Cohen Wows at Chicago Theater

Cohen

In one of his first U.S. shows in a decade and a half, Leonard Cohen took the stage Wednesday night and delivered a knockout performance.  Cohen filled a two and a half hour set with classic songs from his 4 decades and counting career like “So Long, Marianne,” “I’m Your Man,” and the oft-covered “Hallelujah.” At 74 years old, Cohen’s voice has lost none of its baritone power, and it’s picked up a Tom Waits-like raspiness that only adds to his vocal prowess.  He brought with him a nine-piece band consisting of guitarists, back-up singers, pianists and more, and the band itself was excellent, lovingly performing Cohen’s classic tunes.  The set leaned heavily on his beloved sixties, seventies and eighties material, with a particular emphasis on his first two albums, and 1988’s legendary I’m Your Man album.  The massive crowd at the Chicago Theater, which predictably consisted of middle aged and older concertgoers, showered Cohen with ovation after ovation. He returned for three encores, each time dragging out yet another of his classic recordings. “Bird on the Wire,” “The Partisan,” and “Famous Blue Raincoat” stood out, among others as highlights during a night filled with them. Indeed, even if some of the members of the audience had been waiting a decade and half to see him, I can’t imagine anyone left disappointed.

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