On January 22nd, one of my bucket list items was well and firmly ticked off with my attendance at the ceremonial worship of my favourite living human being, Leonard Cohen. This man has been a revelation to me from the age of about 14. Songs of Leonard Cohen purloined from my dad's record collection, and his strange low, compelling voice and arrangements just, well, spoke to me beyond anything I've ever heard. Even alongside Dylan, Drake and many other singer songwriters in whom i've tried to find the same qualities, this man is as flawless an authentic musical and poetic force as you could ever hope for. At least he is in my eyes!
He came onstage to a standing ovation at Auckland's Vector Arena. Annabel remarked that we were the youngest people in the audience, and I simply didn't care. I wouldn't have cared if i had been 18 or 108, what was being produced for us was timeless word and song in perfect unity. It was nothing short of a spiritual experience.
The musicianship and arrangements I thought I would have disliked or zoned out to concentrate on the man, but you know what, I think if this tour produces a live album, which it surely must, we'll see a whole new generation of people discovering the beauty of these songs, not as stripped down entities, but as lush, expressive orchestrations full of humour, hope and despair!
In fact, his manager going off with all those millions has ironically gifted to the world the necessity of this tour, and with it, doubly enshrining Leonard Cohen's place in history.I had a lump in my throat for all 3 hours of it, and more than once was voicing "you can't cry, it's a gig!" to myself just to stop things from boiling over.
And if that weren't enough, Leonard Cohen would easily replace my previous choice for President of the United States, Larry David, who would i think do much better as a sociopathic Secretary of State.
I shall end with a poem inspired by the night. my first in a while (be gentle carin, and no sniggering).
i felt something that night and if you don't know the answer then i'm gonna make this damn thing burn brighter than a star
in your face there was a word translated softly and spoken before hope began
as if listening to you brought the room into existence and laughing shook the edges of the universe into rapture
take part in the connection of matter, of molecules, of feelings and of all these i promise you is more than mere mirage
for undivided source i am to you no longer forgotten with sound and smile and recognition beyond the walls of thought
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© Copyright 2013, Keith Patton