This past Monday, November 6, 2017, I had the privilege to attend the Tower of Song: A Memorial Trubute to Leonard Cohen. The doors to the Bell Centre, downtown Montreal, opened shortly after 6:30 pm, and the rest, as they say, was history.
The tribute was organized by Adam Cohen, his family and friends, to celebrate the life of Adam’s father, Leonard Cohen. The late Leonard Cohen passed away a year ago, on November 7, 2016. He was born and raised in Montreal, and became a well known poet, song writer and musician.
The overall experience was magical and overwhelming, listening to more than 20 renditions of Leonard Cohen’s music by various artists, who volunteered their time to participate. My most favourite songs of all were k.d. lang’s rendition of “Hallelujah,” and “Famous Blue Raincoat” by Damien Rice. My partner and I had seen Leonard Cohen and Damien Rice in a concert together in Dublin in 2008, and this brought back many fond memories of that overseas trip.
Also worth mentioning were performances by Sharon Robinson, who sang “I’m Your Man,” and provided background vocals with the Webb sisters for much of the concert; Patrick Watson, a local singer who I had not been aware of; and the Shaar Hashomayim Synagogue Choir, who performed the background vocals for “You Want it Darker.”
Leonard Cohen penned many poems and song lyrics, so I will leave the last words to Leonard (and his co-writer):
I’ll try to say a little more:
Love went on and on
Until it reached an open door –
Then Love Itself
Love Itself was gone.”
chorus to “Love Itself,” written by Sharon Robinson and Leonard Cohen