Leonard Cohen at the Westerpark, Amsterdam

Marking another checkbox on my list of “pop legends to see before they buy the farm”, I watched Leonard Cohen perform some of his best material at the Westerpark in Amsterdam, yesterday 12 July 2008. The performance was better than expected, with a lot of life, passion and humour still left in this singer/songwriting geezer.

Of course I can tell you about all of the usual gripes people have with mr. Cohen, about how he tends to ‘introduce’ all of his band members a gazillion times, essentially ruining their odds of ever finishing a solo uninterrupted. Or I can mention how the years have further diminished his ability to actually sing. But obviously, that’s not what it’s about with Leonard Cohen. His band, interrupted or not, is a decent one. His voice still is one of a kind. But what it’s all about are the songs, the lyrics, the many layers of meaning to them and the wonderful way in which they take on new meaning as he himself grows older.

Below is a hand-held video of part of the actual performance at the Westerpark of one of his well-known songs, ‘Suzanne’. Don’t expect great quality, but if you would like to see what it was really like, rumour has it there’s a DVD in the works, documenting the 2008/2009 World Tour.

Edit: Some time has passed and here’s some higher quality stuff. Lots more on YouTube and Flickr, ofcourse.

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Jaap van der Velde

I live and breathe software, love games and spent many a vacation touring Europe on my motorcycle. Currently diving, riding, hopefully flying and gaining perspective around Oz.

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