Tomorrow In Fredericton – The Leonard Cohen World Tour
Leonard Cohen inaugurates his 2008 World Tour tomorrow (11 May 2008) at the Playhouse in Fredericton, NB, a venue which, according to Wikipedia, has a capacity of 709 (469 orchestra seats and 240 balcony seats).
The city of Fredericton, also according to Wikipedia, is located in eastern Canada (see map below) and, in 2005, had a population of 50,535.
The Question: Why?
In Is It The Leonard Cohen 2008 Tour Or Is It A DrHGuy Parody?, I implied that it was difficult to distinguish between the first stops on the Cohen Tour (which, at that time, included Glace Bay, Halifax, Charlottetown, Moncton and St. John’s) and a parody of that concert schedule.
Indeed, why would the first concerts take place in a relatively isolated geographic area and in much smaller venues than those scheduled during the rest of the Tour (e.g., Toronto, Dublin, Manchester, Montreal, Oslo, Amsterdam, Rome)?
[Note: Perhaps everyone except me knows the answer to this question, but if so, I can’t find an explicit reference to the point. So, for now and until someone points out the documented explanation to me, I’m going to proceed as though it is a mystery.]
Possible Reasons Why Leonard Cohen’s Tour Begins In Fredericton
- Leonard Cohen lost a bet.
- The tour really is a DrHGuy parody that got way out of hand.
- Cohen’s booking agent is from Fredericton and he wanted to show up the girl who wouldn’t go to prom with him.
- Leonard Cohen’s singing is actually a means of passing coded messages for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. (That his singing turns a profit was a happy bonus for the Service) Holding concerts in these locations limits the number of outside infiltrators.
- Cohen scheduled Fredericton and similar tour stops just to mess with DrHGuy’s head.
- “Fredericton” means “Chicago” in Canadian.
- According to rumor, at closing time in Fredericton, the women tear their blouses off & and the men they dance on the polka-dots.
DrHGuy’s Best Guess Why The Leonard Cohen Tour Opens In Fredericton
First, it appears significant that the small venues are at the first of the Tour. One also notes that extensive rehearsals by Cohen and his band have been reported.
Given that Cohen is working on a new album with a significant portion of the concert playlist coming from that collection of new work and that at least two of the backup singers (The Webb Sisters) haven’t worked with Cohen before, my bet is that the Cohen Tour opens in Eastern Canada for the same reason a musical comedy opens off-Broadway or in the Poconos – to work out the kinks and polish the performance before moving it to Broadway – or to bigger stadiums.
Fredericton is Leonard Cohen’s off-Broadway.
Unless it’s not.