Oakland, Paramount Theatre Dec 5 & 6 - Two memorable Band Intros by Leonard Cohen

Rafael Bernardo Gayol trying not to crack up during LC's hilarious intro

From Jan 30, 2011

One treat from the Oakland concerts was the good sightline for observing the Anthem band introductions of Rafael Bernardo Gayol and Neil Larsen. Even though I have had very good seats for most of the concerts I attended, I didn't always have an unobstructed view of Rafael and Neil while LC was doing their intros. This time it worked out nicely.

I had seen videos on YouTube and read concert reports about LC's hilariously clever introduction of Rafael. But, witnessing this in person was very special . I loved watching Rafael laughing and enjoying it thoroughly, seeing Rafael and LC "connect" and receiving a loud cheer from the audience.  Well deserved!
On the drums, like any great drummer,
a sculptor of silence, laying it down,
bringing it home, putting it to bed,
clipping its toenails,
tucking it in, kissing it goodnight,
smothering it with a pillow,
arrested and sent to prison,
recruited by the Aryan brotherhood,
disillusioned by the uneven quality of their tattoos,
converting to Judaism,
disillusioned once again,
spending his final days in a halfway house for broken vegetarians,
the prince, the priest, the poet of precision,
Rafael Bernardo Gayol

Neil Larsen enjoying LC's laudatory intro

I have always been impressed with Neil's musicianship and his enormous contribution to the band's success. He often provided a subtle background, almost a delicate duet with LC, and played a prominent role with the new songs. With his placement on a perch behind the band it was difficult for me to see him for most of the concert depending on where my seat was. Over the span of the tour, LC's introduction of Neil became more impressive. So I was delighted in Oakland to be able to watch Neil enjoying and appreciating LC's gracious and eloquent introduction.
On the keyboards,
a composer,
a teacher,
a model,

in his own right, a renowned bandleader,
a Grammy nominated artist and composer,
today's foremost exponent of the Hammond B-3 Organ,
a musician's musician,
the impeccable Neil Larsen
* Anthem *
cued to start at 8.10

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