corner corner Leonard Cohen kicks off his world tour in Fredericton. We have tickets. Squeeeee!

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http://www.theglobeandmail.com/---/home

He was Fredericton's man
DAVID FRANK

From Tuesday's Globe and Mail

May 13, 2008 at 4:05 AM EDT

LEONARD COHEN

At the Playhouse

in Fredericton on Sunday

Leonard Cohen may have 48 dates in 14 countries over the next several months, including Switzerland's prestigious Montreux Jazz Festival and Britain's Big Chill fest, but first he took Fredericton in an accomplished performance Sunday night.

The 73-year-old veteran singer/songwriter began by confessing his nervousness - "this is the first time in 14 years I have stood before you in this position as a performer" - but he needn't have. As soon as he stepped onstage for the first show of his first tour since the early 1990s, he was welcomed with a standing ovation from the sold-out house. While quipping that at shows in the 1990s, "I was just a kid of 60 with crazy dreams," he also took time to express concern for the flooded homes and fields of the Saint John River Valley. (Only 10 days earlier, The Playhouse itself was dark, its operations menaced by the overflowing floodwaters of the Saint John River.)

This Atlantic Canada mini-tour, which takes him to Halifax, Charlottetown, Glace Bay, Moncton and St. John's, is a warm-up for the main touring event, in which Cohen will move westward across Canada and into international dates starting in June.

The Playhouse, a venue of little more than 700 seats, was a good place to be starting over and proved well suited to the intimate qualities of his music. It also gave Cohen a chance to note how pleased he was to open his tour in a city known for its poets. "I used to read the Fiddlehead poetry magazine a lot," he said, mentioning local poets Bliss Carman and Fred Cogswell.Onstage more than 2½ hours, Cohen certainly looked his age, a little stooped but dapper in a double-breasted suit and a fedora, which he removed to take a bow after each song. Cradling a hand-held microphone, he was able to move energetically around centre stage to interact with his band. He played two sets of eight songs each and four encores, including 1960s standards such as Suzanne, Bird on the Wire and So Long, Marianne as well as classics from his middle period in the 1980s and early 1990s such as Everybody Knows, Take This Waltz, Hallelujah and I'm Your Man.

There were no new songs in the lineup and only two songs, In My Secret Life and Boogie Street, were drawn from a more recent 2001 album. With its martial rhythm and biting harmonica, however, the 1992 song Democracy definitely sounded a contemporary note.

Cohen took up a guitar toward the end of the first set and again for two songs later. At the start of the second set, he also toyed with an electric keyboard, even taking out his glasses to examine the buttons when starting his Tower of Song.

He was relaxed enough by then to share a laugh with the audience over the ironic line in that song about his "golden voice."

In fact, he was in excellent voice, his sure delivery given musical depth by a virtuoso group under the direction of veteran bass player Roscoe Beck and including Bob Metzger (electric guitar), Neil Larsen (keyboards), Rafael Gayol (drums), Dino Soldo (electric woodwind, harmonica and saxophone) and Javier Mas (acoustic guitar, oud and other strings).

Strong vocal support was provided by the Webb Sisters (Charley and Hattie Webb, a young British-based duo) and Sharon Robinson, a long-time collaborator and co-writer of several songs, who sang several solos and duets. There had been pre-show buzz that another musical collaborator, Cohen's romantic partner, Anjani Thomas, would perform, but she did not appear.

Cohen knows his songs well and so did the audience, many of them old enough to recall that first album in December, 1967, that made his reputation in popular culture. Already one of Canada's young literary lions, the poet and novelist seized the time to marry his muse to popular music, whose boundaries were expanding under the influence of slightly younger contemporaries such as Bob Dylan.

In mid-March, Cohen's influence was celebrated yet again, when he was inducted into New York's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - although most record stores still file him under Folk.

On the road again, Cohen is once more among his own folk, less melancholy than his reputation and as passionate and articulate as ever. After all, public performance is a literary tradition at least as old as Homer, and although Cohen's hair may be grey, closing time still seems a long way away.

