Leonard Cohen concerts, Ghent (Gent), Belgium, August 20 & 21, 2010 - "Baruch Hashem" and other memories

When entering the Leonard Cohen concert site in St Peters Square for two concerts, I was given security bracelets to wear. (blue on Friday and mauve on Saturday). Not everyone was given these bracelets. Perhaps, I looked like a high security risk and had to be watched carefully?

From Aug 25, 2010  leonardcohenforum
* Anthem *
On Friday night, when Leonard Cohen spoke leading into the song, he simply reduced an 8,000 person outdoor event to an intimate and loving conversation. He was so gracious, natural and so comfortable with his traditions when he included a beautiful Hebrew expression of praise. It was very moving and I felt so privileged to be there in his presence to hear him speak this way.

LC's opening
Thank you for this exceedingly warm reception this evening. It is a great honour to play for you. We are so privileged to be able to gather (inaudible), and Baruch Hashem, the weather has keeled and we're all sitting here in the grace of the weather and the gods of the weather. We are indeed privileged to be in a peaceful place when so much of the world is plunged in chaos and suffering ... So ring the Bells...
"Baruch HaShem" colloquially means, “Thank God”

It means simply yet profoundly “Blessed is The Name.” It’s the unutterable name, the ineffable name! No matter that we no longer know how it might have sounded in the days of the first Bais Ha Mikdash!

Even if we knew how to say it, we couldn’t, because the name of God must not be mentioned in vain.

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From Aug 23, 2010  leonardcohenforum
* Ain't No Cure For Love *
I walked into this empty church I had no place else to go
When the sweetest voice I ever heard, whispered to my soul
On Saturday night, LC changed the original "empty church" and the more recent  "broken church" to "ancient church". How fitting, in that historic Square.

Don't 'ya just love how he continually changes his lyrics.

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From Aug 24, 2010  leonard cohenforum

Willy & Wybe Lageveen
Friday Meet-up

Thank you, Willy and Wybe for helping to make it such an incredible weekend.

I especially appreciated your guiding me, walking with two canes on the ancient cobblestones, to the "De Gruut" for drinks after the Friday concert. Wybe, you kept saying, we are almost there...and yet again...almost there... almost there...

Mmmm...I don't know if I can ever believe you again.

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From Aug 25, 2010  leonardcohenforum

Ann Mechiels
 * So Long Marianne *

On Friday night there was a terrific "So Long Marianne" sing-a-long. I was fortunate to be sitting next to Maarten Massa's wonderful mother, Ann Mechiels.

Ann knows all LC's words and music. It was such a delight to hear her singing along while filming this. If you listen closely, you will hear her sweet voice.

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From Sept 5, 2010  leonardcohenforum
(posted  by: Jarkko)...And here  you'll find 88 pix by Eija from the sound check, concerts, meetups (including birthday party of IrishMar and myself), city walks, boat tour...
Eija & Jarkko Arjatsalo

Eija, your photos are fantastic. You have a gifted, painterly eye.

But my favorite one is, not one you snapped, but rather one with you as a subject.

I am sure you are both too modest to highlight it, so please permit me to do so.

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From Aug 26, 2010  leonardcohen forum 
And one unhappy memory - Ghent meet-up 
(posted by: pe swijngedouw)
thank you, albert [noonan], for making memories visible for other people. those who were on the st.pietersplein get a nice way of explaining to those who were not there, how special these moments are.

i would have liked to tell you this and much more, on saturday night at de gruut, but the place is "not very friendly" for people on wheels, so when passing there, late friday afternoon, with my wife, we could not get in, and everyone was gone already ; on saturday night, at one o'clock, nobody was outside, and i did not want to leave my friend-on-wheels alone, so i just popped in for a quick glance at everyone, and got back home.
Pe: I thoroughly sympathize with your experience and the situation of your friend-on-wheels. I walk with two canes, having limited mobility and I found all four cities I visited in Europe on this LC adventure were not accessible friendly. Although my situation does not present as many barriers as for your friend-on-wheels, I did find that were many kindnesses shown and many were from strangers. I do want you to know that volunteer organizers always try their best but available facilities do not always pan out. As a North American, I found Europe a difficult place for the less abled. I am sorry we all could not meet and enjoy our common passion of appreciating the genius of Leonard Cohen.

Set list thanks to Maarten Massa

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