Leonard Cohen honoured in Montreal one year after his death
Stars from near and far gathered to celebrate the life of Leonard Cohen on the eve of the first anniversary of his passing.
Tower of Song was a powerful, emotional and star-studded tribute for the revered singer-songwriter.
It was put together by the Cohen family — in part, to fulfil a dying wish, according to his son Adam Cohen.
Back in September, Cohen told Global News his father would’ve been “mortified, frankly, by the size of this thing.”
READ MORE: Leonard Cohen tribute concert in Montreal
Albeit huge in size and importance, the show featured artists such as Elvis Costello, Patrick Watson, The Lumineers — to name a few — it felt intimate, warm and simple.
Most artists performed against a projected background of Leonard Cohen leaning on a window, as if he was watching over them.
Act after act, the artists were escorted off the stage with heartfelt standing ovations.
Sting kicked off the show with his rendition of “Dance Me to the End of Love.”
But it was KD Lang that brought some to tears with her emotional rendition of Hallelujah.
Ron Sexsmith delivered an acoustic version of Suzanne and Courtney Love added a touch of punk to Everybody Knows.
Damien Rice, Coeur de Pirate and Adam Cohen joined forces to perform The Partisan.
Adam also paired up with international songstress Lana del Rey to sing Hotel Chelsea 2.
Canadian actor Seth Rogen took to the stage to read a poem.
“As a Canadian Jewish person, there is no greater honour than reading a Leonard Cohen poem in the middle of a hockey arena,” Rogen joked.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Grégoire appeared on stage, talking about their special connection to the man.
Gregoire walked down the aisle to a gospel version of the lyrical master’s Hallelujah.
The couple later danced as Mr. and Mrs. Trudeau for the first time to the lyrics and music of I’m Your Man.
“Leonard may not sing in French but he sang about what unites us as Quebecers,” Gregoire said in French.
Cohen fans flocked to the Bell Centre from across the world to honour his memory and reminisce.
“It’s to honour the man because there’s never been anyone else like him. It’s a thrill for me to be here,” said Brian O’Connor, who traveled with his wife from Dublin, Ireland.
Nine-year-old Finny Hastings made the trek from New Brunswick.
The young fan finds deep meaning in Cohen’s lyrics.
“It has so much action, love and truth,” Hastings said. “He cares about his heart.”
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