“Here we go” Leonard Cohen Performs Closing Time And Possibly Best Skipping Of Tour – Belfast 2009

Ah we’re lonely, we’re romantic
and the cider’s laced with acid
and the Holy Spirit’s crying, “Where’s the beef?”
And the moon is swimming naked
and the summer night is fragrant
with a mighty expectation of relief


Another (Oh Hum) Great Cohen Performance

This is one more outstanding Belfast performance by Leonard Cohen of one of my favorite songs, “Closing Time,” expertly captured in video by albertnoonan. The only special reason for posting it is that – well, it’s available now and it wasn’t available an hour ago [at time of original posting: July 29, 2009] – and it displays world class skipping.

One of the best moments takes place at about 4:20 when Leonard announces, “Here we go” and pivots from left to right, efficaciously escalating the tempo and intensity.1 I’ve watched this a half dozen times and get a thrill every time I hear that phrase.

The American Judge Awards The Skipping A Perfect 10.0

Cohen’s departure from the stage in Belfast is a clear contender for the Best World Tour Skipping title and is a fine example for the young, aspiring skippers watching at home.

First, note how, at 5:50, Cohen pauses to make the transition from prayerfully saluting the audience to preparing himself for the floor exercise.

He strikes the classic starting position with his left arm held across his midsection for balance and then simultaneously lifts his right arm above his head and his right knee to waist height for power. After holding that posture for an instant, he kicks down, attaining excellent velocity and elevation on his initial thrust, all the while maintaining near-perfect form.

Cohen is especially impressive in the turn near raised platform where the keyboards are located, adding a half-twist not seen before in this competition. Finally, he continues to accelerate past his exit through the curtain, correcting his tendency in past concerts to slow his pace a step or two before reaching the curtained area.

The routine is exemplary, displaying challenging, even daring moves, exquisite style, and an unexpected degree of athleticism, given the competitor’s recent summer cold.

This is a spectacular performance sure to be mentioned in future years wherever music fans gather to talk about skipping.


Leonard Cohen – Closing Time
Belfast: July 26, 2009
Video by albertnoonan

I am republishing selected posts from my former Leonard Cohen site, Cohencentric, here on AllanShowalter.com (these posts can be found at Leonard Cohen). This entry was originally posted July 29, 2009 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric.

  1. The effect is not unlike that Phil Georgeff would evoke, announcing, as the horses rounded the last turn into the final stretch at Hawthorne, “Here they come, spinning out of the turn . … “ []

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