I had the great pleasure of seeing the first show on Mark Knopfler's Get Lucky world tour at the Moore Theatre in Seattle.
Since I never saw Dire Straits live, I was very happy to have this opportunity.
The Moore is a 100-year-old theatre that seats about 2,000. Even though I started clicking when tickets went on sale (over six months ago), we still ended up in row J of the balcony. The sightlines and acoustics are very good, and I still felt very good about this vantage point. The show sold out very quickly, and there were MANY people looking for tickets outside the show.
As there were still many people filing in to the venue, the band came onstage about a half hour late. They opened with Border Riever - the rollicking opening cut from the new album. The entire show featured very lush arrangements and instrumentation. There were 7 players on the stage in addition to Mark - bass, drums, keyboards, guitar, flute/whistle, piano/accordion, and guitar/violin. People played various other odd stringed instruments throughout the show, and basically everyone on the stage except Mark was a multi-instrumentalist. The flute and violin components were prominent, and provided simultaneously a rustic and world music feel.
Mark played MANY different guitars throughout the night, changing instruments after virtually every song. I think that this practice had a number of reasons - he likes guitars, he wanted some different sounds for different tracks, and he plays so HARD that he probably can't stay in tune very long. That guy's fingers must be extraordinarily strong; he doesn't collaborate at all with his guitar - he bends it to his will effortlessly and emphatically. Mostly Fender electrics, but some Les Pauls, National Steel and a couple other acoustics. Most of the acoustic parts were done by the other guitar player.
They only played a few Dire Straits songs (Sultans of Swing, Romeo and Juliet, Telegraph Road, Brothers in Arms). The rest of the show was comprised of selections from his solo albums. They played What It Is and Sailing to Philadelphia early on, with the violin player doing a credible job with the intimidating James Taylor vocal part on the latter. Overall, the selections were of the exquisitely tasty and mellow variety rather than up-tempo.
It was a very good show, and the band was clearly enjoying the freshness of playing these songs in front of an audience. There were several occasions where they seemed to regroup on the set list between songs. There was virtually no banter on stage; they were there to play the music.
A big part of my enjoyment came from the opportunity to share this experience with my dear friend Mike, an old college roommate of mine who I see too rarely. It always makes me feel happy to spend time with him, and I am not sure how to feel about the fact that we have been in each other's lives for 30 years.
The show brought out detail and nuance in the music I had previously not fully appreciated, and reinforced for me that Mark Knopfler is a very talented composer and a true Musician.
bibere usque ad hilaritatem