The Commander Cohen Of Commendations: Leonard Cohen’s Extraordinary Band & Crew Introductions


Nobody introduced backing musicians and crew like Leonard Cohen. After offering a succinct, memorable lyrical description of each band member and backup singer (e.g., the sublime Webb Sisters, the impeccable Neil Larsen, my collaborator, the incomparable Sharon Robertson, the sweet shepherd of stings Javier Mas, the master of breath Dino Soldo; the signature of steady Bob Metzger; my musical colleague for 35 years, the much-cherished and incurable Roscoe Beck, the regent of restraint, the prince of passionate precision, Bernado Gayol), he would remove his hat and bow his head.

The description offered in Top ten experiences with music in the last year: Number One: Leonard Cohen at Barclay’s Center, Brooklyn NY. May 20th, 2012 by Will Sheff ( December 24, 2012) is compelling [bolding mine]:

The 78-year-old Cohen showed no signs of fatigue though, dropping to his knees, skipping on and offstage for the two encores, bantering charmingly with his audience, introducing the band, the front-of-house team, the monitor guy, the guy who hung the lights even, naming their hometowns. He did this whole round of introductions twice, by the way. It was the most moving introducing-the-band routine I’ve ever seen – something that usually feels Vegas-y but this time around felt like church.

It’s that reverent tone, I think. that enchanted us.

Introducing “The Master Of Musicians,” “My Old Friend,” “The Incurable Roscoe Beck” Et Al At Malmo 2010

While this video is imperfect, it does show Leonard Cohen offering a particularly effusive and expanded set of band member introductions at the end of “Anthem” at the Aug 4, 2010 Malmo Concert. (Video automatically begins with Leonard Cohen’s introductions.)

This video (self-described as shaky) of the May 12, 2009 Philadelphia show by Linda Sturgess, Leonard thanks everyone from the lighting specialists to the caterers.

How many musical icons thank the caterers in his or her parting words of the show?

Credit Due Department: Photo atop this post is by Lorca Cohen. Originally posted at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“Everybody was rehearsed not only in the notes but also in something unspoken” Leonard Cohen On 2008 Tour Preparation


In rehearsal before 2008 Tour: Leonard Cohen, Sharon Robinson & Webb Sisters

Everybody was rehearsed not only in the notes but also in something unspoken. You could feel it in the dressing room as you moved closer to the concert, you could feel the sense of commitment, tangible in the room.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen


Leonard Cohen Makes It Darker by David Remnick (New Yorker: October 17, 2016). Photo by Lorca Cohen.

In Situ Signs Of Leonard Cohen: 2010 Swedish Concert Posters

sweden20102Concerts advertised:

  • Malmö, Sweden: Aug 4, 2010
  • Stockholm, Sweden: Aug 8, 2010
  • Gothenburg/Göteborg, Sweden: Aug 12, 2010


Credit Due Department: Photo top this post by by Philip Young. Other photos by Nils Buss. Originally posted January 20, 2011 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“Leonard Cohen & his band created moments of sublime beauty…” 2009 Red Rocks Concert Review


Leonard Cohen & his band created moments of sublime beauty that made the lasciviously profane lyrics of ‘Chelsea Hotel #2’ seem holy in comparison to that average slab of pop confection you’ll hear on the radio.quotedown2


Last night: Leonard Cohen at Red Rocks by Tom Murphy. Westworld: June 5, 2009.

Credit Due Department: Photo CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikipedia Commons. Originally posted April 25, 2014 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric