Sunday, 15 February 2009
The best concert of 2009!!
DH and I recently went out to the Swan Valley to see a select group of performers headed by the not-to-be-missed Leonard Cohen. The whole thing nearly didn't happen as I left it really late to buy the tix and missed out on the general admission area where we could have picnicked on a blanket and truly relaxed. Instead, we had "silver" seats - white in actuality and very plastic and linked together using cable ties no less!
For the extra money, I'm not quite sure what I was expecting however we made it through the long trail of traffic having decided to drive and headed off with the back pack of yummy stuff, sunscreen, hats mossie repellent and all those other bits you might need. Next stop - evil bag check man. First mistake - I mentioned the umbrella. "OOo I'm sorry you can't take that in! Safety of patrons......." blahblahblah! If I hadn't mentioned it he wouldn't have found it as it was a collapsible one only 15cm long in a black case at the bottom of an extremely big bag! Then DH (Perry) had his turn and there were the glass glasses - a definite no go! So Perry takes the offending articles and his ticket back to car while I wait with belongings - and wait, and wait, and wait. We had over 20 minutes to start but it was just beginning when DH approached from inside the venue to find me. He went in and assumed I'd carry it all I think (not)!
Anyhow, we get in and enter the inner sanctum that is the gold and silver playground and find seats that DH assures me are ours. Goodies unpacked and some refreshments being taken when we are approached by two people who look at us and the seats and claim them as theirs - DH didn't look at the block number (head slap)!
Our seats had a definite tilt towards the duck pond, let's face it three to four more seat widths and we would have been swimming! The evening was balmy, company good and nibblies and wine (we had to buy in-house to get "glasses" of plastic to drink from) even better.
Concert started with Augie March in acoustic mode playing Paul Kelly's guitar as Qantas had cracked his in transit in spite of the industrial strength case. AM was on for 30 minutes with a break before Paul Kelly came on alone. Wearing a pair of borrowed sunnies - from a guy in the really expensive seats - he was supported at times by son Dan.
Then Leonard started. The voice floored me. It was like treacle - deep, dark and sweet. His backing band were exceptional - Spanish guitar, exquisite backing vocalists, harp, drums, guitar, slide. The only one I had any issues with was the keyboard player. I can't get past the Hammond organ sound I'm sorry. It fitted the music - from an era perspective and everything else - but I still didn't like it. LC and his band were on for one hour with a break and then came back for a further almost 2 hours solid. Not bad for a 70-something in a suit!
Heard all my faves from all three performers - particularly fond of Paul Kelly's "Everything's Turning to White." Also Cohen did many of his well-known tunes - "Hallelujah", apparently voted Canada's best ever song, certainly well in my top ten thanks to Jeff Buckley's version - "I'm Your Man", "First We Take Manhattan", "Suzanne". All fantastic!
The fact that we sat in the car park for an hour after was not an issue after such a polished, brilliant performance. We had food, drink and Leonard Cohen on CD to watch the hoons go by as we waited for the dust to clear.
I'm not sure anything else I see this year could compete with this but the year is young!
at 2:14 pm