The Commander Of Commendations: Leonard Cohen’s Extraordinary Band & Crew Introductions

Nobody introduces backing musicians and crew like Leonard Cohen, especially during the 2008-2013 tours. In 2010, for example, he would offer a succinct, memorable lyrical description of each band member and backup singer, after which he would remove his hat and bow his head:

  • The Sublime Webb Sisters
  • The Impeccable Neil Larsen
  • My Collaborator, The Incomparable Sharon Robinson
  • The Sweet Shepherd Of Strings Javier Mas
  • The Master Of Breath Dino Soldo
  • The Signature Of Steady Bob Metzger
  • My Musical Colleague For 35 Years, The Much-Cherished And Incurable Roscoe Beck
  • The Regent Of Restraint, The Prince Of Passionate Precision, Rafael Bernardo Gayol

Will Sheff’s description of the 2012 Barclay’s Center show1 is pertinent and compelling [bolding mine]:

The 78-year-old Cohen showed no signs of fatigue though, dropping to his knees, skipping on and offstage for the two encores, bantering charmingly with his audience, introducing the band, the front-of-house team, the monitor guy, the guy who hung the lights even, naming their hometowns. He did this whole round of introductions twice, by the way. It was the most moving introducing-the-band routine I’ve ever seen – something that usually feels Vegas-y but this time around felt like church. It’s that reverent tone, I think, that enchanted us.

Introducing “The Master Of Musicians,” “My Old Friend,” “The Incurable Roscoe Beck” Et Al At Malmo 2010

While this video is imperfect, it does show Leonard Cohen offering a particularly effusive and expanded set of band member introductions at the end of “Anthem” at the Aug 4, 2010 Malmo Concert. (Video automatically begins with Leonard Cohen’s introductions.)



This video (self-described as shaky) of the May 12, 2009 Philadelphia show by Linda Sturgess, Leonard thanks everyone from the lighting specialists to the caterers.



How many musical icons thank the caterers in his or her parting words of the show?


Credit Due Department: Photo atop this post is by Lorca Cohen.

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 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric.


  1. Top ten experiences with music in the last year: Number One: Leonard Cohen at Barclay’s Center, Brooklyn NY. May 20th, 2012 by Will Sheff ( December 24, 2012) []

2 thoughts on “The Commander Of Commendations: Leonard Cohen’s Extraordinary Band & Crew Introductions

  1. The first time I saw and heard him perform on OPB, I was taken by his on stage generosity. I was in my 20’s.

    I am now 76 yrs and in all these years he has not deviated. He consistently performs (and seems to live) with grace and generosity. I have encountered no one like him. Well, maybe Mr. Rodgers🤗

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