Mark Knopfler – the legendary leader of one of the best selling bands in history – Dire Straits – stopped by in Copenhagen’s Royal Arena during promotional tour for his latest album ‘Down The Road Wherever’. The show in capital of Denmark was one of many dates during his long worldwide tour, and like most of them was completely sold out shortly after the tickets were put on sale. Lucky fans who managed to get the tickets completely filled in the venue almost forty minutes before the show, and were patiently waiting for the legendary guitarist to hit the stage.
The show started punctually at 8pm when main star of the evening entered the stage accompanied with the full band of musicians. ‘Why Aye Man’ was the first song of the evening which slowly warmed up the mostly adult audience in the venue. Next song ‘Corned Beef City’ contained very nice solo part provided by two percussion players with the nice play of the light jumping from one to another when they were exchanging their musical parts. The full band consisting of nine musicians was providing an amazing musical support to Mark Knopfler who was completing it with his beautiful guitar parts. Audience raised up for the first time during first notes of a Dire Straits ballad ‘Romeo and Juliet’ – Mark was not forcing his voice and the whole song was performed in very calm and slow way what made the whole song even more climatic than the version from the record. After nice introduction to well-known material we have received a small dose of a new material including ‘Matchstick Man’ which is autobiographical song describing one hitchhiking adventure which Mark Knopfler experienced during his young years when he was travelling with his bag and the guitar across the UK. Return to the Dire Straits material with ‘Your Last Trick’ and very characteristic part of saxophone welcomed with the loud applause was a sign that the setlist is entering the final part of the concert. After ‘Postcard From Paraguay’ where Mark Knopfler was playing sitting on the bar stole in the middle of the street pulling the notes from his guitar we had a chance to hear another unique pearl of Dire Straits ‘On Every Street’. The main part of the set was closed with the country song ‘Sailing at Nazareth’.
After no more than two minutes break musicians on stage played the first sounds of one of the greatest hits in MTV history ‘Money For Nothing’ which effected with fans abandoning their seats and getting in front of the stage. The show started when Mark returned to stage and pulled the strings of his Les Paul guitar to fill in the venue with the characteristic riff of one of the Dire Straits biggest songs. For most of the older fans it was like getting back to the past and they were able to release some energy after mostly slow set presented this evening. After another short break we have had a chance to hear another amazing hit with another amazing guitar part – ‘Brothers in Arms’. The whole evening has been closed with the sounds of the ‘Going Home’ from ‘Local Hero’ soundtrack..
Mark Knopfler is a magician when we are talking about the guitar skills. During this atmospheric evening where he presented a nice mixture of solo material and classic hits of Dire Straits. The band accompanying the guitar maestro was just amazing and the show provided by all of them was simply amazing. To answer the question repeated by Mark Knopfler several times ‘should I retire’ I can only answer ‘Not yet Mark’.
Coverage by Kasper Pasinski