I’m seeing the legend Leonard Cohen today, courtesy of Wembley Arena who chose me to be the winner to see this awesome man in concert on his ‘Old ideas’ tour, and I have to say the promoters (or whoever is responsible for communicating to the winners) are lovely I actually won the ticket for the 8th Sept., but was already busy. “No problem” they said, your name is down for the show on the 9th! 🙂 I can’t wait to see this man live, I wonder if he will play THAT song, I promise I won’t cry if he does…hehehehhehe! Having won tickets from Wembley before I know where we will be sitting
and where to pick up the tickets, so no great rush. Mind you, it has an early start and no support band. And my son Marcus is working on this show too, camera again not on the stage but in the middle bit that is cordoned off for the soundies and lampies….:-)
We have got our tickets, and are in our seats, I can see my boy too, pride swells up and waving frantically at him until he spots me, poor boy, I’m sure sometimes he just wishes I would ignore him.. ;-)! It doesn’t take long for Mr. Leonard Cohen to arrive on stage, wow, what an amazing man, nearly 78 years old, looking great dressed in a suit and hat of course, walking on stage as if the years had no effect on him, we were in awe of him immediately.
Opening the evening with “Dance Me To The End Of Love” is the perfect start, a beautiful song that even people who are unfamiliar with Leonard Cohen will know, a 1984 release, I had found out at that point that I was expecting my beautiful daughter, funny how you get catapulted back to important events in your life just after hearing the first few notes of a song, and I must say, Leonard features in quite a few for me! 🙂
He apologises for the venue change but assures us that he was told at the same time as the public “There are unseen hands that manipulate the marketplace. Hands that I never get to see…or crush.”……in another review I read it was suggested that due to his age it was thought for the best to avoid the outdoor event at Hop Farm, hmmmm, I somehow can’t see that, but no matter, we are here and that is what counts.
Leonard’s humour is subtle but effective “”I see your generosity hasn’t diminished..” he jokes, references to his song lyrics ” about there being “so many people you just had to meet without your clothes” from “Everybody Knows”, and a roaring applause to “….born with the gift of a golden voice” from “Tower of Song”.
Just before performing “My Secret Life” with Sharon Roberts he tells everybody that Sharon IS his secret life, I love the way he uses his song lyrics for banter, the whole show has tiny moments like that woven through.
He is also accompanied by the Webb sisters all the way through the show, there is no need for a huge light show or intricate choreography, they are on stage and performing their music, nothing else is needed whatsoever, the sheer talent and experience produces a show like no other. It was a surprise though when the Webb sister suddenly turn a single cartwheel to some lyrics, also Leonard spends much of his time on his knees, I’m impressed, he seems to be up and down with such ease, I would struggle a lot more! 🙂
There is a break half way through his 3 hour and 30 track song list, which is well deserved for both, the audiences and the artist, we take the opportunity to move a bit closer towards the stage as the seats aren’t taken. I must say, I’m surprised how many people get up and go out for yet more drinks (and straight after they get up to go to the loo), why are they here? I personally stay in my seat to see the concert!! I’m also surprised how many people actually take out their mobiles to check messages, tweet or even play a game. Ok, hands up, I have checked my mobile before now during a gig, but I do manage to refrain from sending messages or games!
There are so many highlights, it’s hard to single them all out, moments stick in your mind like “Susanne” being performed, or “Hallelujah”, telling the audience “…you sing so sweet” having teased out a massive sing-along to “So Long Marianne”. All his band members and technicians are wearing the same suit and most impressively Leonard Cohen knows every single person on his tour by name and thanks them at the end. Also the connection between the audience and the performer is electric and not only for the people right by the stage, he includes everyone right up to the seats in the gods, it does feel like Leonard singles you out to sing just for you.
He bids farewell with his only cover version of “Save The Last Dance For Me”, nice touch, the word ‘dance’ in both the first and last song, well thought out or coincidence? Whichever, it was a fantastic evening I may not have rocked, jumped or head banged, but there was plenty of reminiscing, swaying and dreaming going on.
I want to shout “thank you for the music Mr.Cohen” as he happily skips off the stage, but there was no chance for him to hear me through the shrieks of delight and never ending clapping.
Yes, today you were my man!!!
PS: No, he didn’t play THAT song 😉