Thursday, April 23, 2009

leonard cohen

we saw the great leonard cohen perform at the nokia theater a couple fridays ago...i am just getting down to journal it. i was first introduced to him during college by our friend joel and quickly leonard cohen became a part of the background music of my college life. he was played during many a studying session...among other sessions...basically his greatest hits were the soundtrack of my college summed up. along the way i somehow turned my dad onto him and we had many a great discussions about his music/lyrics/poems. my dad gave me his book of psalms and a couple of his poetry books and my love for leonard grew and grew. he announced his first tour in 15 years and i wanted more than anything to see him live, but the pricey tickets almost deterred me...thankfully i had turned my father onto his music and generously he and Julie bought tickets for bryan and i.

we had an amazing dinner at Boa's steakhouse (thank you josh for the rec) and then waited in a STUPID long will-call line for the tickets, but once inside and in the presence of him i was immediately in awe. his voice can only get better with age, which is a nice surprise when seeing an artist who had their hey-day 40 years ago. part of what is so sustainable about him is his lyrics/poems - his songs are poems sung. at one point he spoke the lyrics "there is a crack in everything, that is how the light gets in" also he sang: hallelujah, suzanne, bird on a wire, i'm your man, tower of song, who by fire, take this waltz, everybody knows, chelsea hotel...

leonard was amazing. not just in his performance, but also his fashion (he had a bolo tie, which i typically loathe, but must forgive him because he has such genuine fashion sense) and presence. in many of the songs he knelt and sang into the mic like it was his last. he poured love into the mic truly. not just his performance, but his entire band was an amazing collection of artists. click here for the bios on the band - a true honor to watch! you could sense his respect for all the artists as well. at one point he had his back-up singers hum "ah doo dum dum dum ah doo dum dum" about 50 times because it was so angelic - and even though he probably did it every concert, it seemed like they were truly surprised as well that he kept them going.

he was on my list of people/bands i want to see before i die and trust me, it is a short list. i feel honored to be able to have seen him perform. i was inspired to pick up his book, Beautiful Losers, and i am enjoying it and can't help but hear his voice through it all. one of my favorite parts of the night is when he said that the last time he toured (15 years ago) he was a young man of 60 years old - "just a kid at the time with a crazy dream" thankfully someone captured the commentary here.

if he already passed your town hopefully you can somehow hear/see some of the crappy videos taken that i linked...if he has yet to come please do yourself a favor and fork out the money for tickets!

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