Video: Variations In Leonard Cohen’s 2012 Performances Of Darkness


With Tour Manager Mike Scoble On Harmonica

In searching for information bout Mike Scoble stepping in to play harmonica on performances of Darkness on the 2012 tour, I happened upon this composite video put together by alanm5049 to illustrate the variations in the live versions of that song.

The YouTube description follows:

The) Darkness was initially presented in concert in Nashville in 2009 and has been performed many times since. It is included on the “Old Ideas” album, performed by the touring band. In 2012 there were changes in band personnel resulting in different arrangements for the song. Tour Manager Mike Scoble plays harmonica, and in the first concert of the tour (Ghent) Cohen appears surprised to hear and see him. The instrumental solos between the second and third verses have been altered appreciably over time. Even the guitar playing of Mitch Watkins varies considerably between the early concerts and the later ones in 2012. Initially Leonard Cohen played guitar, but late in the North American leg of the tour, he just sang with a hand-held microphone. Also in the last few concerts Rafael Gayol was featured in a drum solo while LC chanted to him. This is a mix of several videos posted by others, to whom I am very grateful, namely – opaglabijn1 (Ghent 12/8/12), Albert Noonan (Helsinki 2/9/12 & Boston 16/12/12), Arlene Dick (Portland 8/12/10) & leonardcohenvideo (Montreal 28/11/12).

Brilliant Photos: The 2013 Leonard Cohen Amsterdam Concert Through The Lens Of Maarten Massa – Gallery 1

These photos were taken at the Sept 20, 2013 Leonard Cohen Concert by Maarten Massa. Also see Brilliant Photos: The 2013 Leonard Cohen Amsterdam Concert Through The Lens Of Maarten Massa – Gallery 2. Even more shots taken by Maarten at this show can be found at his Facebook album: Final European concert of the Old Ideas World Tour 2013

Note: Originally posted 2Sept 27, 2013 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Best Of 2008-2010 Leonard Cohen Tour: 2010 Helsinki Concert Video & Photos

The 2010 Helsinki Concert Photos

Maarten Massa’s photos of Leonard Cohen and, especially, the band members and backup singers from the August 10, 2010 Helsinki concert are among the best taken during the entire 2008-2010 tour. In addition to the shots displayed in this post, many other photos from the Helsinki show can be found at Leonard Cohen in Helsinki – Aug 10 2010: Part 1 and Part 2.

Video: Leonard Cohen – I Tried To Leave You + Thank You To Jarkko

That the final song of the August 10, 2010 Leonard Cohen Helsinki Concert was “I Tried To Leave You” was hardly a surprise. Nor were the solo performances by the band members and backup singers unexpected.

Unique to the Helsinki show, however, were Leonard Cohen’s words of appreciation, following the completion of “I Tried To Leave You,” for the role Jarkko Arjatsalo and his website,, played in keeping Cohen’s songs alive when his “voice wasn’t heard very often in very many places.”

Leonard Cohen – I Tried To Leave You
Helsinki: Aug 10, 2010
Video from itriedtoleaveyou

Note: Originally posted July 5, 2012 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen Musical Technology: Rafael Gayol’s Drum Set


How Does One Bang On That Drum All Day

While this musical technology post is linked to Leonard Cohen because the issue happened to come to my attention via LeonardCohenForum and, unsurprisingly given its origin, had to do with Cohen’s band, my major motivation for publishing the information is – well, I like to know how things work so I narcissistically assume Cohencentric  readers will be interested as well.

Distilled to the basics, the question is,

What is that small drum adjacent to Raphael Gayol’s1  bass drum?”2

It turns out that this is not, as I had hoped, a case of percussive mitosis.
mitosisThe correct answer, provided by LeonardCohenForum member, Florian, follows:

The item used by R. Gayol is called “Subkick,”3 manufactured by Yamaha. It has the same purpose as the Woofer by DW but works little differently: basically it’s a snare drum shell (10 x 5 inches) with a speaker(!) inside. that speaker is reverse-wired and works as a microphone as result of that. The DW woofer is a shorter bass drum in front of the real bass drum with a (real) mic inside.

“Woofer by DW” refers to an earlier forum entry about the same question:

… a ‘woofer’ … enhances the sympathetic frequencies, roundness, and low – end ‘punch’ [of the drum.] Non drummers might think ‘what’s the point?’ but drummers know it makes a difference – and if that is what they think will improve things all around – then great.

Credit Due Department: The photo atop this post was taken by Jean @ Renovation Therapy. (I, however, am responsible for the value-added yellow circle.)

Note: Originally posted May 23, 2009 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric


  1. Rafael Gayol is also known, per Leonard Cohen’s band introductions, as “Our Timekeeper” []
  2. The obvious follow-up question is, “And what is that mysterious yellow circle around it?” []
  3. Doesn’t “Subkick” sound suspiciously like a D&s term for something a Dom would do to a sub? []