Live: Leonard Cohen in New York City

May 22, 2009

Phil Bicker is FADER's creative director—he is responsible for the overall aesthetic of our magazine. Phil contributes in many ways to the website, but until now, not with the written word. After recently attending one of Leonard Cohen's comeback concerts in New York City, he was moved to write a review of the show. Phil's experience is after the jump.

Divine Intervention: When Leonard Cohen Sang for Me

Sometimes I wonder. I wonder if age and experience are beneficial to my being. I wonder as a father of two young sons of three and five years, and husband to a wife that is much younger than me, and I wonder as someone who is some years older than my fellow workers here at The FADER. I wonder about my philosophy, the decisions I make and the path I have chosen to follow. I wonder about what I take as known. I wonder about love and fate and I wondered if anticipation will lead to disappointment.

Leonard Cohen, some three decades older than I and from what I have read well versed in the world's religions and philosophies has made me wonder. As a lyrical master of reflection of melancholy and of the human condition, of love and despair and bitterness and of darkness he has immersed me in his music.

Now having seemingly found an inner peace, and a somewhat contradictory air of cheerfulness he has fitfully confounded the idea that anticipation leads to disappointment. The great artists change you, they challenge your perceptions, they touch your soul and if you are lucky they entertain and surprise you too. So it was this past weekend when Leonard Cohen sang for me.

For three hours Leonard Cohen detached me from my world and enveloped me in his and he took me on his (literary) journey through his familiar and well traveled themes. The experience a revelation—indefinable and indescribable and yet although intangible, something I know will stay with me.

I wonder if age and experience will be beneficial to my being. I wonder if I will reach my goal. I wonder if I will find an inner peace, tranquility and happiness and then there in the darkness I realize a part of me already has.

Posted: May 22, 2009
Live: Leonard Cohen in New York City