Leonard Cohen Concert Perth WA 13th November 2013

leonard concert
The ‘Sisters’ were there but, emotionally, Leonard, thankfully, gave no mercy.

As you might expect from Leonard Cohen he worked an almost imperceptible seduction at the Entertainment Centre in Perth last night. As humanity packed into the auditorium, I imagine Leonard was ‘out the back’ oiling his vibe, summoning us to his bedside, whetting his poetry into a magnificent point.

And what a vibe it is.

Ill fitting suit and trademark hat. Everything you would expect, except his shock of grey hair every time he reverently took off his hat in honour and respect whenever any of the exquisite musicians were engaged in a solo. Leonard, at these moments, was a deeply compelling human being. Humble. Respectful. Honouring of others. Aware of his own shortcoming as an accomplished instrumentalist. Unendingly grateful and appreciative that their sublime talent continually rarefied his poetry and music.

The Sisters were the Webb Sisters and his long time partner/collaborator Sharon Robinson. They were honey in his hive, jive, vibe. Faultless.

Sharon Robinson sang ‘Alexandra leaving’. Exquisite.


The Webb Sisters’ version of ‘If it be your will’ –perfect.


Cohen is obviously a heady mix of artistic sensibilities: The Poet. The Musician. The Lover. The Watcher. The Boy. The Man. The Saint. The Sinner. Artistic Heartthrob. Icon.

And woven imperceptibly into the fabric of his persona is his immense compassion and understanding of the human condition. And intelligence. His mind turns on an exquisite point. The point being that we suffer, make mistakes, need succour, and love, have to leave, forgive, remember, and get wise. That we are broken, caught, inexorable, alone, aching in and out each others’ arms is gut wrenchingly rendered in “a thousand kisses deep’


the undeniable highlight of the evening, the ageing hippie beside me reduced to tears, squeezing my hand, and then my knee, the audience hushed all around us as if the whole of humanity as one was listening to the deepest darkest most sacred secrets of the soul. As if it was Church. Delphi. Varansi. Mecca. Gethsemane.  Vajrashila. And not simply Perth. A small uninspiring suburban outpost of human confluence.

And in the midst of all this, between songs, he unexpectedly (for me, having never seen him live), showed a childlike joy, skipping on and off the stage, indulging us with encore after encore, the Persian carpet beneath him a luscious symbol of his exotic and yet intimate riches, undeniably shared (as if we know him and might have a chance of knowing ourselves) with pleasure and passion.

And I am glad he sang ‘Suzanne’.  I watched the river pass by, thick and mellowed in a nostalgic and personal memorial.

8 responses to “Leonard Cohen Concert Perth WA 13th November 2013

  1. Pingback: “Cohen is obviously a heady mix of artistic sensibilities: The Poet. The Musician. The Lover. The Watcher. The Boy. The Man. The Saint. The Sinner. Artistic Heartthrob. Icon. And woven imperceptibly into the fabric of his persona is his immense comp

  2. What you wrote was my ideal of the man. I like the way you use language. I can’t do it that way. I am only coming to his music late in life but his honesty and tragic triumph has helped me understand some things over the last few years. Its very similar to the Psalms if they were read outside of church and how Lenard delivered them. They must have shared similar magic to have lasted this long. Blessing and stay Groovy. 🙂

    • Platosgroove, I think Leonard is a Priest of our Age…and his poetry and humanity are so deep and instructive (Psalms yes!). Thank you so much for your very generous and kind comments here. Thank you for your blessing…

    • I meant to also say, that that night in the auditorium, it felt like I was in a sacred place (which I believe I was). There was a deep mysticism, love, and compassion in the room…

  3. I discovered ‘Suzanne’ in the in the 1960’s, and Leonard Cohen has enriched my life ever since. Several people over the years have told me that I should ‘move on’; a remark that makes no sense to me. I can only pity them, as it is clear that they’re missing the point – missing the beauty of the words that flow from him, ever expanding and enfolding.
    I would have been proud to have written this tribute to The Man. It says everything that I would have liked to say, (although the time I saw him live in Bristol, England his hair hadn’t turned grey!) and it says it more eloquently than I could have.
    Nobody else’s music has ever touched me the way his did, and does.

    • Jane, it was a wonderful experience. He is truly amazing. So charismatic. Thank you so much for reading the review and for your kind words, especially from someone who loves and honours Leonard as much as you do. I can see you are a true believer! He is utterly profound as he reaches down into our souls and his words/,music, as you say, have stood the test of time. Thank so very much for your lovely comments…

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