Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Leonard Cohen's Tampa concert was absolutely sublime

   No matter how high your expectations were, you could not have been disappointed.
   Leonard Cohen and company treated a nearly full house at Tampa's Morsani Hall to an emotionally powerful and musically impeccable three-and-a-half hour concert Monday night.
   It's hard to know where to begin praising this show. Cohen performed beautiful renditions of songs from all stages of his 46-year recording career, from "Suzanne" and "So Long, Marianne" through "The Future" and on to ""Anyhow" from his current album, "Old Ideas." His beautiful gravelly voice was still intact, and still full of music, and he looked so fit and moved so spryly that it rendered all the talk of his age irrelevant.
    He was also utterly charming, reverentially introducing each member of his nine-piece band several times, and even naming the lighting designer and technicians and the guy running the sound board. (The lighting and the sound were, in fact, phenomenal, but not many musicians would have bothered to acknowledge them from stage.)
Leonard Cohen at the Straz on Monday
   His band, including former Sarasotan Neil Larsen on keyboards, was sublime. Some of the most moving moments of the evening came from three backing singers. Longtime Cohen collaborator Sharon Robinson performed a gorgeous version of "Alexandra Leaving" and the Webb Sisters took up instruments -- Hattie on harp and Charley on guitar -- and treated the audience to some chillingly beautiful two-part harmonies.
   I could on and on, but I'll just say it was as close to perfect as a concert could get, and leave it at that.


Catherine L. Thompson said...

I absolutely agree- this was a perfect concert, and a wonderful write-up.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Catherine. What a magical evening it was!