Guest Author - Chris Curtis
Mark Knopfler has finished up the 1st US leg of his world "Get Lucky" tour at the Palace Theater in Albany NY to a sold out crowd. But, he will be back with a few late summer/early fall US dates. While Mark Knopfler is more plugged in then I typically write about, the quality of this tour warrants a mention. After all, if Tim O'Brien can veer to a plugged in tour, seems reasonable for me to give it some highlighting.
Make no mistake, this was Mark's show but he humbly shared the stage with a very talented group of musicians and he readily recognized their talents. While introducing the band, he referred to each of them as "master musicians" and gave each due consideration in his comments. During the show, the spotlight placed solo emphasis on the specific musicians as appropriate. At times, it seems Mark was complimenting these guys by interlacing his sound with theirs rather the other way around.
On stage with Mark were 7 musicians playing a myriad of instruments including Tim O'Brien on fiddle, Mike McGoldrick on flute and whistle, Matt Rollings on accordion and piano, Glenn Worf on Bass, Richard Bennett on rhythm guitar, Guy Fletcher on organ, piano and synthesizer, Danny Cummings drums. An abundance of stringed instruments graced the stage with Mark switching guitars after each tune. The multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, Tim O'Brien, played Fiddle, Mandolin, Banjo, Acoustic Guitar, and Electric Guitar.
Mark Knopler is best known for being the genius behind the well recognized rock band Dire Straits which was a creative showcase of Mark's distinctive folk styled rock. He, along with his brother David enjoyed a successful run with this band as the MTV generation kicked off in the early 1980s.
There are only a handful of guitarists who have reached the pinnacle of unparalleled dexterity that Mark Knopfler has achieved in his lifetime. The elite genius of his signature sound is instantly recognizable. The sweet sound of Mark's inimitable guitar resonated throughout the theater on favorites like Sultans of Swing, Romeo and Juliet and a couple other of Dire Strait tunes but the emphasis was more on his solo works which are now more prolific than the Dire Strait releases.
The set offered up a solid selection of story-telling ballads which characterize Mark's folk and Celtic influenced style of song writing. Tim O'Brien stood on strong vocals for the sensitive duet with Mark on Sailing to Philadelphia. Two songs from his latest project, "Get Lucky" anchored the concert, the show opened with the haunting Celtic ballad Border Reiver and closed on the final encore with Piper to the End., both of which featured the evocative sounds of the flute and fiddle in melodic Celtic duet.
The band was rewarded with a standing ovation from an appreciative audience. The selection of tunes across Mark's lifetime achievements clearly pleased the crowd. The band was tight and strong throughout the performance and the sound mix was right on. During the standing O there were lots of hugs happening on the stage as the band bid farewell to those who were not joining them on the European leg of the tour. It was a bittersweet closure to an awesome concert performance.
Tickets to the concert were purchased by the reviewer.