Entertainment Music

Saturday 20 January 2018

Hallelujah! His Irish gigs

Nick Kelly

* IMMA, Royal Hospital Kilmainham, three shows, June 2008

The start of the affair. Cohen hadn't played Ireland since a gig in the National Stadium in 1988. He said of the reaction he and his musicians received on the opening night: "The reception was so warm that tears came to my eyes and I thought, 'I can't be seen weeping at this point'. Then I turned around and saw the guitar player weeping. What I witnessed was soul-inspiring on every level; I have never been so moved by a performance, everything about the night was magical."

* The O2, four shows, July 2009

The great indoors! Same again – but under a roof! The set list was juggled to keep it fresh. And the sound was immaculate in the re-jigged Point venue.

* Lissadell House, Co Sligo, two shows, 2010

Whoever came up with the idea of getting Leonard Cohen to play beside the Atlantic ocean in the spiritual home of his literary hero is a genius.

* IMMA, four shows, September 2012

Brrrrr. Though the music was excellent as ever, the poor man – who turned 78 that month – was clearly struggling with the bitterly cold wind that blew through the grounds of IMMA last September.

Shivering next to a portable heater on stage, he wondered forlornly if there were no indoor venues in the capital he could have played.

It comes as no surprise that this week's shows see him back within the four walls of The O2.

Irish Independent

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