Best Of 2008-2010 Leonard Cohen World Tour: Who By Fire – Fredericton 2008

Fredericton Playhouse – Fredericton, New Brunswick

In The Beginning Was Fredericton

On May 11, 2008, Leonard Cohen inaugurated his 2008-2010 World Tour (although no one knew it would be a three year tour then) at The Playhouse in Fredericton, NB, a venue which, according to Wikipedia, had a capacity of 709 (469 orchestra seats and 240 balcony seats).

I urge viewers to read the best of the Fredericton concert reviews, Leonard Cohen wows Fredericton by Wilifred Langmaid  (Daily Gleaner, May 13, 2008), which can be found at LeonardCohenForum. My own comments on this piece, originally posted at the site on May 13, 2008, follow:

Wilifred Langmaid  provides a comprehensive, interesting review of Cohen’s performance at the Fredericton Playhouse. Other than some forgivable hometown self-congratulation, the piece is thoughtful, knowledgeable, and includes details not listed elsewhere. A must-read for hard core Cohen fans.

Leonard Cohen – Who By Fire
Fredericton – May 11, 2008


Credit Due Department: Photo by Rbcb – Own work, CC by 3.0. via Wikipedia. Originally posted July 29, 2012 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Best Of 2008-2010 Leonard Cohen Tour: Closing Time At Weybridge Video & Pix

Where’s That Famous Blue Raincoat When You Need It?

The photo atop this post showing the deluge of rain falling on Leonard Cohen (who is on an ostensibly sheltered stage while the audience is unprotected from the skies) has become indelibly identified with Leonard Cohen’s wet, wonderful Weybridge show.

The photographer, dorsetbays, who took the shots on this page and generously shared them here, summarizes the setting:

Leonard Cohen put on an amazing concert at the Mercedes Benz Arena, Surrey on 11 July 2009. The weather was atrocious, heavy rain and gale force winds, but the atmosphere was electric.

Leonard Cohen – Closing Time
Weybridge: July 11, 2009

“Closing Time” is an important and beloved Leonard Cohen song, and there will certainly be more than one performance of “Closing Time” in this The Best Of Tour series. This energetic rendition, however,  delivered near the end of a 3+ hour concert held concurrently with a rainstorm surely qualifies for this distinction.

Continue Reading →

Best Of The 2008-2010 Leonard Cohen Tour: Feels So Good – Chicago Rosemont 2009

rosmstateFeels so good, not to love you like I did
Feels so good, not to love you like I did
It’s like they tore away my blindfold and they said,
We’re gonna let this prisoner live
It’s like they tore away my blindfold and they said,
We’re gonna let this prisoner live

Leonard Cohen – Feels So Good
Chicago Rosemont Theatre – October 29, 2009

“Feels So Good” was the first new song performed during a 2008-2010 Leonard Cohen World Tour concert. While the lyrics and arrangements of this song changed several times as it was played in Asheville, Durham, Kansas City, Las Vegas, San Jose, Auckland, Salzburg, Katowice, Sligo, … there remains something special about that Chicago performance.
I suppose the fact that I met Leonard Cohen and first heard Feels So Good at the soundcheck before the show that night1 could theoretically have influenced my judgement on this matter.

Leonard Cohen – Feels So Good
Rosemont Theatre, Chicago: Oct 29, 2009
Video from albertnoonan


Photos by Lisa Sweet. Originally posted July 3, 2012 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

  1. See What Leonard Cohen Told Me Backstage In Chicago, How To Win Friends And Impress Strangers With A Little Help From Lorca & Leonard Cohen, and Meeting Leonard Cohen And Falling In Love With Sharon Robinson []

2009 Leonard Cohen Kansas City Show Ranked #1 In Concert Chris’ “Top 20 Favorite Shows Of The Year”

1. Leonard Cohen 11-9 at The Midland Theater, KC

After the first song ended I said to my buddy that “it’s so good it feels fake.” I had no idea how good this show would be. The dude’s 75 but as spry as any indie band kid skipping on and off stage. The production and musicianship on stage was remarkable and the crowd hung on every word. Thanks Mr. Cohen.

From Top 20 Favorite Shows Of The Year, Kc And Elsewhere – Concert Chis: December 18, 2009. This photo of the marquee taken by Joey Carenza.

