Video: Leonard Cohen Talks About, Performs Chelsea Hotel #2 – 1979

I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel
You were talking so brave and so sweet
Giving me head on the unmade bed
While the limousines wait in the street

Leonard Cohen Talks About, Performs Chelsea Hotel #2
From Song Of Leonard Cohen by Harry Rasky
Video from messalina79

Note: Originally posted September 2, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Sights & Sounds Of The 2010 Leonard Cohen Ghent Concerts

Leonard Cohen Gets Together With Friends In Ghent, Belgium – August 2010

The 2010 Leonard Cohen Ghent concerts blessed us with a deluge of superior videos. Simultaneously,  outstanding photos of the venue (and the nifty 2008 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductees jacket displayed in the middle of this post) by Hans Kloss surfaced to serve as the perfect complement to the videos.

Leonard Cohen – Closing Time
Ghent: Aug 22, 2010
Video from albertnoonan

Leonard Cohen – Boogie Street
Ghent: Aug 22, 2010
Video from albertnoonan

Leonard Cohen – In My Secret Life
Ghent: Aug 21, 2010
Video from bridgebud

Note: Originally posted Aug 25, 2010 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Video: A Montreal Leonard Cohen Moment By Marc Altheim

Sans commentaire. #leonardcohen

A post shared by LePMR (@lepmr) on

 

Marc Altheim sends this heartfelt video shot in the area near Leonard Cohen’s Montreal home. The Instagram image atop this post focuses on the same street corner featured in the video.

Quality Video: Leonard Cohen Performs Lover, Lover, Lover – Brooklyn 2012

And may the spirit of this song
May it rise up pure and free
May it be a shield for you
A shield against the enemy

Leonard Cohen – Lover, Lover, Lover
Barclays, Brooklyn: Dec 20, 2012
Video by Wirebirds

Note: Originally posted Dec 23, 2012 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen Takes Berlin But Not Without Struggle – Tour Tales 2009

But love is not a victory march,
it’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah!

Leonard Cohen’s Battle For Berlin

As noted by concert-goers, Leonard Cohen’s July 2, 2009 Berlin concert was not an automatic triumph. This report from LeonardCohenForum by brinberlin limns the situation:

… the Webbs and Sharon Robinson came on unsmiling, stony-faced, morose, and despite the obligatory standing ovation LC looked ill at ease to say the least. One problem must have been the audience. What a lack of vibe. Mostly over 50 (as I am, but not like them!) and looking as if they just came for an evening out, provincial in the most pejorative sense of the word, they could have been watching anyone really. They marched up and down the aisles with wines and beers as he sang, talked amongst themselves, clapped and whooped each time they (wrongly) thought a song had ended… really embarrassing. … They were only waiting for Suzanne, and the rest seemed to pass them by as they hysterically took mobile phone footage of each other and the screens…

While others who attended disagree about the appearance of the performers and the extent of the philistinism rampant in the crowd, the consensus is nonetheless that the Berlin show was challenging in a way that many other stops on the World Tour have not been.

Many previous Tour concerts (including the one I attended at the Beacon Theatre) have been as much worship services of gathered Cohen  acolytes as they are entertainments.  The greatest risks posed in such circumstances has been competitions by audience members to demonstrate who is most appreciative of, knowledgeable about, and emotionally intimate with Cohen and crew.

From both the reports of those in attendance and the press, there is little doubt that, by the end of the Berlin show, Cohen had won over the audience. What is striking is that this was a victory accomplished by the overwhelming display of professionalism and grace by Leonard Cohen, the backup singers, and the band.

Keep in mind that this is the grown-up version of the Leonard Cohen who walked off the stage in frustration in a 1972 concert. Of course, this is also the Leonard Cohen who thoughtfully considers his responsibilities as a performer:

You definitely go into a concert with a prayer on your lips. There’s no question about that. I think that anything risky that you do, anything that sets you up for the possibility of humiliation like a concert does … you have to lean on something that is a little better than yourself I feel I’m always struggling with the material, whether it’s a concert or a poem or a prayer or a conversation. It’s very rarely that I find I’m in a condition of grace where there’s a kind of flow that is natural. I don’t inhabit that landscape too often. … Well, I mean this in a kind of lighthearted way. When you walk on the stage and 5,000 people have paid good money to hear you, there’s definitely a sense that you can blow it. The possibilities for disgrace are enormous.1

Leonard Cohen’s 2009 Strategy For Taking Berlin

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  1. From An Interview with Leonard Cohen” by Robert Sward. A Side. Montreal, Quebec. 1986 []

Video: Leonard Cohen Performs Bird On The Wire – German TV 1979

Leonard Cohen’s October 31, 1979 performance of a set at the ZDF-TV Studio in München, Deutschland was taped for later broadcast. Many, if not all, of the songs he played that day have been previously posted individually. Eight of the songs are available at Dec 2, 1979 ZDF-TV Rock-Pop Special

Bird On The Wire, however, was broadcast on the November 10, 1979 edition of the same show.

Thanks to Milan Zivancevic, who alerted me to this video.