The long wait for MK to tour down under was worth it! The dude can certainly play guitar.
The crowd slowly built up, and by 8.15pm MK wandered onto stage, and began his over 2 hour set (identical to Perth's set, BTW). A very different experience to the "On Every Street" tour of the 1990's - the stage was very sparse, only the instruments on stage. No major lighting effects. But who cares!! I went to see MK make that guitar cry and make it sing.
MK started off with "Why Aye Man", and then onto a crowd favourite - "Walk Of Life". The crowd certainly got more excited by the old Dire Straits numbers, but the newer songs also got a warm response.
MK invited the audience to ask for songs, but the list didn't deviate from the setlist.
"What It Is" and "Sailing To Philadelphia" soon followed, both exciting songs, even more so live. One of the reasons I love seeing MK live, is that the songs become even more exciting and different.
MK had brought over brilliant musicians, and they all played their parts throughout the night. The drummer was excellent, as were the bass guitarist/celloist, other guitarist, keyboard player, and of course, Guy Fletcher.
"The Trawlerman's Song" was next, the new single from "Shangri-La", and it seemed even better than the album version.
The keyboard began a slow intro, and the crowd began to murmur. Off to the side MK changed guitars, and soon the beautiful start of "Romeo & Juliet" began, and the crowd went wild. They soon went wilder, 'cause "Sultans of Swing" followed. Now that song rocks!! Another person mentioned that it seemed like Dire Straits of old, before it became a "20 piece"! Just two guitars, bass, and drums, but what a song! Awesome outro as well - the kind of song that just goes on and on, but no-one really wants to end.
That led to the slower part of the concert, and the crew set up a chair for MK. MK has been struggling with the flu of late, and he jokingly asked for a "honey & lemon" drink - and soon one was wheeled out to him! The other guitarist sat next to him, and the drummer moved to the front of stage, onto a smaller set of drums.
"Done With Bonaparte", "Song For Sonny Liston", "Donegan's Gone" and "Rudiger" made up the "quiet" part of the set. All songs from MK's solo albums, but all well done.
Next followed one of my personal favourites, "Speedway To Nazareth". The album version is very country, but has one of the best rocking outros I've been blessed to hear. The live version was different - more rock than country, and the ending was cool, but LOUD.
MK then talked about the next song, saying that he started thinking about it after hearing a quote about putting a hose in someone's mouth if the competition was struggling (or something along those lines!). Of course, he was referring to "Boom, Like That", and again, it was well done. Some people may have been disappointed that so many of the songs were from his solo albums (especially since the ads had promised 80% Dire Straits), but I loved every song that was played (not that I wouldn't have loved to hear some of my favourites, "Darling Pretty", and "Coyote" for example).
But the crowd soon got their Dire Straits fix with the next song, "Telegraph Road". A 12-minute masterpiece!
MK then thanked the crowd and left, and people began the chant for more. As those who've seen the Perth setlist know, MK did two encores, and the whole "chant for encore" thing is a little passe. But stroke the ego we must, so we did, and soon MK was out there again, ready to rock.
The first encore was all Dire Straits - "Brothers In Arms", "Money For Nothing" and "So Far Away". The crowd was happy! I liked the live "Money For Nothing" version, but I was really hanging out for my all time favourite Dire Straits' song - "So Far Away". Don't ask me why I like it so much, I just do! I was well rewarded for my patience.
MK again thanked the crowd, and made his farewells. Another chant, and another encore!
The second encore started with an accordian playing "The Mist Covered Mountains", from the "Local Hero" soundtrack, and then the grand finale was "Going Home", the theme from that soundtrack.
All-in-all a fantastic night (2 hours and 15 minutes) of Dire Straits and MK's solo songs. The guy may be older now, but he's still one of (if not) the best guitarists in the world. Being able to see him play live was an experience I won't forget, at least till I go senile...