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Leonard Cohen, last night in Oakland | by artolog
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Leonard Cohen, last night in Oakland

Is there anything left to say about Leonard Cohen? If they didn't write that line about a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet, a pawn and a king about him, well they should have. Last night in Oakland, at age 78 and 5 years after his "comeback" tour, he was brilliant. His band doesn't have a weak link (special kudos to the Webb Sisters and Sharon Robinson on vocals, Javier Mas..the brilliant Spanish guitar virtuoso, and Alexandru Bublitchi on violin). Oakland's Paramount Theater with its unending art deco splendor is the perfect venue for Leonard, who always performs in a suit, and his band in their simple, elegant outfits. They bow to each other solemnly here and there, which only seems to underline the obvious fun they're having. He is generous with his praise for both the audience and his musicians.. he removes his hat and kneels or stands watching as they solo. He is clearly the coolest guy ever, or as my friend Patty said, the cutest. The release last year of "Old Ideas" (he performed some of that last night) shows that his best work is not behind him. He plays tonight again in Oakland.. It's sold out, but there are always people dumping a ticket or two at face value on Craigslist. I was lucky to get this picture of him last night:

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Taken on March 2, 2013