Photos: Leonard Cohen In Concert – Reykjavik 1988

These photos were taken by Johann Agust Hansen, then a freelance press photographer, at the June 24 1988 Leonard Cohen concert in Reykjavik, Iceland. (See 1988 Leonard Cohen Icelandic TV Documentary – Performances & Interview)

Johann Agust Hansen writes:

I was very lucky to be accepted as a press photographer for the Reykjavik 1988 concert. I had just started working as a freelance press photographer selling my photos to the local newspapers.

It was a great concert where Cohen played songs from his newly released album I’m Your Man. The playlist included songs such as First We Take Manhattan and Take This Waltz but he also played older songs such as Bird On a Wire, Sisters of Mercy, Hallelujah, Susanne, So Long Marianne and Famous Blue raincoat.

In the beginning of the concert, all the photographers, five or six of us, were ushered to the area in front of the stage. Cohen started with the song Dance Me to the End of Love, a quiet song which set the mood that I hoped to capture. We were only allowed to take photos during the first three songs so there was not much time and every photographer wanted to be as close to him as possible. My favourite photo from the show is the one where Cohen closes his eyes because I could feel his sincerity and strong emotion through my lens.