Born with the gift of a golden voice…

Went to see Leonard Cohen live at the O2 last night with my wife and her father. Having got to bed at about 1.45, I’m too knackered to blog properly about it. So in lieu of a proper write-up, here are my “tweets” from the concert sent to Twitter using my mobile phone (fortunately the Fail Whale wasn’t in residence at that point, unlike this morning).

This was partly in response to Rob Brazier, who sent a message before the concert saying “We expect a song-by-song analysis over twitter. ‘This one is a dark, existential struggle w/ God. Strong sexual overtones’ ;-)”. As I pointed out, that covered pretty well every song in Cohen’s oeuvre, thus sparing me the trouble and freeing me to just listen to the music. However, I still found myself moved to post the occasional comment, and hopefully these will give at least a slight flavour of what the concert was like:

  • “Tonight will (dv) be my first visit to the Millennium Dome. I’m looking forward to seeing the inside.”
  • “It’s like the Galactic Senate in Star Wars Episode 1 in here…”
  • “Here he is! ‘So very kind of you to come to this…'”

What I didn’t get chance to post was his comment about it being his first London concert for 15 years: “I was sixty years old back then, just a kid with a crazy dream…”

Nor the way in which, a little later in the concert, he drew a cheer by the way in which he was able to recite some of the words from his song “Democracy” in such a way that, without him labouring the point at all, you knew exactly what he meant when he said: “Democracy is coming… to the U.S.A.”

  • “Now that ‘The Future’ has become the present, Cohen’s status as a prophet is confirmed.” [Check out the lyrics, particularly his vision of a post-Cold War world in which “Things are going to slide, slide in all directions”. “I’ve seen the future, brother: it is murder.”]
  • “‘I’ve studied deeply the religions and philosophies – but cheerfulness kept breaking through.'”
  • “First ‘naked’ of the evening…” [Note: Cohen uses the word “naked” a lot in his songs.]
  • “Interval. Cohen is t3h awesome. Highlights so far include: Bird on a Wire, Everybody Knows, the banter, the generosity of spirit.” [“banter” isn’t quite the word, but “wry comments” would have bust the 140-word Twitter limit.]
  • “The tannoy just said all flash photography is banned, inc. mobile phones. Heh. Good luck with *that* one…”
  • “As the Guardian put it, ‘Anyone who thinks Leonard Cohen isn’t funny just hasn’t got the joke yet.'” [See his comment about “cheerfulness”, above.]
  • “Jeff Buckley? Leonard Cohen rang. He said he’s taking his song back. kthxbye” [That after a stunning version of Hallelujah which produced the biggest ovation of the night]
  • “Hmm. Just the *forty minutes* of thoroughly deserved encores then, Leonard?”
  • “And now: the slow patient press of people heading into the Tube station like penguins on an ice-floe. ‘Crowd control in operation'”
  • “What I could have done w/o is a 30+ min wait for a train, till 00.18. Still, not like I have to get up for work at 6 am. Oh, wait: I do. :-(“
  • “1.30 am. Probably about time I thought about turning in…”
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3 Responses to Born with the gift of a golden voice…

  1. MattR says:

    Thanks for your comments over at my place… I should’ve tweeted (mattr) when I was there, but i was scared of getting any electronic device out lest the O2 police came and got me… they were shining torches at people in block 145 or whatever.

    Love your comment about ‘taking his song back’.

    Glad you enjoyed as much as I did.

  2. Neela says:

    Hi John, I caught the “kid with a crazy dream” comment on my phone if you’re interested

    Leonard Cohen - chat

    Picture quality’s dreadful but you can hear that wonderful voice ..

  3. Pingback: Bookmarks about Existential

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