Following reports of the 2008-2009 Leonard Cohen World Tour has led me to consider the impact the venue has on the performer and, perhaps even more significantly, on the audience. I was most recently made aware of this issue by reading Amanda’s posts at Flop Eared Mule (Update: no longer online. Fair Warning: Amanda does not write what one would define as “balanced reviews” of Leonard Cohen performances so much as – oh, let’s call them “appreciations.” Consider, for example, her description of the opening of the Sydney performance:
In fact, the first highlight came even before the song when Leonard (Leonard Freaking Cohen) bounded, literally bounded, on stage and was greeted by a standing ovation. Excited as I was, I may not have thought of that myself but there was a great release in going up with the masses and I evidently felt sufficiently unrestrained that I couldn’t help but tear up. And I squealed like I’d just seen a Bay City Roller.
Amanda compares the Leonard Cohen concerts she attended at the Sydney Entertainment Center, which is most frequently described as a “big box” although Amanda favors “barn,” with the show she attended at the Centennial Vineyards in Bowral.