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Review: Leonard Cohen delivers epic, career-spanning set at the Straz Center in Tampa

Leonard Cohen performs at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa on March 18, 2013.

Edmund Fountain

Leonard Cohen performs at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa on March 18, 2013.

19

March

Leonard Cohen may have written one of the most adored -- and most covered -- songs of all time in Hallelujah.

But if Hallelujah’s legacy has eclipsed that of its creator, you’d never know it from Cohen’s concert on Monday at the Straz Center in Tampa. Hallelujah was but one high of many during a nearly 3-1/2 hour odyssey of gospel blues and devastating poetry, delivered with deep love and dry wit. By the end, the near-capacity crowd of 2,411 felt as if they’d just been read a novel or three, with the author’s deathbed baritone still rumbling in their ears.

All night, he skipped and skulked and dropped to his knees more often than any septuagenarian should, cutting a dapper, mischievous figure at center stage. His strength as a songwriter is drawing you out of your time and into his, blending back-alley jazz (Bird on the Wire), sold-my-soul blues (Darkness) and heart-rending cheek-to-cheek ballads (Famous Blue Raincoat, Show Me the Place) into a singular soundtrack to an era long since lost. Everybody Knows was a bouncy Parisian story-song with unlikely disco bones, while I’m Your Man was a saucy, salty cabaret come-on.

For our full review of Leonard Cohen at the Straz Center, click here.



[Last modified: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 6:44pm]

    

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