Living legend, Leonard Cohen will come to Boston to perform for two very special nights at the famed Wang Theatre. Having been in both the music and poetry world, his contributions to art have earned him numerous rewards and accolades in both the U.S. and his home country of Canada. Ever since Cohen’s first album, 1967’s Songs of Leonard Cohen, his ability as a songwriter has been looked upon as gifted. Now touring behind his most recent album released this past January, Old Ideas, which received favorable reviews from music publications. In response to the album, critics noticed the quite nature of the songs, with Rolling Stone saying, ” a keyboard or guitar breaks the stillness, a drummer tries to simulate a Casio rhythm box, backup girls offer comfort to the weak, a stringed instrument gives a final blessing.” It’s his first album of new material in seven years and you can hear the age in Cohen’s voice but more so the wisdom. Cohen is still preaching his message; a combination of love, religion and personal turmoil while speaking of the ideas of home, healing and endings.
At 77 years old, he has aged gracefully and so has his voice. Unlike most singers from his time who have had to alter the way they sing to accommodate their aging vocal cords, Cohen’s voice acts like an instrument all it’s own, both beautiful and dramatic, weathered and worn. Buried in between gospel and blues progressions, a song like “Amen” bursts with lyrical references and a beautiful horn outro. One of my favorites, “Banjo”, sees Cohen painting a picture of a “broken banjo bobbing on the dark, infested sea”, asking where it came from.
At the beginning of the month he played two nights at London’s Wembley Arena, with music publication NME saying Cohen clocked in a near 3-hour set. They reported that he played a number of his old material as well as songs off of Old Ideas boasting that Cohen, “cut a lively figure during the gig, performing many songs on bended knee and skipping on and off the stage when he returned for two encores and for the intermission”. Backed by a nine piece band, including the backing vocalist The Webb Sisters, Cohen is able to invoke a new energy into his songs.
He is coming for two nights at the Wang Theatre on December 15 and 16, the first of those shows having sold out immediately causing the venue to add another show. But don’t worry fans, we’ve got seats to both shows and you can find them right here.