S. Worthen (owlfish) wrote,
S. Worthen

Leonard Cohen concert

He was a miniature on a stage hundreds of meters distant, blown up in detail on the three screens hanging in the air, but Leonard Cohen can command an arena. His voice is rich, deep, commanding, his expressions evocative and amusing, and he thinks about his songs as he sings them. His nine backup instrumentalists and singers were varied and talented, from his co-writer Sharon Robinson and the folksy elegancy of the Webb Sisters, to the lively verve of his multi-instrumental wind player and guitar and organ players.

I was just as glad I only knew two of his albums. Half the songs were a surprise, lyrics vividly communicated; even the ones I already knew were new again in performance. Lyrics I'd never paid attention to caught my attention. "Hallelujah", "Take this Waltz", and "Suzanne" were riveting. For a three hour concert - including three-or-so extended encores - the performers kept my attention throughout. The audience was wonderfully silent, caught in the spell. For the first half, the drunk girls in front of us bopped along to all songs. For a few, the audience sang along - but appropriately.

It might have been the last night of the move, but it was worth the break, worth braving the enormity of the O2 for the first time, for this concert. The only problem with the O2? Leaving it post-concert. It took us an hour to get into the Underground station.
Tags: music

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