Last night, Mrs Fallow gave me a really nice surprise by taking me to a Leonard Cohen concert in Mannheim,near Heidelberg, Germany. She had kept it a secret, just telling me that I had to make myself available from Midday on the 28th. Finally, unable to contain herself, she showed me the tickets yesterday midday.
The first time I saw Cohen was at the Isle of White festival in August 1970, the second was at Leeds university in 1972 or 1973, and again several times in Paris in the late 70's early 80's, and I had many good memories of those fabulous concerts. So even though a little excited,I was expecting to be disappointed cos after all the Dude is now 74.
How wrong I was.
The show started around 15 minutes late, just enough to give the laggards time to arrive, and the SAP Arena was around 95% full,probably 10 to 12000 people, paying a minimum of €100 ($130) per seat.
The set was totally understated, being just full length curtains (drapes), and a few carpets on the floor. Either side of the stage, was a 4 metre by 6 metre screen allowing close ups of the musicians and the Man himself.
So around 8.45, the band came on, comprised of 4 string musicians (electric guitar, acoustic guitar,including 12 string Spanish and Mandolin, violin, base electric and classic) all dressed in dark grey suits and wearing trilbys, a keyboard player, drummer, and three back up singers, also wearing grey suits, folllowed by the man himself.
After welcoming the audience
" I thank all those people up in the clouds for coming to see our show, and also those down here in the valley"
He started on a three hour set, which was mainly composed of all time favorites. To mention a few.
Sisters of Mercy
So Long Marianne
Bird on a Wire
Who by fire
Tower of Song
Famous Blue Raincoat
First we take Manhattan
and many more
There were a couple of more recent songs, including a Country and Western homage to George Jones.
The voice was almost unchanged, maybe a little more gravelly, and the arrangements were more sophisticated to exploit the enormous talent of the band,who were mostly over 50 years old.
Far from being disappointed, I was enthralled,with the odd tear rolling down my cheeks.
Today, there are not many You tubes up, but here are a couple from the London Gig a couple of weeks ago.
seems I have a problem embedding, so here are the links
What was astonishing was listening live to music that defined my youth from like 15 to 30, and realising that the old geezer on stage had a life which ran in parallel to mine for 43 years. He had his successes, I had mine. I am sure he had some disappointments, I know I have mine, but for one evening, I was back with my long hair, afghan coat, bell bottomed jeans, full of hope and optimism and mylife before me.
If you are a Cohen fan, and you get the chance, go see him. I promise you will not be diasappointed
Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 3:11 AM PT: "Sunday morning coming down", check my computer and find myself rescued and rec listed. Thanks to all.