Last Sunday we went to see Leonard Cohen again in the O2 arena in Greenwich.
This is the 5th time we have seen him since he started out on his world tour in 2008. We were there, at the concert in the O2 on the 17th of July 2008 (which was recorded and released on DVD, ‘Live in London‘ the first ever live recording of Leonard ever released), and again in November that year.
The following year we saw him in Weybridge, less than 2 miles from our house, outdoors in the rain which we hardly noticed so engrossed were we in the music.
We booked tickets to see him at the Hop Farm in Kent, the home of his wonderful backing singers The Webb Sisters, but the concert was moved at the last minute to the Wembley Arena. Luckily we hadn’t booked somewhere to stay and we were able to swap our tickets easily, so we saw him there too 🙂
This year we saw him in June, and he hinted that he is winding down his touring after 5 years on the road. He said he would like to keep touring in his 80th year, (he is 79 today.. Happy Birthday Leonard!) but he also wants to start smoking again and join a motorcycle gang 🙂
When we heard him suggest he might not be touring after this year we instantly booked tickets for his concert last Sunday the second the tickets became available. Being avid members of his fan club we managed to get great seats, on the front row of the second block.
The concert was pure magic, at the beginning Leonard said it might be some time before we met again… That he wasn’t hanging up his boxing gloves just yet, but he knew where the hook was…
He told us that he and the band would give us everything they had got, and they did!
He played a new song, one we hadn’t heard before ‘I’ve Got A Secret’, plenty from his brilliant recent albums ‘Old Ideas’ and ‘Ten New Songs’ and lots and lots of our old favourites. Sharon Robinson’s rendition of their song Alexandra Leaving had me in tears again, it was completely wonderful.
At the beginning of the encores we left our seats and joined the crowd in the Leonard Cohen ‘mosh pit‘ at the stage. Leonard sang one of my all time favourites ‘Famous Blue Raincoat’ and the Webb Sisters sang the haunting song ‘If It Be Your Will’
Leonard sang right up to the curfew, and seemed as reluctant to leave us as we were for him to leave, as he danced off the the stage for the last time, we felt we were saying goodbye to a friend that we might not see again for a long time.
Leonard will be playing in Australia and New Zealand at the end of the year…. Maybe he will hang on out there over Christmas & play for us when we arrive in January? Who knows…
For now we are left with the wonderful glow of being in the presence of the master, just one more time 🙂
Some more of my photos from the evening, click on any of them to see bigger versions
Here is the set list for his concert at the O2 arena on Sunday the 15th of September 2013
Dance Me to the End of Love
Bird on the Wire
I’ve Got a Secret (new song)
Who by Fire
The Gypsy’s Wife
Lover Lover Lover (with band introduction)
Tower of Song
Chelsea Hotel #2
In My Secret Life
Alexandra Leaving (performed by Sharon Robinson)
I’m Your Man
A Thousand Kisses Deep (recitation)
Take This Waltz
So Long, Marianne
First We Take Manhattan
Famous Blue Raincoat
If It Be Your Will (performed by the Webb Sisters)
Closing Time (shortened version due to curfew)