Monday, November 19, 2012

A Golden Voice: Leonard Cohen In Edmonton

"I was born like this, I had no choice
I was born with the gift of a golden voice" ~ Tower of Song
Leonard Cohen knows how to celebrate the sacred and profane - with elegance and style. Last night he gave it all, including three encores. I've never seen the man live before, but after his gorgeous 3.5 hour performance at Edmonton's Rexall Place I've renewed my membership in the "Broken Church of Leonard" with a profound sense of gratitude and fulfillment.

Throughout the evening Leonard bowed, kneeled and often doffed his fedora after one of his bandmates executed yet another soulful solo. He thanked the crowd at least three times, expressed his gratitude for being back in his homeland (Canada!), and literally came skipping back to stage for the encores. Not bad for a 78-year-old "lazy bastard living in a suit."

"Sisters of Mercy" was especially poignant as he explained it was written here "in a hotel next to the North Saskatchewan" in 1966. His band was smooth and supple, modulating gracefully with the different mood each song required, and the crowd, made up of mostly balding, greyheads - we were among the youngest - lapped it up.

First Set

Dance Me to the End of Love
The Future
Bird on the Wire
Everybody Knows
Who by Fire Darkness
Ain't No Cure for Love
Come Healing
In My Secret Life
A Thousand Kisses Deep (Recitation)

Second Set

Tower of Song
Sisters of Mercy
Waiting for the Miracle
Heart with No Companion
If It Be Your Will (performed by the Webb Sisters)
Alexandra Leaving (performed by Sharon Robinson)
I'm Your Man
Take This Waltz

Encore 1

So Long, Marianne
First We Take Manhattan

Encore 2

Famous Blue Raincoat
Going Home
Closing Time

Encore 3

I Tried to Leave You
Save the Last Dance for Me

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