Thursday, December 09, 2010

My wife and I spent Rohatsu Evening with Leonard Cohen

I am deeply grateful to my wife, my son, the wonderful people who let my son sleep over with his friend at pretty much the last minute, and everyone else important and unimportant, and of course to the Man himself and his wonderful accompanying musicians for what was one of the most amazing concerts I'd ever attended.

The event was billed as, "An Evening with Leonard Cohen," and even though we were in the (2/3 allocated and filled) Rose Garden Arena, even though we were, as you'll see, in the "nosebleed" section, even though we had to struggle to get to our seats in the clouds, I feel as though I really did get to know the great singer, poet, and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer better than I'd ever "known" anyone else at any other concert to which I'd gone.  Mr. Cohen is 76 years old, and though the show was highly staged (all these things are nowadays), I can't believe what a rip-roaring good time I had - I felt privileged to get to see him before he passed away.  Mr. Cohen acknowledge this himself when he said, "I don't know when we'll pass through here again, but tonight we'll give it all we've got."  And they did.

If you can in any way see this while you can, see it while you can.  I was overwhelmed with the grace and humility of the man and his singers and musicians.  Moreover, it was one of the nicest crowds of people I've ever been, one of the most courteous and good-natured audiences.  It was amazing to think this man - who must have had the thought himself - was performing tonight on a night when years ago he himself was undoubtedly in sesshin himself.

Just amazing harmony all throughout.  Here's a (bad image quality) video.  Sorry if  you think the classic guitar solo's too long; I got it just as it started; the song "Who By Fire" follows the solo.  The sound I hope makes up for it.

I believe that song was originally adapted from a Yom Kippur prayer, but it's Buddhist import is obvious.


Petteri Sulonen said...

I saw him when he came to Helsinki earlier this year. And yes, it was quite amazing; how he turned a stadium concert into something that felt almost intimate. It's the closest I've come to a mystical experience in a performance of any kind.

NellaLou said...

Years back I saw him on the tour for I'm Your Man and was utterly astounded. Would love to see him again.

Lorem Ipsum said...

Thanks for sharing this. The man's voice is obviously not what it was, but the timing and the depth remains.

It was probably one of the nicest reviews I've read in a long time, too.

Mumon said...

Thanks for the comments, all.