REVIEW: Leonard Cohen  

SOARING: Leonard Cohen and his consummate backing singers at Bimbadgen. Picture: Peter Stoop
SOARING: Leonard Cohen and his consummate backing singers at Bimbadgen. Picture: Peter Stoop

LEONARD COHEN

Bimbadgen Estate

November 23

LEONARD Cohen opened his Day on the Green performance at Bimbadgen Estate with Dance Me To The End Of Love and it was clear from the reverential reception that the audience were prepared to dance him way beyond that.

At the conclusion of the opener, the man with the gift of the golden voice rose impressively from bended knee and offered thanks to friends who had gambled on the weather and ventured out for the evening.

He also gave a nod of appreciation to the heavens for remaining clear, and pledged on behalf of his nine-piece band to give their all.

And that they did over the next three hours.

There was no holding back on the classics: Lover, Lover, Lover, Anthem, Suzanne, Chelsea Hotel, Alexandra Leaving, I'm Your Man, Hallelujah, A Thousand Kisses Deep and a searing keyboard solo in Tower of Song.

But recent songs like The Darkness, Amen and Come Healing, from his 2012 album Old Ideas, remind us Cohen's new ideas remain strong.

The great man, looking lithe and ready for the struggle, pulled some smooth moves for a 79-year-old.

He remains vocally lustrous, and his sublime perceptions, immortalised in some of the most poetic, influential songs ever penned, are peerless.

The second set wrapped up with Hallelujah and This Waltz to a standing ovation.

Cohen double-encored with Maryanne, I'm Goin Home, Berlin and Famous Blue Raincoat.

A short intermission halfway through allowed the audience to refuel on remorse - I mean tea, coffee or whatever took their fancy.

But surely the only regret possible on an evening saturated with such musings would have been not making it.

Special thanks to Archie Roach and Adalita who provided the perfect warm-up.