Sunday, January 25, 2009

Green Grass, Sunshine, Wine and Leonard Cohen

Band: Leonard Cohen
Venue: A day on the Green at Rochford Winery
Date: 24th January 2009
Reviewed By: Espylyn

The Prince of precision, Leonard Cohen, graced the Rochford winery in the Yarra Valley for A Day on the Green, a 74 year young man and a nearly sold out crowd. The sunshine was just enough and the punters were in their element. On stage Leonard brought a full band, all wearing black suits, consisting of Dean on sax who is the master of breath we’re told, Bob on electric guitar, Raphael on drums, Javier Mas as the shepard or strings, Neil on keyboards and piano accordion, Russell on bass guitar and double bass, singer and co writer Sharon Robinson (who co wrote Everybody Knows) and Hattie and Charley, who are sisters, and they are the other two backing singers.

This is Leonard’s first tour of Australia in 24 years, so naturally the crowd are ready to hear his music. The crowd is a mixed lot, the older crowd is a-plenty and many young people flood through the gates. You may wonder if Leonard can still hold the crowd and he shows us that he defiantly can. With his beautiful Canadian accent he talks to the crowd and his singing voice takes us on a magical experience.
After almost every song the crowd erupts from their seats with applause, some punters are in tears over the music. Leonard seems a humble man who feels blessed at the crowd’s reaction to his music.
Sharon sings Boogie st and her voice is glorious, she could easily have her own sold out show throughout Australia. Such a fabulous voice that I’m jealous of!
Leonard sings songs which include Tower of Song, Everybody Knows, Suzanne (a song about a former wife of a friend and not his ex wife), Gypsy Wife, Hallelujah and So long Marianne. Leonard talks the song A Thousand Kisses which again brings people around me in tears and I can hear people talking the lyrics with Leonard. After the first set Leonard runs of stage whilst doing some small high kicks!
Whilst watching the show I see flocks of ducks fly overhead and cockatoos screeching above the crowd - are they too enjoying the beautiful music that fills the sky tonight?
Leonard tells us the complexities of life are ‘do da dum dum’ and this we take away with us! Leonard has suffered from depression throughout his life and his music often reflects this, but the songs often reflect war, politics, cultural and sexual themes. His live set wasn’t as depressing as I thought it cAAould be, quite the opposite actually.
Leonard bows to his band members when introducing them and he looks at them all with passion when they performing their solo’s. Whilst watching him I cannot help but feel blessed at seeing such a humble and passionate man.
I enjoyed drinking some wine and listening to the magical voice of Leonard and I wondered if he was like a fine wine that gets better with age.


Anonymous said...

Meu DEUS adoro ouvir este senhor,ele é óptimo!

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised you didn't mention the "shepherd of strings" - Javier Mas - in your lineup of the band.