Jul 17, Berlin, O2 World — Show

IMG_4808Dearest Berlin; you didn’t make it happen. My faith hath shook, and the little yellow rowboat of my belief lies broken on the corals of a cold reality — we could not make our 8pm date. By now it should come as no surprise that we began the night a quarter-hour later than posted, the age-old butts in seats equation stacked against our temporal desire. In the spirit of fairness, it was a sell-out show, and with that in mind, you’ve escaped the discipline-paddle. As the show began, you took to your feet in droves, warmly welcoming us to your city, and as Leonard pointed out, we “don’t know when we’ll meet again”, as “this is our last night in Germany.”

IMG_4810Tonight’s set list was menu’d the same as in Hamburg apart from a few parenthetical editings; the order of songs was identical, but some had their certainty of airing lessened. As it happened, the first set transpired exactly as it did in Hamburg. At the top of the second set we saw the reappearance of Tower of Song, Leonard opening the number with some faux panpipe synth sounds from his Technics keyboard; when I heard the soothing sounds of the rainforest, I fully expected pop sensation Shakira to burst out of Raf’s drumkit, blowing it to bits in a pyrotechnical symphony of glitter. She would wear a tasseled leather bikini and flip through the air, land on a trampoline and shoot through the audience, out an open door. We would all stand there and ask what the hell just happened. Anyway, when Take This Waltz came around, the usual pit-creating invasion took place and to watch the smiles on people faces, of all ages, you could be fooled into thinking they were heading to the forbidden fridge for illegal ice cream.

IMG_4832You can’t come to Berlin and not play First We Take Manhattan; the song is a staple of the encores and when it aired tonight, the audience roared out what you might expect: “Then we take Berlin!” I noticed a couple turn their camera on themselves as they sang along and quickly panned away to document the uproarious scene before them. After Closing Time, the crowd clapped and stomped for more, and Leonard gave them that: I Tried to Leave You and Save the Last Dance put a cap on the evening.

The latter of the aforementioned pair is almost impossible to dislodge from one’s mind while packing up and stacking up, followed by a shower with no hot water and drying one’s self with a towel that merely spreads the water around one’s skin. Yes, it’s back to bus-touring for us, the life on wheels, the warriors’ way of old. Overnight we would drive to Łódź, Poland. If you can guess how to pronounce the city’s name, you win a prize; and by prize, I mean not a prize. And by not a prize I mean to say nothing in your life will change due to any influence of mine. Good night.

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17 Responses to Jul 17, Berlin, O2 World — Show

  1. Pingback: 2013 Leonard Cohen Berlin Concert Stage Setlist & Attention Section | DrHGuy - Another Other Leonard Cohen Site

  2. Marta Liwska says:

    ” If you can guess how to pronounce the city’s name” – dear Leif, it is quite simple as “Łódź” means in English “a boat” (I’m impressed by your perfect Polish orthography BTW)
    pronunciation is also not that hard 😉 you may check it here:
    https://translate.google.pl/?hl=pl&tab=wT#pl/en/%C5%81%C3%B3d%C5%BA
    WELCOME TO POLAND !!!

    • Leif says:

      Thanks Marta.
      It was my understanding that it’s pronounced like ‘woodge’.

      [audio src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/eb/Pl-%C5%81%C3%B3d%C5%BA-3.ogg" /]

      • Marta Liwska says:

        Yes Leif you are right, it perfectly sounds like “woodge”, anyway I don’t recommend you to start learning Polish 😉

        Tomorrow I’ll be attending and certainly utmost enjoying The Great Event at Atlas Arena, Łódź and strongly hope you’ll like Polish audience, maybe more silent than in other countries, but really very devoted, loving and deeply experiencing concerts of Our Master Leonard Cohen.
        All good things
        Marta

      • Leif says:

        Excellent, enjoy.

  3. Sometimes it’s good not to be in hot water, by which I mean, it WASN’T good not to be in hot water for your royal heinie… 🙂

  4. Karen says:

    Seems like the audiences aren’t so quiet anymore! BTW, I’m really enjoying the black and white photography. Hamburg was especially nice. You are multi-talented and must be very chuffed. I’ve never used that word before in my life! Lol.

  5. helenoe says:

    What I want to know is, had Shakira put in an appearance, would the tasseled leather bikini have been sufficient recompense for the extra work for the drum tech?

  6. Pingback: July 19, Łódź — Day | No Ideas

  7. Sophie says:

    Could anyone tell what the words on the left hand side of the list (Attention and so on) stand for or what purpose they serve? Thanks a lot.

    • Leif says:

      Hi Sophie; the ‘Attention’ list is like a pool of songs to dip into, songs that perhaps haven’t been played in a while. So someone could say, ‘Hey, we haven’t played Thin Green Candle in a million years,’ that kind of thing.

  8. Sophie says:

    Hi Leif,
    thanks a lot! Has anyone ever said anything like: Hey, we haven’t played Coming back to you in more than a million years? Or, other way round: Has it ever happen that one of those songs got played? This would be great and a real highlight!

    • Leif says:

      From time to time, a song we haven’t heard in a while is rehearsed in soundcheck, probably to keep it fresh in everyone’s minds, and I do recall hearing recently Coming Back to You mentioned, but where it goes from there is anyone’s guess but mine.

  9. Pingback: Old Ideas Tour — 7 Sep, Leeds | Writing Man, Here My Words

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