Review: An Evening with Mark Knopfler at Manchester Arena (+Gallery)

Review: An Evening with Mark Knopfler at Manchester Arena (+Gallery)

Mark Knopfler

Dire straits is still hugely popular amongst people, the front-man of the band Mark Knopfler is as well. “An Evening with Mark” spending time with a guitarist who is very successful and is really enjoying running through a bunch of tunes which he just wrote with a bunch of musical pals which helped him to be among the best musicians in the world.

Here we just review some of those tunes like “Sultans of Swing” or “Romeo and Juliet” that have been and still are big hits, while other tunes which are also big hits still, are in the hearts of people which listen to Mark Knopfler’s music. Mark “did all that Irish stuff” and stayed in the music world to spend decades in the ears of people, who actually listened to his music for a long time.

However, Mark time after time continues to deliver a new dimension of his music. With his new album “Tracker” from 2015 he gives a fresh “taste” to the fans, and he made up for the time when they missed him.

Anyway, Dire Straits had great success in the late 70s, 80s and 90s, but today from this perspective it is easy to see why Mark chose to have a solo career. When he started to make his solo career he was one of the “heroes” in the music and guitar world. Many magazines chose him among the best guitarists in the world.

Working with a lot of big names in the music industry, which were with Mark on many of his tours, we can say that Mark made a great choice to continue his solo career. And today we hold that to be true. Today Mark is 67 years old and we still expect more hit songs and more music from the maestro.

At almost exactly two and half hours running time, An Evening with Mark Knopfler really is time well spent. In Manchester Arena, Mark preformed some old tracks which he mixed them with a little folk, blues rock and country sounds. For a great night, you must have great instruments, because of that Mark brings a large set of instruments including:  Irish whistles, saxophone, accordion, piano, organ, mandolins, uilleann pipes, Mandola’s, guitars, double bass, violins, drums…also Mark has with him his Gibson Les Paul guitars, three vintage Fender Stratocasters, acoustic Martins and the infamous 1938 National Style O from the Brothers In Arms album cover.

Looking around the arena the average age of the Knopfler fan is about 45–50, not bad considering that Mark in that time was 65. They have clearly come to be entertained for their £50+ ticket price and are not disappointed.

Knopfler played in his usual manner and was absolutely note perfect, showing that, although he has over 30 years in the music, he is still in possession of and continues to fine tune his remarkable talent. It seemed that they genuinely enjoyed the concert, as much as the audience and for the most part looked like a gang of old mates jamming with each other and having fun while they did.

On this show, Knopfler started with “Broken Bones” and some sounds of Privateering. Then in the evening Ruth Moody joined him to play the beautiful “Wherever I Go”. There was also Guy Fletcher, Nigel Hitchcock on Sax, Jim Cox on piano, Richard Bennett, Michael McGoldrick and Scottish multi-instrumentalist John McCusker.

Mark performed also “Romeo and Juliet” and just after that he turned on to “Sultans of Swing” and audience started to have a very nice party down there.

After what seems like an eternity of clapping, cheering and foot stomping the band returns for the longest ever encore including “So Far Away”, ”Shangri-La” and “Telegraph Road”. The arena is up on its feet, either dancing or grateful to stretch very cramped legs. This is an encore that keeps on coming, a multiple encore, the crowd shout for more but alas, after more than 2 hours of melodious music, Mark’s spent, he turns out the light and slips out the backdoor leaving the audience wanting more.


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