[This was originally published on attrition.org.]
Leonard Cohen played at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre tonight, which was his last stop in the US for his 2008/2009 tour before he moves on to Europe in July. During his lengthy show, he and his band performed around 20 songs including almost every popular/hit song. For a rough lineup, it was the same set of songs as his ‘Live in London’ CD based on his 2008 London show, in a different order.
If you aren’t familiar with his music, you really should be.
Halfway up the ~ 200 stairs to get to row 26, I stopped to catch my breath (it’s a unique venue at 6,450 feet) and saw a fox laying down on a rock just twenty feet from me. I’m sure many fans could draw comparisons between the fox and Cohen.
Starting shortly after 8:00, Cohen, six musicians and three vocalists put on a breathtaking concert. He is a down-to-earth poet, singer and musician with a great sense of humor. The songs deal with “religion, isolation, sexuality and complex interpersonal relationships” and seem to appeal to, and find root with anyone who listens.
Cohen is a class act, humble and deeply appreciative of his world-class support, such as musicians that are at the top of their game, and vocalists who could launch their own careers in the blink of an eye. Unique music to go hand in hand with his distinct voice. At 74 years, he has the energy and passion of someone a third his age. Starting most songs on his knees, singing to his fellow performers and skipping on/off stage; he is a true entertainer.
Three and a half hours later, after several encore songs ending with ‘Closing Time’, he bid the audience farewell after parting with heartfelt advice.