home just to play it again and again now and then.
Would that be possible ? For anyone ?

I which you pleasant days and long nights.
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Re: Bruxelles, October 19 & 20

Postby lionel » Wed Oct 22, 2008 10:49 am

Hi everybody,
I attended the Sunday show in Brussels. It was my first Leonard Cohen concert and it was amazing. I'm not really a fan, I only have 2 albums but I've always liked his voice (of course) and the way he sings. Most of the songs he sang were unfamiliar to me but I enjoyed them very much. It was a show full of emotions and I almost cried sometimes. "The Partisan" was probably one of the most emotional moments of the show with the standing ovation at the end.
I really hope a dvd of this tour will be released, I want to see it again and again....
Thank you Mr Cohen.

Thanks Maarten for the pictures and the videos you're gonna post.
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Re: Bruxelles, October 19 & 20

Postby Maarten » Wed Oct 22, 2008 2:53 pm

Here we go with some videos:

Avalanche.MOV (267.23 MB)

Bird On The Wire.MOV (259.55 MB)

Bird On The Wire - You were always the one....MOV (92.17 MB)

Famous Blue Raincoat.MOV (219.19 MB)

The Partisan.MOV (382.17 MB)

I think you will have to install the "Download manager" from their website (there's a Download now button on the right somewhere). I've never used this before, let me know if it doesn't work...


2008 Manchester | Bruges | Amsterdam | London | 2x Brussels | Rotterdam |2x London
2009 New York | Cologne | Antwerp | Venice | Colmar | Barcelona | Las Vegas | San José
2010 Salzburg | 2x Sligo | Helsinki | 3x Ghent | Lille | 2x Las Vegas
2012 5x Ghent | 2x A'dam | Helsinki | Dublin | Verona | 3x Paris | Lisboa
2013 Paris | Antwerp | Oberhausen | Brussels | Pula | Rotterdam | Amsterdam | 2x Wellington | Auckland

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