This report of events at the September 18, 2009 Valencia Concert at LeonardCohenForum by Mabeanie1, who was in attendance, is poignant and informative, with facts and observations I’ve found at no other source:
it is 3.10 am and we have just arrived back at our hotel in Barcelona. Reception are letting me use a computer there reserved for airline crew use.
The concert in Valencia started on time but Leonard did not seem on top of his game. He was missing lines & words out. We thought he must be very tired after a heavy week with lots of travelling and several concerts. Then, at the start of Bird on a Wire, he put the microphone back on its stand and went off stage. I have never seen Leonard do that before in umpteen concerts. Meanwhile the band improvised. Then in the instrumental break he took off his hat and sat down on the drum risers. I have never seen him do that before. Then – horror of horrors – he quietly crumpled to the floor. The band stopped playing immediately. Everyone rushed to him and they started to escort him from the stage but he collapsed at least once more on the way. They asked us to wait for a while and suggested that the concert would restart after a short pause. However, almost an hour later, Javier and Roscoe came out. Javier made an announcement in Spanish which I struggled to understand (I got most of the words but couldn’t be sure I understood what the sentences meant). I was at the front so I yelled out in Spanish that we were English and did not understood. Roscoe either recognised me or recognised my words because he nodded and stepped up to the microphone to say – for those who did not understand Spanish – that Leonard was OK. It was nothing serious, just a digestive problem but that he could not go on with the concert and that they would try and rearrange it. I hope he is OK. To be honest we are still in a state of shock after our 4 hour drive back to Barcelona from Valencia.