Sunday, April 26, 2009
Leonard Cohen, the Entertainer
I heard Leonard Cohen sing in concert last Thursday in Seattle. It was wonderful. I knew he was a great singer and poet, but I discovered that he is a consummate entertainer as well. He really did it all.
The audience was huge, over 2,000, in an auditorium built like an airplane hanger, and yet the sound was excellent -- warm and rich. Our seats were not near the stage, but we heard very clearly, with no harsh metal tones.
Of course, there is his golden voice, and he knows how to use it. Many people remarked at the energy of this 75-year-old performer. It was a lesson in how to use what you have, and to fore go what you used to do, and to fore go what you could never do.
With such a focus, one can do handsprings at any age.
There was no taste of nostalgia. I know this man -- he would never do that. There was no going back, no reunion of old times.
No, it was all fresh, every song. It was all about The Future, and what comes next. The man is past all fears, and we are too.
A TRUE CANADIAN. When I heard the notes of Cohen's classic, "Suzanne," I heard the sound of Canada.
"She brings you tea and oranges that come all the way from China" -- With that line Leonard Cohen sings the soul of Canada.
This is a little hard to explain. But it has always been difficult to describe the Canadian experience. Will you take my word for it?
We drove down to Seattle in a plush ride, the 60 miles, the four of us. It was Marc "Zappa" Daniel and his girlfriend, myself, and a friend I invited. Such good companions.
At the concert, I told my friend, "Look around, you might see someone you know."
Sure enough, as we walked out, among thousands, we found Charlie Krafft, the renowned artist, and the former mayor of Fishtown. We were very glad to see him, but not at all surprised.
I've been riding on a cloud for days.
It's all about the Future, my friends. It's coming.