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Live in London [DVD] [NTSC]
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The septuagenarian singer-songwriter captured live at London's 02 Arena on July 17th 2008. This was Cohen's first tour for 15 years and both fans and critics alike were bowled over by the performances. The concert comprises 26 of his finest songs including 'Hallelujah', 'Suzanne', 'First We Take Manhattan', 'The Future', 'So Long, Marianne', 'Bird On the Wire' and 'Dance Me to the End of Love'.
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Top Customer Reviews
Like Bob Dylan and Tom Waits kind of a brilliant songwriter and a less than startling vocalist, but Cohen has perhaps in many ways never sounded better than here in his older days.
And as for the music and the musical arrangements it's as close to perfection as you can get. This is world class players like bassist Roscoe Beck who is also the director and arranger, Neil Larson on keys, Bob Metzger on guitar and Javier Mas on diverse exotic string instruments. All virtuosic player who show their true musicianship in the understated way they manage to underscore Cohen's great songwriting. Metzger really able to say more with 2 - 3 notes than many a progressive shredder with a flourish of scales and appegios. And add to that the beautiful choir of long time collaborator Sharon Robinson - who has also co-written a couple of songs - and the Webb sisters Charley and Hattie.
A great mix of new and old songs, the familiar and the more obscure, each one a true gem. Some are poignant commentaries to the mad world of today, some bordering on the religious, others dissecting the male psyche and the male attitude to love, showing same kind of meticiously and honest introspection Joni Mitchell and Aimee Mann has excelled in from a female perspective.
I shall freely admit that from time to time I have found Cohen somewhat overrated by idolizing critics, but here he certainly shows his mettle and his artistic brilliance. Awesome sound, awesome visuals. An absolutely essential offering - of great art to the Cosmos.
Each and every song is delivered with such energy and enthusiasm, and if the hairs don't stand up on the back of the neck at the intro to 'Who By Fire' then you can't be a true Cohen fan :) Javier Mas's intro is absolutely mindblowing, and when the familiar: "And Who By Fire" rings out, the audience go crazy. There's a wonderful atmosphere, not just from the obvious respect and appreciation from the audience, but from seeing Cohen so obviously enjoying himself.
I didn't think anyone could replace Julie Christensen and Perla Batthala (from 'The Future' tour), but the Webb Sisters and Sharon Robinson do a very fine job. After seeing him on that tour in 1995, I was so disappointed when there was no dvd release, and was absolutely over the moon to see a release from the 2008 tour.
The playlist is phenomenal, "Dance Me To The End Of Love", "The Future", "Everybody Knows", "Bird On A Wire", "Tower Of Song" and a host of others. And I don't know about anyone else, but I love how his voice has mellowed over the years, it's very hypnotic :)
If you've been waiting for years to see this great guy perform live, do yourself a favour and get the dvd immediately. I swear you'll be drawn in from the very first moment, and you'll be glued to the screen until the very last note rings out! It's that good, and as a bonus, the recording quality is excellent too.Read more ›
Having virtually retired from live performance a decade and a half ago, retreating to occasional album releases and a sedate lifestyle, this DVD captures Cohen on what is in all probability, the final stretch of his long and brilliant career. Occupying the space between an obtuse but effective poet, and a understated balladeer, Cohen has produced a large body of work that was always profound, touching, and unique.
Forced by financial sodomy of his former manager to tour, Cohen does not behave, or perform, like an artist reluctant for the experience, or skimp with a brief performance. He serenades and sings, talks, and recites. His intellect sparkles like a star, he twirls with an enthusiasm enfeebled only by weak flesh, and effortlessly presents the body of work as a cohesive, vital whole.
For almost everyone here though, this was a Once In A Lifetime event.
His ten piece band provide a surprisingly sparse musical accompaniment, where less is more, where space and breath is as important as sound and clutter, and where there are often understated elements of effectiveness. For "Tower of Song", which sees just Cohen and the three singers (Cohen on a tiny keyboard, performing the song solo himself), rapturous applause sees a simplistic single-fingered keyboard solo.
The majority of this set is no nostalgic reprise of past glories. Whilst resembling, and not deviating from the recorded works, "Boogie Street", is sung in whole by Cohen's most recent musical colloborator Sharon Robinson, and "In My Secret Life", which reveals itself a little more with every listen, an apple peel of a song, a mosiac that perhaps will never have all of its textures ever understood.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
For fans of Leonard Cohen this dvd is a must. Worth every penny.Published 7 months ago by old codger
Aboslutely brilliant. I have been fortunate to have seen LC a number of times (and even interviewed him!) and this is way out in front with prefromances. Read morePublished 7 months ago by j4277
Brilliant DVD if you are a fan of Leonard Cohen, I play it over and over again.Published 8 months ago by Mrs V M Storey
Brilliant singing by Leonard Cohen & company. The associated musicians & singers are absolutely stunning. I think Leonard Cohen gets better with age. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Ronnie