When Leonard Cohen comes around, an orgy of admiration follows
Seeing Leonard Cohen perform at the Montreal Jazz Festival in '08, after years of worshiping from afar, will always remain one of my most luminous memories. The prodigal son gone good, working the hometown crowd for an epic three-and-a-half hours, holding his hat over his heart as we applauded each song until our hands were sore, bowing his head humbly again and again, prophet as fellow supplicant. By a twist of good fortune, I managed to see him twice more on that tour — in Oakland and in Paris — and each time, though the controlled orchestration of the event revealed itself more and more, so did the sense of sheer joy emanating from both the stage and the audience, an orgy of admiration, and, a real rarity in the business, of gratitude.
Simmons has an explanation for this gracious humility as well. "He just loves life on the road," Simmons explains. "He told me it was wonderful...'for a man my age to have a feeling of full employment'." I rather suspect that this weekend's events will be just as wonderful for us as they will be for him. Thank you, Leonard Cohen, for being our man.
"THE NIGHT BEFORE LEONARD" WITH SYLVIE SIMMONS
Fri/1, 6pm, free
Marsh Berkeley Cabaret
2120 Allston Way, Berk.
Sat/2 and Sun/2, 8pm, $71.50–$253
2025 Broadway, Oakl.