May 11, 2008: The Leonard Cohen Renaissance Begins With Fredericton Concert

On May 11, 2008, Leonard Cohen ended his 15-year retirement from touring, opening his 2008 World Tour at the Fredericton, New Brunswick Playhouse.1 This concert marked the onset of the Leonard Cohen Renaissance, an era which saw Leonard’s popularity soar to unprecedented heights and the release of some of his most moving and creative work.

We’re celebrating this event with a set of brilliant photos from the concert and videos of Leonard’s first song at that show and his welcoming words to the audience.


Photo Gallery

These brilliant photos of Leonard Cohen and his musicians were taken at the 2008 Fredericton show by J. Gordon Anderson.



“This is the first time I’ve done this in 14 years. I was 60 years old the last time – just a kid with a crazy dream.” – The Leonard Cohen Monologue

While these videos are suboptimal, their historic value and their evocation of the essence of what was to become Leonard Cohen’s performance style in his final tours reward viewing.

Leonard Cohen Talks To Audience
Fredericton: May 11, 2008
Video from RansomNoteMusic


The First Song Of The First Set Of The First Concert Of The First 2008-2013 Leonard Cohen Tour – Dance Me To The End Of Love

Leonard Cohen – Dance Me To The End Of Love
Fredericton: May 11, 2008
Video from RansomNoteMusic

Credit Due Department: Photos of Leonard Cohen and his musicians by J. Gordon Anderson. Photo of Playhouse by Rbcb – Own work, CC by 3.0. via Wikipedia.

I am republishing selected posts from my former Leonard Cohen site, Cohencentric, here on (these posts can be found at Leonard Cohen). This entry was originally posted Jan 19, 2011 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric.

  1. Update: Of course, at the time no one knew the tour would continue through 2010 and be followed by tours in 2012 and 2013 []

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