Sure enough, after a night that saw Collins sing a sparse and haunting version of “Chelsea Hotel” and Green strip down Cohen’s epic “Everybody Knows,” Rateliff took the stage, first alone for “Take This Longing” (which you can watch here) then with bandmate Joseph Pope III and Julie Davis for “Passing Through” before bringing just about everyone in the room on stage to play Cohen’s most famous song, “Hallelujah.”
The track, Rateliff admitted, was not his favorite Leonard Cohen song, but that didn’t stop him and his collaborators from delivering a powerful, loud rendition that put tears in the singer’s eyes, which he chalked up to “being old.”
Here’s the very shaky and slightly blown out video of both “Passing Through” and “Hallelujah” (“Hallelujah” starts at about 6 minutes in if you want to skip ahead). Nathaniel Rateliff — fresh off a pair of annual holiday shows at the Ogden Theatre and having an entire day named after him by Gov. But the lineup, full of longtime Denver mainstays like Joe Sampson, Aaron Collins, Julie Davis and Roger Green had many wondering if the “and special guests” on the flyer would include the city’s current most famous troubadour in the festivities. Photo by Michael McGrath. One more from Nathaniel Rateliff at the Leonard Cohen show
— Eric Lubbers (@brofax) December 19, 2016 Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats play the Ogden Theater, December 16, 2016. Hickenlooper — wasn’t even on the bill for the “Celebration of Leonard Cohen” at South Broadway’s Hi-Dive Sunday night.