The June 28th concert at the New Jersey PAC in Newark marked my first
concert of the tour, and the performance quality was really extraordinary!
According to the ticket, the show was scheduled to start at 7:30 PM. After
sitting through a few hours of Route 17 rush-hour traffic I reached the
venue about a half hour early, and got my hands on a tour program, and
t-shirt. (Which were rather expensive.) The seating at the NJ PAC is one of
the finest I think. I was all the way up in third tier, first row, dead
center- but had a great view of the stage and the nice light show. When Mark
looked up at our section, it looked as if he was starring straight at me,
To my surprise, Bap Kennedy didn't appear until 7:30. His set was rather
nice, a sort of mirage of Irish folk/blues, marred only by his slight
attempt at humor which no one seemed to like. Kennedy finished at around 8
PM, and the famous "island" intro music came on about five minutes past so I
knew Mark would be appearing shortly (but late I think). Thereafter, to my
expectations the band appeared to a warm set of applause by the crowd.
The concert itself was very powerful. Danny Cummings' drumming definitely
adds something to the songs. I think the person who mentioned a while ago
that he is more of a "rock and roll" drummer hit it right on. Song for Sonny
Liston took on a very different, more powerful feel because of his playing.
The sound at the NJ PAC was pretty good, sometimes a little too loud though
in my opinion, where the volume ruined the clarity.
The crowd was responsive, but could have been a little more energetic I
think. There was a guy in the very first row in a green shirt who was really
So the highlights, in my opinion, were Sultans of Swing, and Song for Sonny
Liston. But that really isn't fair to the rest of the songs that achieved an
equal amount of musical worth. All the band members were really "in the
zone" for the entire set. These shows are truly a sign that Mark and the
crew have not lost an ounce of their musical talent. In fact I think they
have improved to a great degree. Mark is STILL finding new things in his
music, very apparent from this entire tour.
The set list is below. You'll notice that they skipped Donegan's Gone, and
woefully ended the show with So Far Away, with no Our Shangri-La or Wild
Theme. (I feel a little cheated you know ;)))) Perhaps there is some venue
curfew I am not aware of.
Why Aye Man
Walk of Life
What it is
Sailing to Philadelphia
Romeo & Juliet
Sultans of Swing
Done with Bonaparte
Song for Sonny Liston
Boom, Like That
Speedway at Nazareth
Brothers in Arms
Money for Nothing
So Far Away
I did make a recording of the event with my Sony Walkman tape recorder. I
had a good mic (Sony ECM-719), which handled the high volume parts quite
well to my surprise. (NO distortion) Originally, I was only going to record
this as a souvenir for myself. But since the recording is very enjoyable at
length, and contains the entire set list, I think I will now run it through
my computer, and burn it to some CD-Rs. If anyone wants a copy, let me know.
All the Best,