June 14, 2024

Marc Cohn Live
at O.M.S.I.

Portland, OR – July, 2005
by Oscar R. Hicks

Marc Cohn’s performance at the OMSI** Zoo presentation of ‘Jazz at the Zoo’ was awesome to say the least. This was by far one of the best outdoor performance I have experience in a long time. Every song was well-crafted, and Cohn’s sing-along choruses, introspective lyrics, and vocal style revealed his ’60s soul and ’70s singer/songwriter influences. Cohn’s voice is rich, but has a roughness that adds emotion when reaching the upper notes and yet blends smoothly to the lower notes of his songs.

Marc Cohn has a great ear for melody and a keen eye for detail that immediately grabs your attention and reward the listener with repeated plays. He drew the crowd into every song with emotion and flare. What was really impressive was Marc Cohn’s ability to tell modern day stories with a smooth upbeat chorus. It always seems to me that songs composed on piano seem to sound better than those written on a guitar; however, the concert performance was surprisingly consistent, even for a mini-performance.

Listening to so many stories unfold across the ninety minute engagement also solidified the props Cohn has received in the media and elsewhere. It should be noted that any concert by Marc Cohn is a must attend. In the end, it was this reality and Marc Cohn’s generally magnetic personality that made the long drive and hot weather not only bearable, but also pretty enjoyable and well worth it.

**Oregon Museum of Science and Industry

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