Friday, June 13, 2008

Leonard Cohen Live – June 13th, 2008 – Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin

Wow, the 3rd concert in a week. And what a show!

I have never been a huge fan of Leonard Cohen, I guess it is because I was never exposed to his music. Anyway, a friend of mine offered me a ticket last Thursday, and although I don't really know Leonard Cohen's music, I do know that he is, arguably, one of the most influential people in the music business. It was an opportunity I couldn't miss. Boy, was I in for a treat!!

The concert was on the grounds of the Royal Hospital in Kilmainham, a museum just opposite Heuston station in Dublin. A beautiful venue for the first concert of Leonard's European tour. Damien Rice opened the show with a short acoustic set at 7:15 sharp. The main show started at 8:00 and went on until 11:00 with a short break halfway through.

Leonard walked in to a standing ovation. His first visit to Dublin in 20 years! A long wait for his fans. He treated us with a good selection of his songs, a catalog that spans more than 40 years of music , all performed incredibly well. Although his music doesn't require virtuoso performances, the musicianship was evident. His voice is so deep and rich, and the music builds around it to complement it. The band used lot of different instruments that you wouldn't normally see in a show these days, including a Hammond B3, bandurria, spanish laúd, guitars (12 string spanish, electric, steel, nylon acoustic), bass (5 string, 5 string fretless and double bass), harp, and a number of wind instruments, some of which I couldn't recognise but that included an Akai EWI4000 Electric Woodwind.

Leonard Cohen knows his business, the show builds up to the point where you are completely immersed in the music, the setlist, everything is done with a purpose. Just look at the last two songs, "Closing Time", immediately followed by a standing ovation and "I tried to leave you".

I don't have notes for the full setlist, when I get it I will post it. In the meantime, here is a link to with the setlist for the last few shows. It looks remarkably similar

There is also a lot of information about the tour and the instruments on the Leonard Cohen Files.

Get his music, and enjoy it!

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