Leonard Cohen | Chicago Theatre | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Leonard Cohen Recommended All Ages Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Critics' Picks

When: Tue., May 5, 8 p.m. and Wed., May 6, 8 p.m. 2009

At age 74, celebrated Canadian songwriter and poet Leonard Cohen is in the midst of a North American tour motivated by financial necessity: while he spent most of the 90s at a Zen retreat in the San Gabriel Mountains, his business manager embezzled the bulk of his life savings, and thus he’s hitting the road for the first time in more than 15 years. But judging from the abundant online video of recent performances and a 2008 string of European dates, his new show—also documented on the new CD/DVD release Live in London (Columbia)—is anything but a perfunctory cash grab with a canned set list. Cohen appears to have embraced this opportunity to approach his audience, his body of work, and the inevitability of mortality in a spirit of acceptance and enthusiasm. His attitude seems to be in tune not only with the Zen mystery itself but with a thread that runs through all his writing—a willingness to accept the intense strangeness of everyday life, to see comedy in the tragedy and vice versa. At press time tickets were still available for Wednesday’s show. —Renaldo Migaldi

Price: $55.50-$253

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