The Portland show was number six in my MK 'experience' list ever since my first show when I was eleven years of age (brothers in arms)and like a fine wine,the man,and his band,just keep getting better and better!
I saw the Salt Lake City show and felt an almost panic the next day that it might be yet another four to five years before I see the boys again...which led me to Portland.
It was an 800 mile trip by car which I made the night before to Portland and I feared that tiredness may affect the pleasure which may have been had at the show...I couldn't have been more wrong!
To 'review' Mark and the band is almost an insult when it comes to this show,the band is soooooo tight,soooo perfect...and as the 'review' for the last concert of the tour said...Mark is indeed a living legend! The combination can not be faulted.
There is another matter which makes the show,for me,even more astounding.
It is the fact that MK has deliberately shaped his career in a way that sees him playing what he wants and in the way that he exactly wants to,it is all about smaller audiences,better sound and communication for the audience...he has remained pure to his art and passion for music.
In this day and age of boy and girl bands,instant success and even more instant falls from grace...to see this man stick to the pure path is warming to the heart of the true music lover.
As at the Salt Lake show it was fascinating to look at the diversity of the crowd waiting to go in and see the show,it is what I would call 'solid'...it is a crowd that will come back year after year...indeed there was even some of the older Straits tour shirts to be seen!....It is true that I considered unwrapping some of my mine but the tightness would be a sight nobody should be subjected to!
The set list was pretty much standard fair for the tour thus far,minus Rudiger and Wild Theme,but it did seem to my ear that Mark may have been extending things a little and adding some even tastier solos in to the songs (if that is possible!)
Marks communication with the audience was warm and funny,yet,as we all know,it is not an issue either way...these guys are the best at what they do,and the music speaks for itself.
Indeed,seeing the humble and Hollywood free way that Mark takes in the applause after a display that is purely breathtaking speaks volumes for the character of the man.
I loved every song,was always going to,but highlights for me included Sailing to Phil....Romeo and Juliet...Telegraph Road...Speedway to Naz..brilliant attention to detail,spot on.
It was sad when the end came,and indeed I wandered around for about an hour after the show in Portland in a daze knowing that I just saw something,yet again,that I will never forget for the rest of my life..and after all is said and done..isnt that what it's all about?