Special to The Globe and Mail

Complete Thread

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Cohen is starting his first tour in 15 years here in Atlantic Canada. The very first date is our intimate 709 seat Fredericton Playhouse. Tickets went on sale today at noon.

At 6:30 this morning, in minus 10 degree Celsius temperatures with freezing rain, I was in the queue. At 12:20 I was rewarded with tickets in the "Golden Circle".

I am over the moon. I can hardly wait.

And if anyone wishes to make snide comments about his singing, I invite you to start your own thread. I am a very excited fan who cannot believe her luck. Please don't rain on my parade. :)

Squeeee!
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Oh, lucky you!

So you've got a golden ticket! ;-P I keep checking, but somehow I doubt he'll venture anywhere close to me.
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> but somehow I doubt he'll venture anywhere
> close to me.

Oh we never in a million years thought he would play at our own beloved Playhouse. Keep your fingers crossed and you just might get lucky.
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Great news.

i'm hoping to see him play at a festival near Valencia in Spain, but also will be looking out for some more intimate venues.

I'll growl at anyone who makes snide comments.
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> but also will be looking out for some
> more intimate venues.

Hope you can find one and get tickets. I'll let you know *all about* this concert on 12 May.

by the way, did I say, SQUUUEEEEE?
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Thanks for the light. This has been such a terrible winter here.

Will you be looking for tickets when he plays Halifax? If so, I hope you are also successful.
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I am so jealous. He is on here for 4 nights, but the show is sold out, and tickets are being re-sold at £190 or more each.

I'm still tempted...
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Wow!

You can't imagine how much I'd like to be there...

I don't know if I'll manage to see him live. Too much going on in our lives at the moment. :(
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No sarcasm. I love Leonard Cohen. That velvet soaked in whiskey voice....*sighs*
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Good for you

I'm eagerly waiting for the tickets for the swiss dates to go on sale. He'll be playing at the Montreux Jazz Festival where I plan to see him quietly seated in a very expensive first category chair and two weeks later, he'll be at the Paleo Festival, an open air fiesta where I'll probably go too, just to see and hear him in a different setting.

I couldn't believe it when I heard he was going to tour again. Never saw him live and I frankly thought he had retired from doing concerts forever.

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right from the time of Suzanne.
and Spicebox of Earth, which probably isn't even in print now.
didn't care for Beautiful Losers though.

Have a good time.
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We're going to go our for Greek food first (seems fitting somehow) and will report back later. Maybe not tonight but tomorrow for sure!

I'm so looking forward to this!
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small consolation, at a teen fund-raising concert I attended last week one girl did a great job singing Allellua.
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I really like Leonard Cohen - even more so since I read "Beautiful Losers" last year. (Totally weird but such a good book!)
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> We're going to go our for Greek food first
> (seems fitting somehow) and will report
> back later. Maybe not tonight but tomorrow
> for sure!

We're still awestruck by the experience.

Wonderful. Just wonderful.

The set list:

Set one:
Dance Me to the End of Love
The Future
Ain't no Cure for Love
Bird on the Wire
Everybody Knows
In My Secret Life
Who by Fire
Anthem

Set Two:
Tower of Song
Suzanne
Gypsy Wife
Boogie Street
Hallelujah
Democracy
I'm Your Man
Take this Waltz

The Encores:
Heart with no Companion
So Long, Marianne
First we Take Manhattan
Closing Time.



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Thanks so much for the review. What an experiance that must've been!
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http://www.theglobeandmail.com/---/home

He was Fredericton's man
DAVID FRANK

From Tuesday's Globe and Mail

May 13, 2008 at 4:05 AM EDT

LEONARD COHEN

At the Playhouse

in Fredericton on Sunday

Leonard Cohen may have 48 dates in 14 countries over the next several months, including Switzerland's prestigious Montreux Jazz Festival and Britain's Big Chill fest, but first he took Fredericton in an accomplished performance Sunday night.

