Sunday, February 22, 2009

Last month The Bookman , along with thousands of others, was enchanted & enthralled by singer, song-writer, poet extraordinaire Leonoard Cohen during his brief New Zealand Tour. I was interested then to read this review from The New York Times of his New York Concert, (he is almost home to Canada again), which could easily have been describing the concert we attended.

Pop Music’s Perpetual Old Man, Now 74, Is Back on the Road
Nicholas Roberts for The New York Times

Leonard Cohen at the Beacon Theater on Thursday night. The concert was the first in the United States in 15 years.
By NATE CHINEN Published: February 20, 2009

Leonard Cohen kept returning to the stance of a supplicant at the Beacon Theater on Thursday night, dropping to one knee, or both, to intone his wry and ruminative songs. At the same time, he basked in the rapture of the crowd, artfully courting adulation. His mix of humility and sovereignty felt effortless, entirely true to form. And it girded the concert, his first in the United States in 15 years, with a vibrant and effective tension.

Mr. Cohen, 74, left little room for disappointment in a show that lasted just over three hours (with an intermission) and featured more than two dozen songs. The evening doubled as a preview, coming with the eagerly anticipated announcement of a North American tour this spring. Mr. Cohen began his return to the road last year, with a slew of dates in Europe and his native Canada; one of them yielded “Live in London,” an album and DVD due out next month from Columbia.

The rigors of performing have reinvigorated Mr. Cohen, whose trademark black suit and fedora conveyed a somber chic. He literally skipped offstage at the end of each half, and after each of his several encores. He sashayed back on, with the slyest of grins. And his voice, that grave and inflexible instrument, occasionally escaped its granitelike restraints. On “Chelsea Hotel #2,” one of the best-received songs of the night, he sang with the resonant candor of his younger self, though that moment was brief and bittersweet.
Read the full review at the NYT.

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