And it was spectacular. Songs like “Bird on a Wire,” “Suzanne” and “Everybody Knows” percolated throughout Madison Square Garden for several hours, as Cohen demonstrated that you can still rock out with hat head and sing about naked ladies at age 75. The crowd was composed of about 3/4 people over the age of 50, and to be honest, hanging out with the bubbies was a welcomed alternative to the madness of CMJ that was going on downtown.
Far too many aging performers make their later tours all about huge commercial production standards and vivid on-stage distractions (see: The Rolling Stones, U2), but Cohen’s set is still tacked to the essence of his music and poetry. The biggest diversions on Friday were manifested by his appreciative interactions with his backup singers and musicians, and the occasional wild outburst by one of the AARP members in the crowd.
Smiling at his audience, Cohen commented that “I don’t know when it is our intention to pass this way again.” It was foreboding, kind of sad and made me eternally grateful that I had the chance to see him perform. Read on to the extended entry to see my (somewhat shoddy) iPhone video of “Chelsea Hotel No. 2,” for a fuller impression of this classy affair.
(image via EW.com)