Tower of song


It's hard to imagine a better concert than the one Leonard Cohen just gave at Oakland's Paramount Theatre. The 74-year-old artist/poet/singer/songwriter is doing a "World Tour" after not being on a stage in 15 years. He sang for more than three hours, supported by a small group of brilliant musicians and backup singers. It's almost impossible to pick highlights, but I'll go with '"Who By Fire," featuring Barcelona's Javier Mas on the guitar, "If it be Your Will" sung by backup singers the Webb sisters, and (here comes the French connection) the haunting "The Partisan" -- J'ai changé cent fois de nom, J'ai perdu femme et enfants, Mais j'ai tant d'amis; J'ai la France entière. (I've changed my name a hundred times, I've lost my wife and children, but I have so many friends; I have all of France.) It was a spellbinding evening, which no one (including the star) seemed to want to come to an end.