Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Leonard Cohen @ Copps Coliseum, Hamilton (April 9, 2013)

  Leonard Cohen: photo by Michael Ligon

  Leonard Cohen: photo by Michael Ligon

  Leonard Cohen: photo by Michael Ligon

On a cold, windy, rainy night after work in April I made my way from Toronto to Hamilton by Go Transit to see the legendary Leonard Cohen at Copps Coliseum. Fresh from a 2 night stint at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, Cohen acknowledged that it was nice to be back in Canada. I hadn't planned to even go to the show, but when I realized the day before that there were still a few tickets available online, I decided that I owed it to myself as a music fan to check out the influential Cohen. With no opener, Cohen and band sauntered onto the stage to a rousing applause from the audience. A top notch group of musicians, including UK vocalists The Webb Sisters as well as long-time collaborator Sharon Robinson on background vocals, backed up Cohen that night, Cohen's music a delectable mix of gypsy, folk, jazz, blues, and pop influences. The night was strewn with highlights but for me some of my faves were the dance groove of "First We Take Manhattan", the keyboard / Casio-like beat driven "Tower Of London" [Cohen jokingly referring to his instrument as high-tech], a plaintive "Suzanne" with Cohen on guitar, and of course "Hallelujah" which drew a standing ovation. A non-musical highlight was Cohen's poetic reading of "A Thousand Kisses Deep" during which at times I almost choked up due to Cohen's moving, word-weary deilvery. Cohen was in high spirits throughout the night, bantering about being back in Canada, hoping this wouldn't be his last tour, about his hotel room and about wanting a cigarette. He also showed himself, even at 77 years of age, to be quite limber as he occasionally danced, then dropped to his knees. Dressed in a dark suit and hat, Cohen was the epitome of cool over the course of two main sets, and at least a few encores. Unfortunately, I had to leave a few songs into the second encore in order to catch the GO bus back westbound. As a live performer, it felt like Cohen was at the top of his game, and you can't say that for many artists of his age.

More photos here.

The Spec has a review of the show.

No comments:

Post a Comment