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Charisma energizes a musician's stature

Updated: November 17, 2009, 2:43 PM ET
By Paul Shirley | Special to ESPN.com

After 40 minutes of Leonard Cohen's show in Kansas City's gorgeous Midland Theater, I looked to my left at the retirees in my row. That their presence a few hundred feet from Cohen had contorted their faces into expressions of rapture confused me, because I was as bored as I've been since a University of Kansas vespers night when I was 10.

This is not going to be a discussion of Leonard Cohen's relative musical worth. A part of me would like to write Mr. Cohen to ask for my $50 ...

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