(on a pre-note...im sorry this is so long, but i tend to do these for myself and this is cutdown to 50% of the original version)
Is what I am still in.
I finally saw my musical hero live – after 13 years!
It was awesome!!!
I have heard of the venue from my parents and relatives but seeing it was amazing!
Is this antique arena with endless steps up and the stage on the opposite side and all in a circle, well like an Amphitheatre I think it is called?
Absolutely stunning view up the stairs/seats which so far were still empty.
But it was only 6.40 pm and over the next 80 minutes it was filled and almost full, very colourful sight as most
people were wearing raincoats.
I was almost center stage, third row.
All the equipment was wrapped in black plastic and zhey didn’t prepare the stage until 20 minutes to 8pm.
The speakers could just have an ancient look. They were very colourful, “Sailing to Philadelphia”-blue and a very nice red. Together with three chairs in the same blue it looked like straight from the 70s….you don’t see that everyday  .
Also a very old vintage brown wooden piano (B3) on Guy’s right side.
Some people started moaning about the time, as it was 8.02pm and it wouldn’t start.
But it was only a few minutes later when the magic and aweing would start, as they appeared onstage at around 8.15pm!!! Woooooohoooooooooo….
My hero was handsomely dressed all in black jeans and long sleeved button down shirt and he was wearing his glasses, yay  -
They kicked off the show with the only song from the “Ragpicker’s Dream”: Why Aye Man….
Mark said a short “Hello!” and off he went doing his magic!
The sound was great and for a few seconds I was overwhelmed by this personal historic moment and had tears dwelling up cause I was only 2 meters away from my favourite artist – awe!
I was rather fascinated and amused by his pose during his performance. I mean I know all that but it is a total different thing watching it live with your own eyes…
He stands almost motionless and stares into space, preferably to the left side while he is playing and/or singing…
And I guess it must be hard to tell his motions and facial expressions from farther away ‘cause they’re minimal but when they appear they are all the cuter!
Mark was talking a lot with the audience, loved his band introduction for us.
I had goose bumps and chills during the next 2 hours - still having them when I think of it!
Next up was a first Dire Straits classic “Walk of Life”.
He played Dire Straits tracks the most.
The song sounded great and had a nice crowd reaction, especially around me were two guys clapping and dancing so I wasn’t alone.
The crowd was very diverse in age and reactions, especially in my small circle…
Infront of me a group of friends prob around mid 40s, who stood mostly motionless before me and were totally in their own weird way of enjoying it and blown away… Around me two guys prob my age, having a good time, and singing off key, which was sorta cute and didn’t make me feel too bad for singing off key myself… and upfront at the barrier were two younger guys who just generally had a ball, wooing, singing and trying to get attention from the stage, but all in a good way, so I enjoyed watching them.
But back to the loving place  !
They all sounded so great together and were so in tune and enjoying themselves with each
After “What it is” and “Sailing to Philadelphia” he brought out the silver guitar to play a beautiful version of “Romeo and Juliet”!
Next up was the all time and most famous classic “Sultans of Swing”….and I prob shouldn’t say anything as there are no words to match this unbelievable performance….
And the fact that this song made his cheeks have a rosy touch afterwards and it was the only time he used a towel during the concert tells with how much dedication and brilliance he performed this song as did the band!
I was standing with my mouth open and melted and couldn’t believe my eyes as there is hardly any movements with his hands when he plays the divine tunes….he merely brushes over the strings….you need a magnifying glass to see him picking…..
The crowd’s reaction was wild and it was simply divine.
It was also kind of the end of the first part, as they formed an more intimate circle for the next line of songs…with pulling a second drum kit to the far left of the stage for Danny to join the half circle, really nice atmosphere was created.
They continued with a Golden Heart track “Done with Bonaparte”. A song I love very much.
After that came the first song off the current album “Song for Sonny Liston” and Mark sat down on one of his fancy 70s diner chairs for it. He was brought a steaming cup and was joking with the audience about what was in it….it was supposedly tea!
The sound of the song was great and puts the studio version way behind as I find now that his guitars are too quiet on the album and it’s great to hear them so much clearer in the live version!!
Richard took a break through that song, but came back for the next number and sat next to Mark…. “Got tea, Richard?” Mark greeted him and when he was given his they cheered us and themselves!
Then they were “attempting” the song “Rüdiger”….
It was amazing how well they performed this together…the details and combination of it all….I had chills all through the song and it was especially great to see people reacting to it, like the two young chaps up front cheered really loud when the line “Rüdiger waits at the hall in Berlin” came up. I was so touched.
They went back to play two more tracks from Shangri La….”Donegan’s Gone” was next and after that it was “Boom like That”….during which Mark made a releasing fist for each chorus of “boom”….
If you thought “Sultans of Swing” was the highlight of the concert, you’re only right on the solo guitar side…
Because the true highlight of the concert would be the next song, and I think it was the loudest and rockiest song and the lightning arrangement did their fair share adding to it!!!!
It was another Sailing to Philadelphia tune “Speedway at Nazareth”.
And the brilliant performance of all of them together made this outstanding and breathtaking….it was mind blowing and beautiful beyond words…..
I think it was my favourite and the climax of the concert…
Without it getting any worse after that.
And how could it if it continues with classics like “Telegraph Road”?
Always one of my favourites, especially ‘cause of the mixing of instrumentals and then back to lyrics….and I just love the length of it…..great to witness it!
And I think you cannot go to a Mark Knopfler concert without hearing “Brothers in Arms”….
It is everything you can find and express in words….beautiful, powerful, intense, poignant, and after 20 years still so up to date that it is frightening…..it’s a timeless classic.
After the song, they said their farewells and left the stage and the crowd started clapping and shouting “We want more!”…of course they would come back  .
And they gave another smashing and rocking performance playing “Money for Nothing”….which is prob one of my lesser favourite songs.
But they won me over ‘cause the performance was awesome and the crowd went wild and was singing with the chorus and clapping and dancing all over the place from what I could see!!!!
After the song they gathered on stage for a short discussion, which we thought was unscheduled and made it look like another spontaneous encore. And it was surprising to hear “So far Away”!!!
After “So far Away” they left the stage again…..but they didn’t start to tear down the stage and didn’t put the lights on, read the signs, people….they were coming back for another encore!!!!
I was hoping to get to hear “Going Home- Theme from Local Hero” since it is the ultimate Dire Straits end to a concert and it is a beautiful instrumental….so I was a bit disappointed when they started a different tune…
But I must say, “Our Shangri-La” is a great and truthful finish to an awesome and incredible 2 hour long magical trip through heart warming and mind blowing music!
Especially the lyrics are matching and I was agreeingly nodding…..
It really was the end of a perfect, well let’s say evening ….what a dream come true  .
June 10th, 2005 by Jen D.