He is a much lauded singer, songwriter, poet, novelist — a Canadian icon — but Leonard Cohen’s performance last night was punctuated with a sense of humility.

The musician, a recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, took the time between each song to recognize the members of his band, and to thank the audience with respectful bows of his head.

“I haven’t been out on the road for a while, but this is a wonderful way to begin,” he told the audience of more than 1,000 after walking out on the Rebecca Cohn stage without an introduction but to a rousing ovation.


“I hope you won’t be disappointed. Thanks for getting me started again,” added Cohen. His five sold-out nights at the Cohn come after a 15-year hiatus from arena touring and at the start of a world tour.

Wearing a fedora and double breasted dark suit, the 73-year-old Montreal native performed many of the hits from his six decades in the business. They included Suzanne, Everybody Knows, Bird On The Wire, and The Future.

His distinctive bass voice harmonized effortlessly with those of his three back up singers.

By the time the last hallelujah raised from his voice during his song of the same name, the Cohn audience was already on its feet — one of a half-dozen standing ovations the ordained Buddhist monk received.

“Sit down, please,” he said quietly. “We have some songs left.”