Leonard Cohen’s Last Performance Is A True Testament To His Legendary Career — VIDEO
The year was 2013. Leonard Cohen's Grand Tour arrived in New Zealand for a series of four concerts that December. This would wind up being Cohen's final performance of his lifetime, as well as his 69th performance that year. According to Rolling Stone, the show ended up lasting three hours. This meant that Cohen, 79 at the time, spent at least 1,110 hours performing in 2013. Nearly three years later, Cohen passed away at the age of 82 on Nov. 10, 2016. Sony Music Canada (Cohen's label) confirmed the death via the singer's official Facebook page. At this time, a cause of death has not been provided. The statement on his Facebook page reads:
It is with profound sorrow we report that legendary poet, songwriter and artist, Leonard Cohen has passed away. We have lost one of music's most revered and prolific visionaries. A memorial will take place in Los Angeles at a later date. The family requests privacy during their time of grief.
Cohen's Auckland show marked his final performance. Per Rolling Stone, the icon concluded with "I Tried to Leave You" and a cover of a Drifters' song, "Save the Last Dance for Me." During the show, he reportedly told the crowd, "Friends, I want to thank you for the wonderful hospitality you've showed us tonight. I want to thank you not just for tonight, but for all the years you've paid attention to my songs. I really appreciate it." When the song ended, Cohen — dressed in a suit and tie — bowed before leaving the stage with a big smile. Although he never performed after that, he did continue releasing music and even a documentary in 2015, Can't Forget: A Souvenir of the Grand Tour , about his tour.
While fans awaited more from Cohen following the Grand Tour, he made it known that there would be "no tours in the foreseeable future." Though his most avant supporters were disheartened to hear that, it was understandable. The Grand Tour lasted five years. During it, Cohen performed 387 shows. Popular Problems hit the market a day after his 80th birthday. Upon that LP's release, he told Rolling Stone, "[Y]ou depend on a certain resilience that is not yours to command, but which is present. And if you can sense this resilience or sense this capacity to continue, it means a lot more at this age than it did when I was 30, when I took it for granted."
Certainly, those who cherished the massively influential singer and songwriter's work for decades didn't take any of it for granted.