Photo Essay

Sincerely, L. Cohen

Sincerely, L. Cohen

Leonard Cohen live in Dublin, Saturday June 14th 2008 in the beautiful grounds of the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, Dublin.

It was a wonderful setting for a truly memorable evening...one to remember, one I felt privileged to attend. I just hope Leonard eventually release's some or all of it on DVD, it was a peerless performance of near musical perfection... Leonards backing band & the incomparable Sharon Robinson & Charley & Hattie Webb on backing vocals played a crucial part in making the evening unforgettable.

I actually threw my camera in my car at the last minute - a friend who was there on the opening night (the day before) told me he saw no-one taking photo's! I decided to "sneak" my 40D with zoom attached in under my leather jacket (it was a bit obvious, the lump). Nobody was frisking, searching bags at the entrance - well it WAS a Cohen Concert. Not much chance of bottles of cider & sharp objects being secreted amongst his followers, so I breezed in with relief. I then sat for the first couple of songs anxiously eyeing the security people in their red jackets. Once a couple of tipsy women stated to stand in front of the big screen & blatantly (try) to focus their compact digital cameras at it my confidence grew. I was emboldened enough to take a couple of quick shots of the stage in the (considerable) distance. Still no red jackets intervened. During the mid-gig interval (the great thing about a 73 old poet/singer/songwriter genius'es gig is that he has a mid-gig interval - probably for a glass of wine, a cigarette!). I lurked closer to the side of the stage in the audience traffic as they rushed for a pee or a beer or a smoke. A man almost immediately came straight up to me, "I'm busted" I thought. His name was Cathal & he said - "if I let you sit in my seat in the front row for a few minutes will you email my wife some photos?". Done deal! I got about a half dozen in the can before a redcoat told me I'd have to "take off that big lens" if I wanted to take any more shots! I retreated, elated. Thanks Cathal & Patricia, I'll be emailing you soon.

The shots you see here would not have been possible but for the fact I had my Canon 100-400 Zoom attached (thankfully with Image Stabilization built in!), as I was some distance from the stage for 95% of the evening. Most were taken from my original seat in row K, in a lousy position right over on the far left of the stage, but with the advantage that I was able to get most of the band in the same shot, the angle was so acute. After the mid-gig interval I ventured away from my designated seat in an attempt to get some different perspectives of the performance & succeeded to some extent with that ambition (the two close ups you can see here).

Towards the end I was invited to stand on a another fan's seat to get a better view, quite far back, but directly in front of the stage, where I was able to get a few more nice long range one's in the can too, (thanks Declan, I'll be emailing you too).

Altruism at a Leonard Cohen Concert, it was a given really...

After the show I was waiting for some friends outside the Royal Hospital, at the East Gate. As the crowd streamed happily out & I waited, still on a serotonin mediated post gig high, with the words & music of "Closing Time" rolling around in my head, a completely strange (as in Stranger) woman walked directly up to me. She seemed so familiar in her body language I actually said "hi" assuming that we knew each other! Why she chose me I'll never know, but acting like she knew me all her life she just beams at me & utters in sheer joy "wonderful! wonderful!".

It sort of summed up the evening for all that were lucky enough to be their.

Wonderful. Just wonderful.

Thank you sincerely - L. Cohen.

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2 responses

  • Robert Duncan

    Robert Duncan   gave props (29 Nov 2008):

    wonderful story. i had no idea Cohen was in his 70's. rockin' yeah a vote.

  • Kristin Charles

    Kristin Charles gave props (3 Dec 2008):

    Thanks for sharing.

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