Mark Knopfler on his North American Tour from 2015, on October 17 2015 had a concert at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia. By all reports, the show was sold out in about fifteen minutes.
Billed as “An Evening With Mark Knopfler” – the show didn’t have a opening act. The entire two hours that the show lasted it was packed with mostly songs from Knopfler solo career mixed with tasty songs from Dire Straits best era.
After saying that he was glad to be here and that he had already had some Philadelphia cheesesteaks, he didn’t say too much, he left his guitar to do the talking with the songs between his fingers and audience.
Mark on this tour was promoting his double album Privateering and let audience quietly to enjoy hearing him – till he played the songs. Also he played amazing “Your Latest Trick” from Dire Straits classic Brothers In Arms album. And then he did an exceptionally sweet nine minute version of “Romeo & Juliet”.
The show was really loud, however the combination of sound level and the sonic depth of the bass guitars and drums caused the hundred years old Academy of Music to physically shake. During “Sultans Of Swing” the lead vocal and most of the lead guitar were buried in the mix by the bass. If you watch the video, you will hear more of the vocal and the lead guitar than could be heard in the venue as he played it. Considering that Knopfler is booked to play mostly orchestra halls this tour, audience was surprised that they didn’t fine tune the sound system to provide perfect sound commensurate with the nature of the venue.
However if Knopfler didn’t make “Brothers In Arms” he would probably still be the number one guitarist of all time. His career has been remarkable, after disbanding Dire Straits he has been able to have it entirely his way of doing worldwide success.As Knopfler introduced his band, he stated how long each musician has been with him. It quickly became clear that the distinction between Dire Straits and his solo career is completely subjective. This band could just as easily be the current version of Dire Straits playing the music he chooses.
This time around there were a number of nice surprises. Of the seventeen song set there were songs from Tracker, two from Privateering and two from The Ragpicker’s Dream and one track each from Sailing To Philadelphia and Shangri-La.
Knopfler also included two songs from his movie soundtracks – “Father and Son” from Cal and “She’s Gone” from Metroland. He played five songs from Dire Straits starting with “Your Latest Trick”, “Romeo & Juliet” and “Sultans Of Swing”. On the set was “On Every Street”, and Knopfler said that they added it because of saxplayer Nigel Hitchcock and noted that he had not performed it in the last 23 years.
He encored with “So Far Away” and the final encore song was another surprise, “Piper to the End”” from Get Lucky, which included the traditional Scottish instruments, a perfect set-ender.
Check out down below short-gallery from that show.