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Mark Knopfler "Fires UP"
May 17th , Berkeley, CA
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 ....Mark Knopfler hit the stage at 9 p.m., full band behind him, and playing clear, bell-like notes on "Calling Elvis & Walk of Life".
.....The intimate crowd at Berkeley Community Theatre was a bit quiet for my taste, but things really heated after "Sultans of Swing" and "Telegraph Road". A particularly moving song "Romeo and Juliet" and "Brothers in Arms" and a amazing solo at the end of "Pyro Man" and I liked the goofy new intro to " Money For Nothing".
......Mr. Knopfler's set was a beautifully "arranged" show moving smoothly from highs to lows throughout the evening. His guitar solos were positively blistering and emotional. He often seemed to get "lost" in the music and would close his eyes as he played and swayed with the music and the crowd followed his lead and just listened, enjoyed and appreciated. A Superb performance all around. The band was loose and tight in all the right places; they gave the impression they were comfortable and having fun. Mr. Knopfler was friendly with the crowd and chatted a bit, made some jokes etc.
.... Even with such assembled firepower, subtlety reigned Knopfler may be the only guitar hero whose high notes come as sighs rather than screams. I can honestly say that Mark has not lost his touch. I am sure there are not many 'rock stars' as modest & down to earth as this chap. This is part of his magic, being at ease with the audience.
....Watching one of the greatest guitar legends ever, a showcase for his knotty, rapid-fire phrases, groaning sustains, biting accents and pealing single notes. The encores were incredible, and Mark turned the lights on the crowd for his last song. Mark Knopfler has always been too much of a musician's musician to fit the role of arena-size rock star. Now that he's recording and performing under his own name, his music is even more characterized by nuance than broad strokes, and his audience has taken on proportions more in keeping with his tasteful understatement. Wonderful sound in the theatre, a terrific band and of course, Mark's heartfelt playing and those Smokey vocals we all love made this show into a memory to treasure.


(Mark Knopfler set list @ Berkeley Community Theatre ) Calling Elvis/Walk of Life/Rudiger/What It Is/Sailing To Philadelphia/Romeo & Juliet/Sultans of Swing/Done With Bonaparte/Who's Your Baby Now/Junkie Doll/Speedway At Nazareth/Pyroman/Telegraph Road. Encores: Prairie Weding/Money For Nothing/So Far Away.

By Randy Cohen

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