For the first time in his 43 year old career, successufll Canadian cantauthour and writer Leonard Choen has visited Croatia and for the end of July filled Arena Zagreb with deep tones of his divine voice. Choen’s return tour is part of double album/DVD „Live in London“ promotion that fascinated Zagreb people who dediced to spend Sunday eventing with this fascinating elderly mister.
Just like it was announced, at 20:30 applause was followed with Leonard Choen dressed tipicaly in charachteristic black suit and hat, says thank you and at stage with massive curtains he opens his set with hit „Dance Me Till the End of Love“. And from the first note everything was clear… Choen’s voice is deeper and brighter than before and Arena slowly but safely is drawned in massive lyrics followed by true manners of the man in black at the stage. Because, Choen’s music and literar greatness for decades is not questinable just like hits with which he has set Croatian audience of fire: : „The Future“, „In My Secret Life“ koja je izazvala val iskrenog oduševljenja u dvorani, „Waiting For The Miracle“, „Anthem“, „Suzanne“, „The Gypsy Wife“, „The Darkness“ , „Hallelujah“, „I’m Your Man“…. With him great concert was fulfilled by great play of support musicians among which with his melancholic handwriting stands out guitarist Javier Mas from Barcelona and back singers lead by long year Choen’s collegue and co-author of his greatest hits like “In My Secret Life” Sharon Robinson. So it is no wonder that Arena was in waves of applause and shouts of amazement greeting every gesture of great poet, gentle hat bends, song announcements, thank yous on such a warm welcome, support band on knees… All in all, Leonard Choen is much more than average elderly, he is a mister in years with great physical and vocal condition on whose smiled face couldn’t be red that he was suffering from deep depression for many years that can be read from his songs. Also he is a musician who has despite his greatness not aware to take a deep bend to those who share the stage with him, but also to his audience. With “In My Secret Life”, truly evergreen “Halelujah”, “I’m Your Man” „First We Take Manhattan, Then We Take Berlin“ ili „If It Will Be Your Will“ audience was specially fascinated with “The Future” which has been just like prophet’s vision in mind about world without ideal in which nobody knows what is right, and what is wrong, and “Closing Time” which was supported by arena in simultaneous applause in rhythm.
Although Arena at first sight didn’t seemed as proper atmosphere for celebration of silent and honest songs of an artist whose stage is not filled with fire and massive amps, chairs of parter of Arena and simple stage whose culmination was changing of light effects on white curtains made me think opposite. Seemed as cold and monumental building with true artist and real audience on few hours can be turned into a temple on which we will celebrate the beauty of songs and truly deep art. With that, Arena surprised with great sound, because Choen’s divine voice and every note that was played by musicians on stage in every corner of the hall was resonating clearly in every sense. “I Tried To Leave You” on second encore and after three hours came too fast. Audience has been greeting great musician with amazement, and he payed off with “Democracy” with honest thank you and goodbye with a notice that time is changing and we sould be careful that we don’t get cold. Advice that was on July 25th heard by generations and generations Leonard Choen lovers, which has, first and probably last time in his career held a concert in Zagreb. And his stay in here is great not only musical but also cultural event not for the capital but for the whole country in which we are offen faced with questionable artistic values. So the honour because of full Arena grows bigger. Despite destiny game, if his manager didn’t steal from him, probably Leonard Choen would never follow our path.
“In My Secret Life” Live @ Arena, Zagreb, 25.07.2010
Report, photo & video: Ivana Sataić (email@example.com)