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Monday, April 8, 2013

Leonard Cohen: The Legend Continues

Leonard Cohen, at the age of 78, performed another 3 1/2 concert last night at Radio City in NYC, after a soldout show there on Saturday.  Yes, he is still skipping on and off stage several times during the show.   I'd seen his similar show there about four years ago, but this one was even better, with songs from his new album and additions like "Famous Blue Raincoat" and "Lover Lover."  He also spruced things up by changing or adding new lyrics from his poet's kit bag, notably on "Waiting for a Miracle."  And he's added a wonderful and vital violinist to his crack band. Some of the massive, and deserved, amount of money he's finally making with these tours obviously has gone into the best sound system I've ever encountered--you could hear every word (halfway back), rather important given his lyrics.  He still wittily closes with "Closing Time"--but this time he came back with (ha) "I Tried to Leave You."

And he did it all while failing to play the best songs from his two most recent albums:  "The Letters" and "Different Sides."  But one of the highlights of the epic Cohen live sets these days isn't even performed by him, but rather by his longtime collaborator, Sharon Robinson--who sings, magnificently,  their co-authored "Alexandra Leaving."  It's one of the great songs of our era and inspired by the poem, "The God Abandons Antony" by Constantine P. Cavafy, which includes the lines, "The Alexandria you are leaving."   More Leonard here.   And this site collects the best videos of each of the songs from the tour.

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