Video: Variations In Leonard Cohen’s 2012 Performances Of Darkness

 

With Tour Manager Mike Scoble On Harmonica

In searching for information bout Mike Scoble stepping in to play harmonica on performances of Darkness on the 2012 tour, I happened upon this composite video put together by alanm5049 to illustrate the variations in the live versions of that song.

The YouTube description follows:

The) Darkness was initially presented in concert in Nashville in 2009 and has been performed many times since. It is included on the “Old Ideas” album, performed by the touring band. In 2012 there were changes in band personnel resulting in different arrangements for the song. Tour Manager Mike Scoble plays harmonica, and in the first concert of the tour (Ghent) Cohen appears surprised to hear and see him. The instrumental solos between the second and third verses have been altered appreciably over time. Even the guitar playing of Mitch Watkins varies considerably between the early concerts and the later ones in 2012. Initially Leonard Cohen played guitar, but late in the North American leg of the tour, he just sang with a hand-held microphone. Also in the last few concerts Rafael Gayol was featured in a drum solo while LC chanted to him. This is a mix of several videos posted by others, to whom I am very grateful, namely – opaglabijn1 (Ghent 12/8/12), Albert Noonan (Helsinki 2/9/12 & Boston 16/12/12), Arlene Dick (Portland 8/12/10) & leonardcohenvideo (Montreal 28/11/12).

Video: Leonard Cohen Performs Darkness (With Chanting) – Ljubljana 2013

Featuring Mitch Watkins & Neil Larsen

I caught the darkness
It was drinking from your cup
I caught the darkness
Drinking from your cup
I said is this contagious?
You said just drink it up

Leonard Cohen – The Darkness
Ljubljana: July 26, 2013
Video by sotelonij

Note: Originally posted Jul 27, 2013 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Video: Leonard Cohen Performs Darkness With Chanting – Boston 2012

I should have seen it coming
It was right behind your eyes
You were young and it was summer
I just had to take a dive
Winning you was easy
But darkness was the prize

The first video of a performance of Darkness with chanting.

Leonard Cohen – Darkness
Boston: Dec 16 ,2012
Video: albertnoonan

Note: Originally posted Dec 18, 2012 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Video: Leonard Cohen’s Intense Performance Of Darkness – Madison Square Garden 2012

I caught the darkness
Drinking from your cup
I said is this contagious?
You said just drink it up

Leonard Cohen – Darkness
Madison Square Garden, NYC: Dec 18, 2012
Video: rlamtk

Note: Originally posted Dec 22, 2012 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

First Video Of The Darkness By Leonard Cohen: Venice Soundcheck- Aug 3, 2009

dkneAs reports filter in about the  August 3, 2009 Leonard Cohen Venice Concert, the  extraordinary energy and quality of Cohen’s performance becomes increasingly obvious (more about that later).  A by-product of the singer-songwriter’s expansive mood appears to have been his semi-public audition of a new song, “The Darkness,” during the Venice soundcheck being watched by a number of fans at the concert site, Piazza San Marco.

Happily for those of us who spent August 3rd at locales other than Venice, Maarten1 at LeonardCohenForum shot and uploaded a video of that performance during the soundcheck.

I only missed a few words at the beginning of the song. When I heard the band playing some intro that I hadn’t heard before, I crabbed my camera and started filming right away, but the intro and a few words are missing…

Tom Sakic notes the following comments re the song’s title:

Leonard to Jarkko: “untitled work in progress.”
Bob Metzger: “We call it the blues.”

Leonard Cohen – The Darkness
Venice Soundcheck: August 3, 2009
Video by MaartenLC

Lyrics – The Darkness

mnkyface at LeonardCohenForum offers a transcription of the lyrics of this new song.

….It was drinking from your cup
I caught the darkness
from your little ruby cup
I said ‘is this contagious?’
You said ‘just drink it up’

I got no future baby
I know my days are few
I got no future (honey?)
I said I know my days are few
And the prison’s not that pleasant
Just a lot of things to do

I don’t need your sticky (?) little buzz
I don’t need your alcohol
I don’t need your loving touch
but that’s always been your call
’cause there’s nothing about (but?) the darkness
‘makes any sense to me at all

I should have seen the darkness
It was right behind your eyes
ah, those pools so deep and heartless
I just had to take a dive
ah yeah winning you was easy
yeah but darknesss was the prize

Got no future
Got no future
Got no future
yeah I know my days are few
The prison’s not that pleasant
just a lot of things to do

Don’t need your sticky little buzz…

[here he signals the band to stop- you can hear cathedral bells ringing over them :)]

Note: Originally posted Aug 6, 2009 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

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  1. AKA MaartenLC at YouTube, AKA  Maarten Massa, who is responsible for the Leonard Cohen reference site, MaartenMassa []

Exceptional Video: Leonard Cohen Performs The Darkness – Bercy, Paris 2013

da2rkness-screenshot

Special Features: 1. Sharon Robinson & Webb Sisters performing as a combination Motown backup singers – Greek chorus to Cohen’s protagonist. 2. Leonard Cohen’s chanting at 4:30 before introduction of drummer Rafael Gayol

Leonard Cohen – Darkness
Bercy: June 18, 2013
Visual: clear, steady visual elements featuring full stage views (no closeups). Audio: excellent.
Video by mhlenoir

Note: Originally posted June 18, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric