Leonard Cohen Video Treasure: First We Take Manhattan – Venice 2009

ve2nicefirstI’m guided by a signal in the heavens
I’m guided by this birthmark on my skin
I’m guided by the beauty of our weapons
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin
The 2009 Leonard Cohen Venice concert yielded a number of high quality videos, but this recording of First We Take Manhattan is outstanding in its portrayal of the energy and high theatrics on display that night as well as the extensive interplay between Cohen and his troupe.

In addition to enjoying an excellent rendition of the song, watch for

  • The bells of St Mark’s Square ringing
  • The concert hall as it appears in daylight and as it fills just before the concert begins
  • Bob Metzger’s classic rock band over-the-head hand-clapping, prompting the audience to follow suit
  • Cohen’s facial animation, shifting between trance-like and dramatic, sudden action
  • Sharon Robinson in her best form
  • The band that is, as Cohen sings in Closing Time, really happening
  • Cohen’s “Here we go again” at about 3:30
  • The especially intense, inflected interactions between Cohen and Javier Mas
  • Cohen’s victory lap waving his hat immediately after finishing the song, acknowledging the applause
  • Show-stopping skipping at the end

Then, watch it again.

Leonard Cohen – First We Take Manhattan
Venice: Aug 3, 2009
Video by videodharma

Note: Originally posted Aug 27, 2009 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

One Reply to “Leonard Cohen Video Treasure: First We Take Manhattan – Venice 2009”

  1. Puddingdale

    Wow – was this a piece of heaven? In any case it was captured professionally. And they all seem so happy. What a wonderful night in a beautiful city it must have been for everyone.