The 73-year-old veteran singer/songwriter began by confessing his nervousness - "this is the first time in 14 years I have stood before you in this position as a performer" - but he needn't have. As soon as he stepped onstage for the first show of his first tour since the early 1990s, he was welcomed with a standing ovation from the sold-out house. While quipping that at shows in the 1990s, "I was just a kid of 60 with crazy dreams," he also took time to express concern for the flooded homes and fields of the Saint John River Valley. (Only 10 days earlier, The Playhouse itself was dark, its operations menaced by the overflowing floodwaters of the Saint John River.)

This Atlantic Canada mini-tour, which takes him to Halifax, Charlottetown, Glace Bay, Moncton and St. John's, is a warm-up for the main touring event, in which Cohen will move westward across Canada and into international dates starting in June.

The Playhouse, a venue of little more than 700 seats, was a good place to be starting over and proved well suited to the intimate qualities of his music. It also gave Cohen a chance to note how pleased he was to open his tour in a city known for its poets. "I used to read the Fiddlehead poetry magazine a lot," he said, mentioning local poets Bliss Carman and Fred Cogswell.Onstage more than 2½ hours, Cohen certainly looked his age, a little stooped but dapper in a double-breasted suit and a fedora, which he removed to take a bow after each song. Cradling a hand-held microphone, he was able to move energetically around centre stage to interact with his band. He played two sets of eight songs each and four encores, including 1960s standards such as Suzanne, Bird on the Wire and So Long, Marianne as well as classics from his middle period in the 1980s and early 1990s such as Everybody Knows, Take This Waltz, Hallelujah and I'm Your Man.

There were no new songs in the lineup and only two songs, In My Secret Life and Boogie Street, were drawn from a more recent 2001 album. With its martial rhythm and biting harmonica, however, the 1992 song Democracy definitely sounded a contemporary note.

Cohen took up a guitar toward the end of the first set and again for two songs later. At the start of the second set, he also toyed with an electric keyboard, even taking out his glasses to examine the buttons when starting his Tower of Song.

He was relaxed enough by then to share a laugh with the audience over the ironic line in that song about his "golden voice."

In fact, he was in excellent voice, his sure delivery given musical depth by a virtuoso group under the direction of veteran bass player Roscoe Beck and including Bob Metzger (electric guitar), Neil Larsen (keyboards), Rafael Gayol (drums), Dino Soldo (electric woodwind, harmonica and saxophone) and Javier Mas (acoustic guitar, oud and other strings).

Strong vocal support was provided by the Webb Sisters (Charley and Hattie Webb, a young British-based duo) and Sharon Robinson, a long-time collaborator and co-writer of several songs, who sang several solos and duets. There had been pre-show buzz that another musical collaborator, Cohen's romantic partner, Anjani Thomas, would perform, but she did not appear.

Cohen knows his songs well and so did the audience, many of them old enough to recall that first album in December, 1967, that made his reputation in popular culture. Already one of Canada's young literary lions, the poet and novelist seized the time to marry his muse to popular music, whose boundaries were expanding under the influence of slightly younger contemporaries such as Bob Dylan.

In mid-March, Cohen's influence was celebrated yet again, when he was inducted into New York's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - although most record stores still file him under Folk.

On the road again, Cohen is once more among his own folk, less melancholy than his reputation and as passionate and articulate as ever. After all, public performance is a literary tradition at least as old as Homer, and although Cohen's hair may be grey, closing time still seems a long way away.

Special to The Globe and Mail

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Gulp!

Only four more days and I will complete my holy trinity in 2008.

Tom Waits in Paris back in July.
Neil Young in Zurich in August
And now Leonard Cohen on Saturday.

I cannot wait!
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Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
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You will have so much fun! We found it a spiritual experience. Truly.

Squueee for you!

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Re: Gulp!

> And now Leonard Cohen on Saturday.

Trust me. You will really enjoy the Cohen show.

And about your holy trinity of 2008, what a line-up! How wonderful for you.
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Re: Gulp!

> Only four more days and I will complete my
> holy trinity in 2008.