Photos, Video, & Reviews: 2009 Leonard Cohen Merriweather Post Pavilion Show, Columbia, MD

Somehow, the May 11, 2009 Leonard Cohen show at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD escaped my notice at the time. In researching this concert, I serendipitously came across an outstanding set of photos by Avi Elkoni, who not only agreed to their posting but also provided background information:

Some interesting facts about that particular concert, my first Leonard Cohen concert ever: The venue is what’s known in the industry as “a shed”. Make no mistake, it’s an excellent, award-winning amphitheater that was designed by Frank Gehry in the 60s and has seen its share of world-class musical acts. But it is an outdoor venue, with a roof that covers the stage and the seating area and additional uncovered lawn seating in the back. While the concert was in the “merry merry month of May” it was unseasonably cold. You will notice in the pictures that all of the vocalists put on scarves for the second half of the show and Leonard wore an overcoat. Mid-way through the second set it started to rain but the brave souls on the lawn opened a massive forest of umbrellas and stayed put. With Leonard’s music to warm the hearts everyone stuck it out until the end of the last encore.

The show was also reviewed by various outlets – although it’s not clear from those write-ups if the authors actually saw the same concert. The links are listed below with an excerpt fro each:

  • Leonard Cohen, in concert (Le Tartout : An Art Outlet: August 5, 2009): The most striking thing, and the first thing that grabbed my attention, was that what was going on was something different from the concerts we know, from what we usually expect. It was the sudden awareness and remembering of the fact that he is a poet, first and foremost. Thus he addressed us – talked to us, recited, told, caressed us; his meaning, the meaning of him being there, on the stage, was to talk to us. As he himself affirmed, many times, Leonard Cohen is, first and foremost, a poet; then, a composer; then, a singer – in descending order of adeptness and comfort. I would add that his poetry is made for, and in, music; that he is a wonderful composer; that his poetic mode of expression, although based on words, is through music. He is, thus, a troubadour, in mind, in spirit, and in voice; this is the type of poetry he writes, this is the type of music he writes; as he writes on love, on things above and below, on loneliness, on encounters. And he doth travel the world.  Therefore the night was one of a troubadour, who addressed us, who talked to us, sang to and with us.
  • Leonard Cohen: Greatest Concert Of All Time by Timaeus (Daily Kos: May 12, 2009): He has put together the absolutely most amazing concert performance anybody has ever seen!  At 74 he is in great shape and full of energy. He has an incredible 10-person band featuring some of the world’s very greatest musicians. And they’re performing the same set at every show (with minor variations). I just saw them at Merriweather Post Pavillion outside D.C. last night. It was a 3 hour and 20 minute show, with 3 encores!  It turned out to be a cold and rainy night, but everybody was transported.
  • Leonard Cohen: Live Last Night by Chris Klimek (Washington Post: May 12, 2009): At Merriweather Monday night, under skies that might be called “Coheneque” — cold, rainy, despairing, but not without a solitary beauty — the spry 74-year-old songwriter’s songwriter glided on-stage at 7:35, and sang for 65 minutes. Yes, sang. Save your jokes. He’s heard them all, and written some of the better ones himself. After a half-hour’s intermission, he returned to perform for another hour-forty, a headliner’s set in its own right. All told, he offered more than two dozen impeccable numbers from a tower of song that reaches back four decades. But the arrangements? Peccable, alas. With nine musicians joining him onstage, the temptation to drown Cohen’s meticulous language in flaccid lite-jazz instrumentation was constant. Too often, it was irresistible: The “Dance Me to the End of Love” that opened the show didn’t need one sax solo, much less two.

OK, actually the best line from the Washington Post review follows:

Cohen observed “We’re so privileged to gather like this, with so much of the world plunged in chaos and suffering.” Which is, roughly translated, Canadian poet-turned-monk-speak for “Throw your hands up and make some noy-oiiiise, Maryland!”


Only a few videos from this show are online. This is the best I could locate.

Leonard Cohen – Hallelujah
Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia MD: May 11, 2009

Semipro Video: Leonard Cohen Performs Dance Me To The End Of Love – Zagreb 2010

dancezahFrom the YouTube description:

This semi-pro recording was shot with one camera by RTL TV Croatia for their evening news, with the sound coming directly from the venue’s soundboard. Attendance of the show was 12,000 people (sold out). The concert was heralded by the local press as the best show in history of Croatia, and in December 2010 it was chosen as one of top five cultural events in Croatia in 2010 (the only event actually not by the Croats).

Leonard Cohen – Dance Me To The End Of Love
Zagreb: July 25, 2010
Video from a1000kissesdeep

Note: Originally posted Jul 25, 2011 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric