First Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Chelsea Hotel: A tribute to Leonard Cohen - was created at First Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota on January 31, 1998. Minneapolis singer/songwriter Mean Larry was the host. The artists featured during the night were: Mean Larry, Diane Martinson, John Murdoch, Brian Timm(Fatt Tuesday), Pete Maye(3 Car Garage), JJ Saecker(Diane Martinson Trio), Sara Olsen (Mean Larry & Friends), Lori Jacobson (Mean Larry & Friends), and Bill Roberts.

Mean Larry reports: "This was the fourth time in the last three years that I have put on Chelsea Hotel: a tribute to Leonard Cohen (for those not familiar with First Avenue check out the movie "Purple Rain" with Prince, First Avenue is the back drop for that movie). The 1st year it was about 50 below zero with the wind chill and we still had 300 people show!

The 1998 Tribute evening was a wonderful success, 400 ravenous LC fans turned out at the First Avenue nightclub in Minneapolis.

My band is a basic rock set of drums, bass, electric guitar and keyboard - I play the acoustic guitar and sing most of the songs, there are also 3 backing vocalists as well.

I stage the show somewhat like Leonard would do live - although I don't quite have his skills at pacing a show. This show, I opened the concert with the cut The Great Event - while that played over the house sound system, the large video screen was raised to reveal the band, and then the keyboardist set the mood, the ladies entered the stage and then myself and we were off!

Set List: Dance Me To The End Of Love, Everybody Knows, Bird On The Wire, Suzanne, Ain't No Cure For Love, Tonight Will Be Fine, There Is A War, The Partisan (please excuse our French), Who By Fire, Take This Longing, Sisters Of Mercy, If It Be Your Will, Famous Blue Raincoat, Chelsea Hotel #2, No Diamonds In The Mine, Joan Of Arc.

Then we came up for an encore: I'm Your Man, Tower of Song, The Future, Is This What You Wanted?, First We Take Manhattan

This year the audience called out for us to play So Long Marianne ( I told them that was a long time ago back in Greece), Waiting For A Miracle and Closing Time (I explained that it was too early to close the club) - actually I will probably add those songs to next years show.

During the show I promoted the Intensity fanzine and Jarkko's site! Someone asked me for a bumpersticker for his Harley. I signed one autograph and received a lot of free drinks.

We received a lot of support for the show locally: Leonard Cohen tours so infrequently it's great to have a local ensemble, Chelsea Hotel, devoted to the music of the man whose artistic intensity and commercial durability defies current standards. Jim Meyer / Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

It would be pretty tough to simulate Leonard Cohen's simple, masterfully meloncholic music, but these good folks are going to give it a try. Generally, I like to be alone when receiving my dose of Cohen, so if you see me there, I'll be tucked away in some dark, cozy nook. Wolf Vest / Pulse (weekly magazine)

Thanks to Mean Larry for the report!

This Tribute Night takes place every year.
More info on Mean Larry's Website