Gig Review: Leonard Cohen, Royal Hospital Kilmainham
With gates open at 4pm (though the show didn’t start until after 7), a lot of people swarmed in and had a munch from one of the many delicious stalls, while others felt more like being a nuisance and arriving later on after the concert had started. At a seated event, it’s pretty irritating when people in front of you are fussing over finding their place and you can’t see past their raincoats. If there’s any advice to give to someone attending an outdoor concert, it’s this: WEAR EVERYTHING YOU OWN. The cold was more distracting than anything else, even when you are wearing boots, jeans, two t-shirts, a cardigan, a raincoat, a scarf and a hat.
Otherwise the craic was mighty. Leonard is a wonder to behold. He is, in every sense of the word, a gentleman. He took off his hat to introduce his band, referred to the audience as ‘friends’ and genuinely seemed to appreciate that everyone was there to see him. He sang all the old favourites, ‘Dance Me To The End of Love’, ‘Bird On A Wire’, ‘Everybody Knows’, ‘Sisters of Mercy’, ‘Tower of Song’, ‘Suzanne’, ‘I’m Your Man’, ‘Famous Blue Raincoat’, ‘So Long Marianne’, ‘Hallelujah’ and ‘Closing Time’ to name but a few. A man that holds a dignified, zen-like air; his speaking voice is as soothing and emotional as his singing voice and several people in the crowd were quite literally weeping. When you take the man’s age in to account (he’s 77 years young) it makes him somewhat more awe-inspiring, especially when he danced off the stage before the interval. It could be said that he is a living legend. In fact; it has to be said.
The venue suited the music perfectly. There is something magical about being at an outdoor event, and Kilmainham was a stunning choice.
As for value for money (although we would say that it was a priceless experience), it is not cheap. Almost 180 beans for two tickets, the train from Cork, a place to lay your head for the night, and of course a browse around some shops and feeding yourself; it all adds up. However, if you ever get a chance to see Leonard Cohen live, jump at it. We are fortunate that he graces our fine island quite a bit. You’ll leave the concert and just want to go back in again. You’ll go home and listen to his music. You’ll want to go for a pint with the man who seems to be the most dead-on guy ever.