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Leonard Cohen : Tournée 2008
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Leonard Cohen's concert the Geneva Arena
October 27th, 2008
I settled down in the Carré Or, Row 14, almost opposite centre-stage with my camera and my note pad to record key-moments. The Genevans finally arrived and the atmosphere, to my great surprise, was very relaxed, without glitz or glamour, as if they had come to see an old friend, family entertainment. Another surprise : drinks, sandwiches, mobile phones and cameras were allowed in the concert hall. A small voice told me to take advantage of this because it could be very different in the Olympia of Paris.
At 8 pm exactly, the lights went out. Projectors lit up the curtains in red and the master, punctual as usual, made his entrance followed by his musicians.
He took the microphone and with his golden voice, intact and perfect, started his concert directly with the notes of " Dance me to the end of love ". He moved on with "The Future", then, in impeccable French, he said : " il n’y a pas de remède à l’amour" to introduce the song " Ain’t no cure for love". " The Partisan" in the second part was also interpreted partially in French and, just before the break, he started off this sentence in French : " it is a great privilege to present these songs " and ended it in English " in this place while the world is suffering and going down into chaos ".
But to go back to the first part of the concert. The high points were without hesitation all the magnificent songs sung in his mature and grave voice. I will remember for ever Javier Mas' long Spanish-Arabic introduction on the mandolin to " Who by fire ", then a bewitching " Bird on a wire " and " Heart with no companion " to a country music beat.
At the end of a perfectly played "Anthem", Leonard Cohen presented his artists one by one, by bowing respectfully to each of them. He did all this again at the end of the second part. An intense moment of emotion and humility and a special mention for Javier Mas, absolutely magical with his 3 oriental guitars and his complicity on stage with the master.
"In 15-20 minutes, we will return for the second part of the show”. And with these words in French Leonard Cohen skipped off the stage.
He returned to perform " Tower of song " on his electronic keyboard after a mea culpa in English over " these 15 years of absence from Geneva which were filled with Prozac, religious and philosophical meditation " to which he added mischievously: " I do not know if it really helped to improve me personally or even to play the keyboard better ".
And the song was prolonged by the backing singers “di-dam”s and his “please don’t stop, encore encore, yes yes, please, that’s it ! ".
Then that was it … It was finished. Standing ovation. And away he went, followed by his musicians. Already?
I looked at my watch 11:25 pm! 3 hours and 10 minutes of beautifully coloured concert and more than 25 masterpieces following on one after the other to perfection. The patriarch came forward, happy and with this discreet smile by which we know him. He lined up with all the members of his band as if at the end of a play.
Then these words of love were addressed to us all: " Good night my darlings. Hope you are satisfied. I don’t know when we'll meet again. Don’t catch a cold, all the blessings be yours. Thank you for this wonderful evening! ".
And I left for my hotel near the airport with the magnificent songs of Leonard Cohen in my heart, a man at the top of his art and his songs surely eternal.
Dance me to the end of love
Tower of Song
Encores 1 :
Encores 2 :
Encores 3 :