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Non-Prog Concert Reviews

Mark Knopler

Live in Portland, Oregon, October, 2012

Review by Larry Toering

Seeing Mark Knopfler was indeed a special treat. I wasn't even planning on attending, so it all went so fast it was hard to catch every little thing his band had to offer. For one, they weren't all on the stage at once together. Instead he played with a smaller unit and then introduced a big line-up of what appeared to be guesting on one track but stayed with him until the end of the spectacular showing of a folk styled extravaganza of sorts. I really swear that it seemed no one expected that from them. After putting on what seemed to be the norm for him, it was massively surprising to see what was in store along with it. He played a few tunes from his solo albums and blended it together with a fantastic ensemble of  amazing talent that went out of their way to dazzle the crowd with a unique performance I will never forget. They played away like a band of gypsies at a modern medieval festival. It wasn't that far from what can be seen at a Blackmore's Night or even sometimes a Jethro Tull concert. It was almost prog for the entire last half of his show. What an amazing variety of tracks and a folk fest to follow they put on. Throughout the night they played not one popular track he ever recorded, expect for the encore, which was the Dire Straits anthem “So Far Away.” But other than that, they could not get further away from what should be expected from any Knopfler show of the past. Perhaps his concerts will maintain this folk-ish ensemble in the future, as it would be nothing less than criminal to do just this one tour. Do not miss any opportunity to see and hear this killer show, as it will surprise even his biggest fans if they don't know it’s coming. This is one huge impressive showing of talent on one stage to be seen and heard.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 6 at
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