Musings From Afar - Leonard Cohen Istanbul Concert 9.19.12

September 22, 2012

video screen shot

These are from my notebook jottings about following the Istanbul concert at the Ulker Sports Arena online - my impressions about tweets and a concert video on YouTube.

My first impression, there are a lot of cellphones in Istanbul.

I was struck by the high number of intelligent tweets. Some of them included great photos, mostly taken a long way from the stage and from high in the stands. None of the photos appeared to be from the floor seats. I posted a few of the pre-concert shots on a previous post here

What really caught my eye was the high number of Foursquare check-ins, the highest number I ever recall seeing. "I'm at Ulker Sports Arena for Leonard Cohen w/365 others" (selinsuna)

When the concert was underway, tweeters continued to post photos as well as a few vids.  I enjoyed that.

Then I took a break and went out in 100+ degree weather to do some errands.

When I returned home, there was a terrific video already uploaded to YouTube with only two views.  Wow, That was fast.

Video - Everybody Knows (uploaded by carnilol)
This is a superb quality video, both the visual and audio.  It was shot from a high side angle directly overlooking the stage which  made for some interesting observations.

The carpets on stage
They look similar to the ones used in the World Tour '08-10 but these are new. The carpets are beautiful and look classy.  I recall reading in the early Joey Carenza  "Camp Cohen Notes" there was some concern whether the "new carpets" would arrive on time.  Leif Bodnarchuk in his backstage blog "No Ideas" has mentioned these carpets several times, especially taping them down.  

Neil Larsen plays four instruments, not three like I thought
I thought Neil played the Hammond B3, Keyboard/electric piano and the accordion.  What  I never noticed before, there is a fourth instrument behind him, clearly visible in the screen shot at the top. He has such virtuosity, I wouldn't be surprised to see him bounce back and forth among all three of the instruments surrounding him at the same time.

LC has been consistent with the lyrics of  Everybody Knows - "Sacred Heart"
Take one last look at this Sacred Heart
Before it blows
During the World Tour '08-10, many of us would report on the Leonard Cohen Forum whenever LC varied the lyrics at different concerts.  Sometimes he sang "Mighty Heart".  So I like to pay attention to what he's doing with certain songs on this tour (FBR sign off is another).  So far, it looks like  "Sacred Heart" at every concert of the Old Ideas Tour.

LC has reverted to introducing individual band members in the middle of a song
LC has been doing this since the start of the Old Ideas World Tour.  He used to do that in the early stage of the World Tour '08-10. There were complaints back then that this practice was distracting and there was even a thread on the Leonard Cohen forum to discuss this.  Eventually, he restricted his band introductions to the end of Anthem, which closed the first set. At the end of a concert, each band member was given a chance to shine in a solo during I Tried To Leave You, but no spoken introduction.  But on this tour, ITTLY is not always included. Perhaps doing the individual introductions is how LC has decided to show his admiration and pay respect a second time in addition to the intros at the end of Anthem?

Some of the setlists are visible
Because of the angle of the video, one can see the setlists used by LC and by the backup singers.  LC has two setlists which are taped to his two monitors.  The three backup singers have their setlists flat on the carpet.

Well, those were my jottings.

Everybody Knows (carnilol)


  1. Thank Arlene , Beautiful work as usual.

  2. What a fascinating read! Thanks, Arlene!

  3. My thanks to you both for your kind comments. I enjoyed doing it.