Review of December 2 Quebec City Concert - Le Soleil
Leonard Cohen makes beautiful winners
(Québec) Shortly after mounting the stage of the Coliseum Sunday, Leonard Cohen launched into the language of Molière “I do not know when we’ll meet again, but I can promise you that tonight we will give everything that we can.” Artist of 78 years has not lied. With nine musicians and singers, he offered a generous concert nearly three hours, fueled by sensitive interpretations.
Leonard Cohen in an old arena? It did not seem the ideal place to enjoy the poet. And yet, a few minutes after he enters at a run before 7,000 fans standing, we plunged heart and soul into his compositions. I must say that the sound was impeccable. Care was taken to keep the volume at a reasonable level so that everything had was amazing clarity, beginning with the vibrant, deep voice of the Montrealer. And then there was this sober decoration, which created a proximity: the giant white veils behind which we guessed a painting signed by the singer. Finally, the audience was very attentive and seemed to hold its breath on every part, except when they could not repress a cry of approval …
Also, from Dance Me To The End of Love, Cohen was followed wherever he led us. He sailed into his entire repertoire, coming as the inevitable course Bird on the Wire or Everybody Knows, but also giving pleasure while drawing from lesser known albums like The Future, which he defended the piece title, Anthem, Waiting for the Miracle and Closing Time.
Cohen elegant like his team, in a black suit topped by a hat, embodied everything he sang, sometimes kneeling, sometimes standing, eyes closed. He was also tuned in to his talented troupe of musicians: when one of the players offered a solo, he even approached and removed his hat. True that they deserved their listens, in particular Spanish guitarist Javier Mas, and violinist Alexandru Bublitchi, a remarkable technical accuracy and emotional. Each piece was entitled to rich arrangements, full of finesse. To top it all, Cohen relied on a beautiful section of singers, who were his long-time collaborator, Sharon Robinson and sisters Charley and Hattie Webb. Thus we were treated to several magical moments, whether the recent Come Healing, graced with the angelic voices of the Webb Sisters or Hallelujah, which still manages to give chills, or to A Thousand Kisses Deep, Cohen recited in his unique timbre, which seemed to shake the foundations of the Colosseum.
In many ways, the show which we were treated to was a logical continuation of the previous tour: same formula of musicians and singers. However, there were added new songs from Old Ideas and even surprises such as the resumption of The Manic, Georges Dor.
When doing the calculation, it is nearly thirty songs that the great Leonard shared. From Take This Waltz to Going Home from So Long, Marianne to Famous Blue Raincoat, fans have gone through the full range of emotions: we saw faces smile, heads swaying and sometimes eye gorging tears. No doubt that Cohen, author of Beautiful Losers, made spectators before him beautiful winners.
“Leonard Cohen fait des gagnants magnifiques” by Nicolas Houle, Le Soleil (Canada), December 2, 2012. Translated with Google/Bing/Babylon.