Despite what the previous entry said, there IS natural light in the Forest National; shortly before showtime, a number of vents opened in the ceiling, allowing collected warm air to rise out of the building. Above our heads, impossible to touch, as if we were subterranean creatures banished to the underworld, squares of colour that we remember as sky appeared from nowhere. All I could think when looking up at this wonder: “It puts the lotion in the basket.”
Leonard spoke in French on occasion this evening, as he often does where it will be widely understood, and let the lively audience know they were going to get the full Cohen treatment. I don’t recall any crowd ever clapping along to Who By Fire, but it happened tonight, dying out somewhere in the middle of the first verse. And then I got to thinking: I bet we’ve all been there — you think to yourself, “I don’t want to be the last one clapping.” But someone has to… Someone has to. Again, Lover Lover Lover gets a great reception; I don’t recall the song triggering extended applause when it was added to the set some time ago. I do remember (vaguely) when it was added; I’d never heard it before, and assumed it was a new song, but that shows you what I know. Regardless, it turns out to be wildly popular with audiences these days.
The second set seemed to fly by with the omission of Waiting For the Miracle; La Manic was released from its parentheses, and was followed by The Partisan, which, as one might expect from a French-speaking audience, threatened to bring down the rafters it was appreciated so enthusiastically. An interesting thing about The Partisan live, is that sometimes Leonard will add a little extra something after these lines:
“but I have many friends/and some of them are with me”.
On occasion he’ll follow with “right with me here tonight” (or perhaps a variation of it). Anyway, that personal touch usually brings a big cheer, and it certainly didn’t disappoint those present tonight.
Sung by Sharon Robinson, Alexandra Leaving got a great response, and one gentleman in the neck-break seats I mentioned in the previous entry was probably a bit lathered up, yelling enthusiastically during a few quiet moments, but he either (finger-quotes) disappeared, or made his way elsewhere. Aside from that dude, they really were a good crowd tonight; hats off to you Brussels, we look forward to hanging around in your lovely city tomorrow.