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Home > in the memory bank, music > Leonard Cohen is a bully

Leonard Cohen is a bully

Months ago, a couple of my friends suggested getting tickets to see Leonard Cohen on tour. I agreed, partly because I have FOMO, and partly because I figured he’s a legend whom I may not have the opportunity to see again. Last Friday, we drove two hours to see him in Kingston — tickets there were way less expensive (and also less sold out!) than Ottawa; as you can see from my pic, we had pretty decent seats, plus the jumbo screens were crystal clear.

I don’t own one Leonard Cohen cd. Even now, I’d be hard-pressed to remember more than 5 titles of songs he sings. In actuality, I find that a lot of his songs sound a bit similar. His over-the-top sax player drove me batty — cheeseball moves, the only guy on stage who did a costume change. During ‘Suzanne’, something about Leonard’s chord changes sounded funny in my ear.

And yet… I was absolutely won over that night. Two words: CLASS ACT.

The spry 74-year-old (!!!) had us chuckling with his banter and his skipping on- and off-stage, was incredibly generous to his bandmates, didn’t miss a beat, and gave us three (!!!) encores. Lots of solos by his über-talented fellow musicians — during which Leonard would take off his hat to hold it to his chest, and face them. His ‘back-up’ singers were mindblowing — Sharon Robinson (who co-wrote Everybody Knows, among other tunes) and the Webb sisters. It’s obvious Leonard Cohen still loves being onstage, feels lucky to be there, and appreciates his fans and associates. He’s the only musician I’ve ever seen who thanks the lighting guy, the techs, the person who takes care of the band’s hats… And is it me, or does he not look a lot like Dustin Hoffman?

Ok, so he’s not really a bully per se, but Leonard Cohen did make me cry four times during that evening. This one’s locked into the memory bank, for sure.

Ever been to a show that moved you to blubbering? (Or am I the only sop in the room?)

in the memory bank, music , , , ,

  1. May 26th, 2009 at 09:06 | #1

    oh wow. when i was in college, the owner of the dress shop i worked for used to play leonard all the time. that’s awesome that you got to see him live!

  2. May 26th, 2009 at 11:36 | #2

    I cry watching him on youtube, listening to his CD’s, watching the Live in London DVD. Leonard Cohen is a rare treasure and I feel so grateful living in the same era. I got hooked when I saw his “I am a Hotel” on the CBC in the 80’s. p.s. I love Dino Soldo and his many “instruments of wind”, whose style is obviously approved by the Maestro.

  3. MegMac
    May 27th, 2009 at 00:29 | #3

    I was close to tears also – and had goose bumps most of the time. And I have to agree with you, I have never been to a concert where the main act thanks all of the behind the scenes guys. And yes the wind guy was a little much… I would go and see him over and over again.

  4. January 8th, 2010 at 11:13 | #4

    Goodness, he sounds like a doll! Might have to put that on a concerts to see list.

    I’ve felt the same way about Michale Buble in concert. He puts on such a good show, and has such a great attitude. Hi rapport with his staff, band and the audience is phenomenal.

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