This photo – one of my favorite shots from the 2009 Tour – is from the Feb 1, 2009 Leonard Cohen concert at Centennial Vineyards, Bowral, Australia. The photo is by Amanda at Flop Eared Mule
Even the casual Leonard Cohen fan1 is aware that the Canadian poet-novelist-singer-songwriter-icon is an incredibly effective but not a fast-paced entertainer. He sings long sets of long songs.
That creates a problem for those who wish to relive the glories of the 2008-2010 Leonard Cohen World Tour: who has the time to indulge in a retrospective of a three year accumulation of four-hour concerts?
As readers know, DrHGuy is no Lenny-come-lately to this battle against time. His PowerPoint versions of First We Take Manhattan and Take This Waltz, for example, cut the time needed to experience either song from over six minutes to less than two minutes.
Now, Cohencentric Studios has crunched the entire 2008-2010 Leonard Cohen World Tour, including the triggering events, into one 60-second video. a presentation even the busiest CEO, the most harassed flunky, the most put-upon house spouse, and the ADHD-est youngster can enjoy and appreciate.
The Ne Plus Ultra Condensed 2008-2010 Leonard Cohen World Tour Video
As one might expect, given the reformatting of the fundamental elements of time and space necessary in creating this piece, viewing this video is not without its risks. Those with a history of heavy hallucinogen use or anyone who spent more than 30 consecutive days in San Francisco during the 1960s may experience flashbacks. Those vulnerable to vertigo or motion-induced nausea should contact their physicians before viewing the presentation and may find a prophylactic dose of Dramamine helpful.
Further, rigorous focus is required. Blinking is discouraged. Be alert.
Around The Leonard Cohen World Tour In 60 Seconds
Note: Originally posted April 12, 2011 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
- The “casual Leonard Cohen fan” is, of course, a hypothetical if not totally fictional figure, not unlike the unicorn, which perhaps could exist but has yet to be verifiably sighted. In practice, those who admire Leonard Cohen can be divided into two groups, the hard core Cohenites and the ABTKA (All But The Kool-Aid) Cohen fans. (And, yes, I know Leonard doesn’t like to call his followers “fans,” but he doesn’t have to post on a blog every day, does he? If I only had to write a handful of songs every decade or so, I could avoid using the word “fans” too.) [↩]
Leonard Cohen – Famous Blue Raincoat
Lissadell House, Sligo: August 1, 2010
Video by albertnoonan
Featuring Sharon Robinson, Hattie Webb, Charley Webb & Dino Soldo
Leonard Cohen – Born In Chains
Oakland: Dec 6. 2010
Video from arlenedick15
Note: Originally posted Dec 7, 2010 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric.com
In 2005, it was discovered that Leonard Cohen’s longtime manager, Kelley Lynch, had embezzled more than $5 million from the 71-year-old’s accounts, while also surreptitiously selling many of Cohen’s publishing rights. In the previous decade, Cohen mostly had been residing in a Zen monastery and had released only two albums—2001’s Ten New Songs and 2004’s Dear Heather, neither of which reached the top 100 on the chart. To pursue his case against Lynch, Cohen ultimately had to take out a new mortgage on his Los Angeles home. So on the heels of his induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007, the singer-songwriter announced that he was going to generate some income the old-fashioned way—by going back on tour after 15 years off the stage. ‘Leonard was very reluctant at first,’ says his manager, Robert Kory. ‘From his view, touring had always been a disaster—he would say, ‘Performing is an opportunity for a thousand humiliations.’ His hand forced, Cohen assembled a band (three backup singers, two guitarists, drummer, keyboardist, bassist and saxophonist, later replaced by a violinist) and rehearsed for a full three months, followed by a series of unadvertised preview dates in Canada, beginning May 11, 2008, at the 709-seat Playhouse in Fredericton, New Brunswick. During the next five years, selling out bigger and bigger stages, Cohen’s touring would propel his career to heights he had never seen since emerging as one of the most important songwriters of the 1960s. Between a lengthy run from 2008 to 2010, which included triumphant appearances at Coachella and Glastonbury, and then a shorter leg in 2012 and 2013, the previously stage-wary Cohen played 387 shows to more than 2 million people.
Information about the financial success of these tours is available at 2008-2013 Leonard Cohen Tour Revenues.
From Remembering Leonard Cohen: Close Friends, Collaborators & Critics on How He Changed Music Forever by Sasha Frere-Jones (Billboard: November 17, 2016). Photo by J. Gordon Anderson.
DrHGuy Note: Alan Light is the author of The Holy or the Broken: Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley, and the Unlikely Ascent of “Hallelujah”
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.
Your experience of working with him
In 2008 the tour was savage. Even by the final rehearsal in S.I.R., nerves were frayed. But the very first gig in Fredericton was special, and set the tone for the challenges ahead. Leonard took to the stage for the first time in years, and the roar of the crowd was… I don’t know… ferocious adoration. Deafening like a jet engine, warm like a campfire. Up until that moment it was just another job to me, but that reception made me realise how much pressure we’d be under to help Leonard live up to the expectations put on him.
Leif Bodnarchuk served as guitar technician on the 2008-2013 Leonard Cohen tours.
From Leonard Cohen – a few memories by Leif Bodnarchuk (Leif Bodnarchuk: Nov 16, 2016). Photo taken at the Sept 20, 2013 Leonard Cohen Amsterdam Concert by Leif Bodnarchuk.
Update: A remarkably similar description of the Fredericton show from a different perspective can be found at Charley Webb On Leonard Cohen’s 2008 Fredericton Show.
Find more about the Fredericton concert at In The Beginning … Photos & Videos Of Leonard Cohen’s First 2008-2013 Tour Show: Fredericton, May 11, 2008.
Ending a 15-year retirement from touring, Leonard Cohen went back on the road, opening his 2008-2010 World Tour1 at the Fredericton, New Brunswick Playhouse on May 11, 2008. Cohencentric is celebrating this event with a set of brilliant photos from the concert and videos of Leonard’s first song at that show and his welcoming words to the audience.
Note: Those interested in why the 2008 Tour opened at a venue with a seating capacity of 709 in a city with a population (in 2005) of just over 50,000 can investigate the issue at Why The 2008-2013 Leonard Cohen World Tours Opened In Fredericton, NB.
These brilliant photos of Leonard Cohen and his musicians were taken at the 2008 Fredericton show by J. Gordon Anderson.
“This is the first time I’ve done this in 14 years. I was 60 years old the last time – just a kid with a crazy dream.” – The Leonard Cohen Monologue
While these videos are suboptimal, their historic value and their evocation of the essence of what was to become Leonard Cohen’s performance style in his final tours reward viewing.
Leonard Cohen Talks To Audience
Fredericton: May 11, 2008
Video from RansomNoteMusic
The First Song Of The First Set Of The First Concert Of The First 2008-2013 Leonard Cohen Tour – Dance Me To The End Of Love
Leonard Cohen – Dance Me To The End Of Love
Fredericton: May 11, 2008
Video from RansomNoteMusic
Credit Due Department: Photos of Leonard Cohen and his musicians by J. Gordon Anderson. Photo of Playhouse by Rbcb – Own work, CC by 3.0. via Wikipedia.
Note: All posts about this concert are collected at 2008 Fredericton Show
Originally posted Jan 19, 2011 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
- Of course, at the time no one knew it would be a three year tour, let alone that it would be followed by tours in 2012 and 2013 [↩]