Review of August 12 Gent Concert - La Libre
Leonard Cohen, the man with the golden voice
It does not crosses every day an elderly gentleman of almost 78 years almost as personable as nimble, holding in suspense some 8000 people - all generations - for nearly 4 hours, the start announced at 20:00 and almost punctual, at the end of the reminders - generous - shattered by the midnight curfew. Never was right either, in the opinion of experts, a pure acoustic concert, let alone outdoors. Mr. Cohen will not forget to credit the engineers responsible for these feats. Which have value only because the material is so beautiful, chiseled phrasing, accurate even when it is profuse, the notes in the hands of amazing musicians (musical director Roscoe Beck on bass, Neil Larsen on keyboards, Rafael Gayol percussion, Mitch Watkins on guitar, Javier Mas to bandurria and other twelve-string, Alexandru Bublitchi the violin, not to mention the chorus - and sometimes more - of the faithful Sharon Robinson and the “sublime Webb sisters”, both “vocals” as the clarinet and guitar for one, the harp for the other)…
It is that Leonard, all respectable and respected, true poet, ardent visionary whose texts resound far and clear, cultivates a sense of humor not more depth that it stiffens its lightness. “I had something to say, extremely important. But here it escapes me. It’ll come back to me, I hope. Because it could change our mood for forever”, he smiles, as the old sage a little embarrassed at the consequences of the age. Let’s go for “I Can can’t Forget” (“but I don’t remember what”, 1988)
Over the titles - over 30 in total in this concert river, of “Amen” to “Famous Blue Raincoat”, “Anthem” in “Manhattan”, “Gypsy Wife” to “Democracy” - it is the huge and humble correctness of an author that first one confronts. A work whose every turn, each turn echoes moments of a life that it accompanies. Literature, music, emotion. A torrent. In motion, necessarily.
From “Leonard Cohen, l’homme à la voix d’or” by Marie Baudet, La Libre (Belgium), August 14, 2012. (Translated by Google and Bing)