Brilliant Photos From The Leonard Cohen 2010 Helsinki Concert

Maarten Massa’s photos of Leonard Cohen and, especially, the band members and backup singers, at the August 10, 2010 Helsinki concert are among the best I’ve seen since the commencement of the tour. While he has graciously allowed these to be posted at Cohencentric, many other shots he took at the Helsinki show can be found at Leonard Cohen Helsinki – Aug 10 2010: Part 1 and Part 2.

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Leonard Cohen - Helsinki 2010

Note: Originally posted August 10, 2010 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Video: Leonard Cohen & Band Travel Day – 2009 Tour

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As its title suggests, “Travel Day for Leonard Cohen Band by Dino Soldo 10/14/2009” is a cinema verite travelogue constructed around the bus-borne journey between hotels for the musicians and support staff of Leonard Cohen’s band.

The video is narrated and directed by Dino Soldo, whose primary roles the past 16 months have been playing “instruments of the wind” at World Tour concerts and occasioning a certain amount of swooning among female fans. Mr Soldo is also, not coincidentally, the star of the flick with supporting roles played by crew, other band members, and backup singers.

A small speaking part, “man in hat occupying front seat of bus,”  is adequately performed by one Leonard Cohen.

Travel Day for Leonard Cohen Band
By Dino Soldo 10/14/2009

Note: Originally posted Oct 18, 2009 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Photos: 2009 Leonard Cohen Chicago Rosemont Concert

P1000638The October 29, 2009 Chicago Rosemont Concert was marvelous for many reasons, including the premiere performance of “Feels So Good.” On a personal level, it was a never-to-be-forgotten event because I attended my first Leonard Cohen soundcheck and then met Leonard face to face for the first time before the show.  That experience is featured in these posts:

These photos were taken at the 2009 Rosemont show by Elizabeth Sweet,1 who proved to be not only an outstanding photographer but also a delight as my companion during this incredible adventure.

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I am especially happy about the photo below of Javier Mas and Dino Soldo because (1) it captures the 17 nanoseconds of the show during which Dino Soldo was immobile. and (2) it demonstrates how commanding his presence can be even when he is stationary.

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Note: Originally posted Oct 30, 2009 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

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  1. The Duchess and I are both taken with Lisa, an amazing woman who did her post-grad work in English Lit at Duke and now writes primarily about raising goats & permaculture skills. []

Leonard Cohen, Bard Of Bedsits Boffo In Boston – 2009

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Cohen Wonderful At The Wang:
Photos & Review

Images
Once again, a striking shot of the marquee at a venue for a Cohen concert  anchors the Heck Of A Guy post about that performance.

cohen-kneel-wang9I’m unsure why there are only one or two other photos (at least, that I’ve found) taken from this perspective (otherwise known as the balcony) of Cohen kneeling, but I am grateful for these few instances of that classic image.

The final two photos capture the physicality of Dino Soldo’s style of playing the woodwinds.cohen-wind-wangcohen-wind2-wang9

The Words
While a number of reports of the Boston show competently describe the performance and some nicely evoke the experience of watching the concert, I am especially taken with the review at Neo-neocon: Leonard Cohen comes to Boston, which offers a perspective not only of Cohen’s work place within the context of the lives of those in the cohort Neo-neocon and I share but also of the significance of his music on our consciousness. Excerpts follow:

As I’ve written before, Leonard Cohen is not for everyone (although he’s certainly for me). Some find him boring, some find him droning, some find him hard to tell apart from Dustin Hoffman until he opens his mouth (although as they’ve both aged, they look a lot less alike than they used to). But I find him to be one of the most compelling and hypnotic singer-songwriters, poet-musicians—whatever sort of hyphenated descriptive term you prefer—in the world.

Cohen spent a lot of time last night with his hat on and his eyes closed and his legs bent or even in a full kneel (try doing that when you’re seventy-four), facing his backup singers or his musicians and singing to them. It sounds as though this would distance him from the audience, but it didn’t; it’s his way of reaching deep within himself to give the greatest emotional power to each song. The words are neither more nor less important than the music, and although he’s probably sung each composition hundreds or even thousands of times, he never seems to be just going through the motions.

For example, when Cohen sang “Suzanne,” one of his earliest songs, he brought thick layers of memory to those of us who had first heard it back in high school or college in the 60s, from a Leonard Cohen who seemed mature at the time but was only in his mid-thirties. How did he make it seem so fresh now, singing it as an old man? His voice is far deeper (deeper even than I’d heard it sound recently in You Tube videos from the current tour—how deep can a man’s voice get and still be heard by the human ear?) But that’s not the only thing that’s deeper; you can hear all the ache of the intervening years—the hard-won wisdom and the hard-fought pain—in his phrasing and tone, and as you listen you nod and think of all that you’ve been through in those same passing decades.

… it is a tribute to the extraordinary musicality of Cohen and everyone else on the stage that none of the new variations is ever a disappointment no matter how deeply entrenched in one’s head a beloved original might be. Each new phrasing, each new riff, is a revelation.

I have just used the word “revelation,” and it points to another characteristic of Cohen’s work: there is a religious undercurrent to it, even when he’s singing about sex (or maybe especially when he’s singing about sex). How he manages to combine the worldly and even the world-weary with the ecstatic and the numinous is a mystery, but his music is permeated with this sense.

The full review cam be read at Neo-neocon: Leonard Cohen comes to Boston.

Credit Due Department:

The great shot of the marquee at the Wang Theatre was taken by Avi Elkoni, The other  three photos were taken by xrayspx, who has generously licensed these pictures for uses such as this.

Note: Originally posted Jun 1, 2009 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric