Leonard Cohen in Budapest

All the reviews agreed that this was the concert of the year (with four months to go!) – I just can’t add enough superlatives, so let me look at this once-in-a-lifetime experience from a different point of view and post a simple list:

  • the point when it became clear this was it: when Leonard Cohen sang the first two words of the concert, “Dance me…”, sparking an immediate roar of applause from the packed house
  • the line that was changed to suit the venue: “I did not come to Budapest to fool ya” in Halleluja (another roar of applause, as was to be expected)
  • the most surprising change in lyrics: “I’ve lost my wife and family” (instead of “children”), in The Partisan
  • the song most different from the recorded version: The Partisan – completely rearranged, with a stronger and faster rhythm that was crisp and lively at the same time
  • the most welcome addition to the set list: Famous Blue Raincoat (not played at every venue and missing from the concert DVD/CD)
  • the most surprising change in appearance: the Webb sisters looked so different on the DVD that we almost thought they had been replaced (I know, stupid…)
  • the best song not performed by Leonard Cohen: If It Be Your Will by the Webb sisters – my wife disagrees, for her it was Boogie Street by Sharon Robinson, so let me change it to joint first place
  • biggest celebrities spotted in the audience: who cares? – if you absolutely have to know: everybody was there, from former prime ministers to top Hungarian performers
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