My son was lucky enough to get tickets to the Leonard Cohen concert when Cohen came to Kitchener this June. The man is more than a legend. As Robert Reid wrote, for the Kitchener Record,
“[H}is charisma is not the result of fashion, sex appeal or even force of personality. It’s a form of grace, a gift with appeal that transcends mere attractiveness.
After each song, and in response to thunderous applause and regular standing ovations, the Monk of Rock offered his beaming, crooked grin, with his hand over his heart in a gesture of humility and gratitude.
Reid also noted:
[Cohen’s] best songs have the allure of poetry — compelling, engaging, haunting. Melody, while often memorable, remains secondary to lyrics.
His use of imagery and metaphor is unsurpassed in popular song. His language is so rich and so evocative, it’s impossible to select specific examples; they are simply too abundant.
Over the top? No, this is Cohen we are talking about. And my son, not one to toss superlatives around, offered a close description to Reid’s, when I queried him for details about the concert.
We have all been exposed to singers who can sing, but struggle with the between songs chit chat. “Just shut up and sing,” would be a common audience taunt in such cases. Well, Cohen is superb at it. Here’s my absolute favorite quote. When my son related it to me I honked with laughter and literally danced around the room, clapping. Cohen had been in Kitchener 15 years earlier, when he was 60 years old. “But then,” he quipped, “I was just a kid with a crazy dream.”
That’s me, too, folks. I’m not sixty yet, I’m fifty something, but I’M JUST A KID WITH A CRAZY DREAM!
Thanks, Leonard! That’s how the light gets in!