First Time Leonard Cohen is Guitarless Singing "Darkness" - Montreal Concert 1, Nov 28.12

December 2, 2012
Montreal DARKNESS Nov 28,12 (screenshot)

When I watched the Montreal first concert video of DARKNESS (by leonardcohenvideo), I was astounded to see Leonard Cohen performing the song without his guitar.

I am so used to seeing him live in concerts and in videos playing his guitar. And I really enjoy watching him fingerpicking his way through the song.

I am very attached to this song because I had the good fortune to be at the historic concert in Nashville when he premiered Darkness three years ago on November 5, 2009.

It took place in a beautiful theatre with lots of Cohenites I met through the Leonard Cohen Forum and a first row seat -thanks to Jarkko Arjatsalo and the Forum pre-sale.

And I had the good fortune again to be at the third anniversary of the song premiere at the recent LA Nokia concert on Nov 5,12 (yes that concert).

(l) Darkness premiere, Nashville Nov 5, 2009                          (r) Darkness, Los Angeles Nov 5, 2012

Guitarless in Montreal

I thought LC looked awkward without his guitar which actually distracted me.

I kept wondering why did he abandon his guitar?

He didn't seem to have any choreography for presenting the song or to paraphrase from the Montreal Gazette review of the Nov 28 concert, he didn't use any of his three default moves...
From: Montreal Gazette review concert 1 by Bernard Perusse

Performing before 12,600 devoted fans at the Bell Centre Wednesday night, Montreal’s favourite son worked his three default movesthe crouch, the jaunty two-step and the full kneel in soulful supplication – with good-natured grace.
He did not acknowledge Mitch Watkins' exquisite brooding bluesy interpretations. He did not doff his hat.  He did not bow to him. 

Neil Larsen was also not recognized for his several brilliant solos.

Now that was very unusual for Leonard Cohen who graciously and respectfully recognizes solos many times during a concert.

Perhaps, this was a last minute decision?

Was this not rehearsed?

Or as a very good Cohenite friend suggested:...perhaps the notes for that particular song require him to move his thumb against the strings a certain way and it caused a blister.  Sometimes a banana is just a banana.

Whatever the reason, I missed watching LC fingerpicking his way through Darkness.

It will be interesting to see how DARKNESS is performed for the remainder of this leg of the Old Ideas World Tour and beyond.

Darkness -Montreal Nov 28 - by leonardcohenvideo

This is my last Darkness video live in concert.
Darkness - Bromfield (Denver) Nov 3 - by Arlene Dick

LA Nokia concert (Nov 5,12) report  on the Leonard Cohen Forum
Nashville (Nov 5,12) premiere report here

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