> Tom Waits in Paris back in July. Neil
> Young in Zurich in August And now Leonard
> Cohen on Saturday.

> I cannot wait!

So, marko, dish it out. Tell us all about it. Every detail. Did you have fun?
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What a show, he did all his classics and bar for a 15 minutes break was on stage for nearly three hours. He looked happy and healthy and performed with such style and class I cannot fault him. Hallelujah could have gone on for another three hours and I would still have been singing along. He even got a bit funky and had people dancing.

A fabulous end to my concert going year but if I ever got the chance to see him again I would walk through fire to go.

*They say that there's a secret chord*
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> A fabulous end to my concert going year
> but if I ever got the chance to see him
> again I would walk through fire to go.

Yup. Or stand in freezing rain at 6 dark thirty in a cold, wintry Canadian town.

One of the people who went to the concert with us looked at me at one point and said, "This is almost spirtual." My reply? "What do you mean almost?"
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http://dailygleaner.canadaeast.com/---/294101

Leonard Cohen wows FrederictonPublished Tuesday May 13th, 2008
By WILFRED LANGMAID
For The Daily Gleaner

It was the most unlikely of scenarios.

Sony BMG artist Leonard Cohen had not been on tour in a decade-and-a-half, and he is almost 74. He announced a world tour in March, and that got worldwide attention. News that the tour would begin in small venues - and that the first stop would be Fredericton - was a minor miracle. The show sold out in minutes.

Most people expected quite a few hiccups on opening night. Many people expected a relatively short show, all things considered. Some people thought that the show would be rather weak, but it would still be a chance to see a legend.

These people were all wrong.

Leonard Cohen came to the stage at The Playhouse at 8:05 p.m. on Sunday night. Six male musicians and three female vocalists preceded him, and the place burst into two minutes of standing applause. After some comments of warmth toward the city that has taken him to heart these last few days despite "all the troubles of the swollen river," declaring "the hospitality has been impeccable," he kicked into the 1984 track Dance Me To The End Of Love.

He left the stage almost three hours later as his band played the final strains of Closing Time from his 1992 album The Future.

The energy and strength of Cohen was really the evening's most pleasant surprise. He was in fine voice all night long, and his enthusiasm never flagged over a 20-song performance.

He admitted some nervousness after the warm response to his second track, quipping "I was kind of nervous. It's the first time I've done this in 14 years. I was 60 years old the last time - just a kid with a crazy dream."

However, he loosened up quickly, and was fully engaged by the fourth track, a stretched out version of 1969's Bird On The Wire.

He dabbled in guitar on some songs, such as 1967's Suzanne early in set two, and had some fun with a keyboard on the second set opener Tower Of Song from 1988.

It is said that The Playhouse has never seen a more extensive arsenal of equipment, and the sound was impeccable. Roscoe Beck (bass & vocals, music director), Neil Larsen (keyboard, accordion, brass instruments), Bob Metzger (guitar, steel guitar & vocals), Javier Mas (acoustic guitar, oud &. string instruments), Rafael Gayol (drums & percussion) and Dino Soldo (keyboard, saxophone, wind instruments & vocals) were all master musicians who delivered nary a wasted note.

Beck's arrangements were sometimes jarringly inventive - such as the move of So Long Marianne from his 1967 debut album Songs Of Leonard Cohen from ¾ time to a 4/4 with some cadence shifts - but everything worked like a charm.

Mas and Larsen were bedrock musicians in the team. Mas' skills with 12-string guitar, oud, and other stringed instruments were intense beyond description, while the Hammond B3 work of Larsen on some songs was especially key.

Of the backing vocalists, the shining star was Sharon Robinson. She has sung with him off and on through the years, and was co-credited with him on his 2001 album Ten New Songs.

Speculation as to the set list was rampant amongst fans worldwide before the show. The answer was given in a concert of two eight-song sets and four encores.

The concert was heavy on his material from three consecutive albums - three songs from 1984's Various Positions, six songs from 1988's I'm Your Man, and four songs from 1992's The Future.

