We were all standing in a line to go on stage in this tiny theatre in [Fredericton] Canada, which was rammed to the rafters with clearly diehard Leonard fans. Sharon, Hattie and me walked on with [Leonard Cohen] and, yeah, his hands behind his back were shaking. He talked briefly about it being, ‘A few years, friends,’ and the place just exploded. I was completely taken aback because I’d never experienced that sort of physical reaction before. I had to compose myself to sing ‘Dance Me To The End Of Love.’ Walking on stage and having thousands of people immediately convulse with emotion – that feeling didn’t go away, I just learned to manage it.
Quotation from Happy Birthday, Leonard Cohen by Abby Steward. Hot Press: Sept 2017. Photos by J. Gordon Anderson.
A remarkably similar description of the Fredericton show from a different perspective can be found at “The roar of the [2008 Fredericton] crowd was… ferocious adoration… Up until that moment it was just another job to me.” Leif Bodnarchuk On Working For Leonard Cohen.
More about the Fredericton concert can be accessed at In The Beginning … Photos & Videos Of Leonard Cohen’s First 2008-2013 Tour Show: Fredericton, May 11, 2008.