April 28th, Ice Hall
I’m Your Band
I’m Your Man’s production co-ordinator Roscoe Beck call Leonard Cohen’s tour group "The world’s quietest band." Here’s how it’s done:
Leonard Cohen strums a black Chet Atkins model Gibson (acoustic/electric) with nylon strings by D’Addario. The guitar is tuned two steps down (from C to C) to compensate for the changes in Cohen’s voice, which has lowered over the years. He also plays an old Spanish model acoustic, and a Technics SXK350 keyboard.
Guitarist Bob Metzger uses a vintage Fender Telecaster, with a Strat for a backup, and a Washburn Monterey custom acoustic model. When sitting, he slides around on a Showbud pro custom three-pedal steel. Amps include a Fender reverb and Vibrasonic reverb.
Oudist John Bilezkjian plays, well, an oud. No name or model, but he’s been offered up to $ 40,000 for it.
Basses of choice for Steve Zerkil include a´66 Fender (fretless) and a Yamaha BP1600 (fretted). He also doubles on keyboards - a Roland D50 and Juno 60 - and triples on trumpet.
Keyboardist Bob Furgo, meanwhile, doubles on violin - a German Stradivarius copy and a Barcus Berry. Behind the boards, he plays a Yamaha DX7, with Roland digital piano module, a Roland DEP5 and a TOA D3 mixer.
Tom McMorran also includes the DX7 in his arsenal, along with a Yamaha KX88 with Roland S-550 sampler, Oberheim Matrix 12, Roland SDE1000, Boss CE 300, a Yamaha SPX90 and a Yamaha MV802 mixer.
Steve Meador plays Yamaha recording series drums, with Paiste cymbals.
(from the "Musician" Magazine: "Leonard Cohen’s nervous breakthrough" by Mark Rowland.)
What critics said in Finland:
"COHEN IS IN A MESSIANIC SHAPE"
The 53-year Canadian is still in the prime of his performance. The expectations called forth by the recorded rendering of I'm your man were fulfilled doubly at the concert, thanks to the ensemble that worked wonderfully in tune with the maestro, lending a felicitous amount of roughness to his modernised hymns.
A hypnotically devoted atmosphere lingered in the hall throughout the two-hour duration of the concert. Nothing more was called for; the night was exceptional and offered a whole cross-section of the art. Cohen makes quintessentially humane music - albeit with the aid of rather modern hardware. Today, Cohen ventures to take liberal advantage of synthesizers and beat generators.
However, everything is rendered up in a soft and composed fashion encompassing an interpretation impregnated with the sarcasm of life's experience. Cohen's sensualism is captivating and his unaffected performance compels the audience to become engrossed in listening. This happens because Cohen is not cynical, nor cool, nor distant. He is a warm ironist who started by thanking the audience with a nice bow and the quip "it would be dreary to have be at work alone". Still today, Cohen averts resorting to sterotyped entertainers' mannerism.
Heart with no companion opened the concert, gently whetting the responsiveness of the audience. Sound reproduction was just right in its astonishingly smooth and subdued tone quality. Even the whisper of the next-seat listener would have been audible in the harmony of the night.
The delightfully rasping, yet angelical duo accompaniment by Julie Christensen and Perla Batalla added balance to Cohen's sensualism. Guitarist Bob Metzger brought forth his limpid solos with a great sense of style and tonality.
We all got just what we had expected, a recital of fine songs such as First we take Manhattan, Ain't no cure for love, The law, Everybody knows, Take this waltz, Sisters of mercy...
Hallelujah resounded as an encore. Part of the audience was already making their way out when Cohen appeared a third time; everyone stopped to stare in exaltation the Messianic sight of the artist on the illuminated stage.
(UUSI SUOMI, a national daily newspaper in Finland. Translated by Ahti Hytönen)