Besides the three songs from the 1960s, there were two from the 2001 album Ten New Songs and none from 2004's Dear Heather.

There were only two songs in total from his four albums of the 1970s. However, they were showstoppers - a late first set version of 1974's Who By Fire and an early second set version of 1979's The Gypsy's Wife.

Cohen played the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium in Halifax last night. His tour continues there tonight. Before it is all said and done, he will headline at the United Kingdom's Glastonbury Festival on June 29 for 150,000 fans. The Montreux Jazz Festival and Spain's Bennicasim are also on the schedule.

However, it all started here Sunday night.

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boirina, you will have a blast! It will be an evening to remember!
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Please click the link and view the photograph of Cohen's response to the standing applause when he walked on stage.

And all of those in the audience were grinning right back at him, just as delighted.

It *was* a special night.

http://dailygleaner.canadaeast.com/---/298276

Leonard Cohen concert was a night to remember
Published Friday May 16th, 2008

Wilfred Langmaid
Days between

"There is a crack, a crack in everything / That's how the light gets in."
- Anthem by Leonard Cohen

It is a night that I will never forget - and something that can never be taken away from our fair city.

Leonard Cohen actually did begin his first tour in 15 years on Sunday night in Fredericton.

It was one of those electric evenings that will be etched in my mind forever.

Put it this way: When my time on this mortal coil nears to a close and, if by grace, some pivotal life moments are allowed to rattle back into my mind, this night will be one of them.

The graciousness of the man with his audience, his clear gratitude and happiness as he began this journey in our presence, and the sheer musical strength of the performance were all beyond my expectations.

All I wanted, after all, was a chance to be with Shelley as we together saw the artist whose gifts she introduced to me early in our relationship, after long assuming that we had seen him in his last tour ever. The show we saw back in 1993 was great, but this was something of a far more profound depth.

To be able to simply have an evening together in our own town and ease into amazing seats in a beautiful little venue to see Leonard again would have been quite enough.

Cohen gave us more. The band was stronger overall than the nice unit that backed him in 1993, and we could literally see them work out the little jitters as the first set began.

As another great sign of the magic of it all, I have already had my chance to write my detailed analysis of the concert itself, so enough about that.

Please check out the review from Tuesday's paper if you are so inclined. Suffice it to say that Cohen sang with a strength and passion that I could have never dreamed I would see from a man who was until recently thought to be a retired septuagenarian.

The other thing that made it all so special was the personal connection that Cohen established with those of us who were privileged to be among the little throng that night. When he followed his band on the stage at 8:05 p.m., he began the night with comments of warmth towards the city that had taken him to heart during the days he quietly spent in our midst despite "all the troubles of the swollen river."

He declared "the hospitality has been impeccable" before he kicked off the concert.

He admitted some nervousness after the warm response to his second track The Future, quipping "I was kind of nervous. You know, this is the first time I've done this in 14 years. I was 60 years old the last time - just a kid with a crazy dream."

While he graciously and with frequency thanked his audience and acknowledged his bandmates back in 1993, which was one thing I always remember from that show in Toronto's O'Keefe Centre, he did so even more on Sunday.

It all reached a crescendo near the end of his second set. Leading into the set closer Take This Waltz, he spoke about the life that he chose as a poet.

He noted "this city is the home of many great poets," citing 20th century spanners Bliss Carman and Fred Cogswell, and speaking of a time when he regularly read our literary magazine The Fiddlehead.

Displaying his wit and charm yet again by referencing a legendary UNB English professor, writer and literary critic, he said, "Desmond Pacey came from here. He criticized me very severely ... I don't hold it against you."

Leonard Cohen. Here. Triumphantly starting his first tour in a decade and a half.

It makes me feel like I am just a kid with a crazy dream. But, I'm not.

It really happened. It's a night I'll never forget.

Longtime Daily Gleaner columnist Wilfred Langmaid is employed by the University of New Brunswick. He resides in Fredericton.



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Ring the bells that still can ring,

Forget your perfect offering,

There is a crack in everything,

That's how the light gets in.

Leonard Cohen.

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