Mark Knopfler kicked off his world tour in support of ‘Down The Road Wherever’, a new studio album that came out last November, on Thursday night at Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona, Spain. Knopfler offered plenty of live debuts and rarities, including Dire Straits songs he hadn’t played in years.
Mark Knopfler and his band for the 2019 run features longtime collaborators Guy Fletcher on keyboards, Richard Bennett on guitar, Jim Cox on piano, Mike McGoldrick on whistle and flute, John McCusker on fiddle and cittern, Glenn Worf on bass, Danny Cummings on percussion and Ian Thomas on drums as well as new additions Graeme Blevins on saxophone and Tom Walsh on trumpet.
Knopfler began his first tour since 2005 by dusting off ‘Why Aye Man’ from 2002’s The Ragpicker’s Dream after eight years on the shelf. Next up was ‘Nobody Does That,’ one of three songs from his new album played live for the first time last night.
Guitarist also performed ‘Sailing To Philadelphia,’ the title track from his sophomore solo studio album, for the first time since 2012. Then, Knopfler looked to the Dire Straits repertoire for his first-ever solo rendition of ‘Once Upon A Time In The West’ from the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame act’s Communique LP.
That song was last played by Dire Straits in 1983 – 36 years ago. Other Dire Straits tunes that made the set list were ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ ‘Your Latest Trick,’ ‘On Every Street’ and ‘Telegraph Road.’
Mark also busted out one of the band’s biggest hit, ‘Money For Nothing’ for the first time on tour since 2005 as part of an encore that also included ‘Going Home: Theme From local Hero.’
Debuts weren’t limited to Down The Road Wherever material. Knopfler also unveiled live versions of ‘Heart Full Of Holes’ from 2007’s Kill To Get Crimson and ‘Silvertown Blues’ off Sailing To Philadelphia.
The tour continues tonight in Valencia, Spain. On August 16, the North American leg starts in Mashantucket, Connecticut.