Welcome to my Kill to Get Crimson 2008 tour blog!

My name is Isaac, 30 years old from Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. I have set this blog up for the purpose of documenting the journey I am taking following Mark Knopfler’s Kill to Get Crimson tour in North America, in the summer of 2008.

The North American leg of the tour, as well as my journey, begins June 24th in Morrison, Colorado and ends on July 31st in Miami Beach, Florida.

Even though I intend to write on a daily basis, publishing the stories onto the server would be tricky. After all, we’re talking about vast distances which will be primarily crossed by driving, and there is no way for me to predict the availability of Internet connection throughout the way.

So… make yourself at home and feel free to drop a comment.

Yours,

Isaac

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Bank of America Pavilion, Boston, MA

Today was a long day, perhaps the longest one since the beginning of the trip.

Very shortly after leaving Montreal on my way to the US border, I realized that I should really stop driving and take a short nap. I suddenly started to see the road disappearing against my eyes, a good sign that my eyes going to get shut involuntarily very soon. So I pulled over to a nearby lake, a few kilometers away from the USA border, and tried to catch some sleep.

Before falling asleep I noticed how great the view is. It was on the shore of what I believe was Lake Champlain, which is split between Quebec and Vermont. Will come back here again.

I slept for about 30 minutes. Then continued the drive, a bit more alert this time.

USA border crossing took exactly five minutes—four minutes of waiting in line (the Nexus lane was closed) and one minute talking to the agent. Very nice lady there who, of course, had to dig into why am I doing this trip in the first place, how much it cost me (I gave her an estimate—“I don’t know” is not an answer border agents like to hear) and so forth.

Crossed the border to Vermont, just to find out that this is some beautiful state. Lots of green, lots of hills. Lakes, rivers. Reminds me of driving in British Columbia.

I made very few stops along the way, just for refuelling and buying some water as it was very, very hot outside and I wanted to get to Boston as early as possible.

After Vermont came New Hampshire, which was just as scenic. This is a part of the USA that I will definitely revisit for some camping or hiking trip.

Arrived at Boston at around 3:00pm. First task, as always, was to find a place to sleep. A few phone calls and I decided to stay in some Motel 6, about 20 miles away from the venue, in Farmingham. $55 and got an extremely spacious room with everything in it.

I quickly got everything together, preparing for the Meet & Greet. Checked some emails and off I went driving towards the venue.

I was so tired.

Took a while to get to the venue—about 25 minutes driving—however finding it was very easy (oh well, I have a GPS) and there was some street parking available right across the road from the venue, controlled by parking meters which accept quarters only. I put whatever quarters I could find, which wasn’t enough, and went on my quest to find some more.

First stop—the venue’s box office. “Sorry, I barely have quarter myself”.

Second stop—a restaurant called “Pressed Sandwiches” about 2 minutes walk from the venue. That place sells sandwiches, “pressed” inside a toaster so they come out warm & crisp. I got the Chicken Pesto sandwich. Delicious, yet overpriced. Quarters? Sorry, no. But try at Starbucks…

Which I did. Bought myself my favourite drink (light blended mocha frap) and got tons of quarters in return. That was enough to feed the parking meter so it doesn’t bother me again.

That area of Boston is clearly not a part of the downtown area, which I ended up not visiting due to lack of time. It is a quiet area, very pretty as there’s a nice‐looking harbour there with nice‐looking hotels, lots of restaurants.

Went to the Seaport hotel at around 5:00pm. Turns out there’s free Wi‐Fi there, so I replied to some more emails while waiting for a few MK Forum fans to arrive (I was invited by this lady named Emily). By the time they came, I already had to leave so I can be on time for the Meet & Greet.

Doors were supposed to open at 6:30pm. They opened at 6:45pm. Walked to the Meet & Greet location, and was told that it starts at 7:00pm.

At the meantime, I thought I’ll check my seat out. Turns out I was seated at the second row, about %75 to the left. Not bad.

Then it was time for the Meet & Greet which was very nice. The band performed a couple of songs that had nothing to do with Mark Knopfler. They appeared to be in a very good mood, and showed us some very interesting instruments—Richard’s slide guitar, and some other fabulous instrument that works by running some pointer over it. I have no clue how to explain it or what it is called, but Guy and Matt appeared to have mastered it.

The band was very… well, how to call it… laid back. As much as these people appear laid‐back and relaxed on stage, it is nothing compared to how they appear in such small gatherings. Mark turned out to have some great sense of humour (something I have always known, but didn’t know to what extent).

This is my first time in any Meet & Greet in any concert whatsoever. I am not used to this setting, but still, I’ve been following this bunch for 21 shows already so I didn’t feel too freaked out about it. I got the opportunity to speak with each and every member of the band, except for Mark. It was great speaking with Matt, John, Danny (what a nice guy!), Glenn, Guy, and Richard whom I caught completely off‐guard the day before with the Harvey’s gift card incident.

I took a few pictures, however only one with my camera—the rest were taken using (what I think was) Guy’s camera, I hope he sends them to me soon so I can post.

IMG_1927

This is another thing I like about this band; they are, first and foremost, people. Very down to earth, very pleasant to speak with. I am lucky to have been given the opportunity to be in company with such a great group of people.

The reason I could not speak with Mark was that he appeared very busy. A few people from the Meet & Greet group appeared to be some sort of very close friends of his, and he spoke to them pretty much the entire time. I really hate to interrupt, so I didn’t. He did, though—like the rest of the band—take the time to sign my copy of the program.

I kind of felt sorry for not having the opportunity to speak with Mark, yet I am grateful for having given the opportunity to be there at the Meet & Greet. I hope I will be given the opportunity to speak with him later on.

Due to the Meet & Greet session, I missed Jesca’s act. So I returned to my seat about 5 minutes before the concert started.

The venue itself is great. It’s a pavilion, so you can’t really expect some high‐end sound like in sophisticated concert halls but the sound was very good where I was seated. Well balanced. The weather was hot, however from time to time we did get some breeze which was really nice. The pavilion is located right in the harbour, so you get some good view as well.

The stage was about 5 feet tall with no fence between it and the front row, which was great.

I didn’t get to see much of the concessions over there so I’m not sure what they offer and whether it’s reasonably priced or not. They did serve beer, though; I’ll give you that.

The place appeared to be clean and the staff was courteous. I liked this venue.

The show started at 8:30pm and had the usual setlist except that Shangri La has been resurrected. I was very happy about it as it’s a wonderful song. The Boston audience enjoyed an almost full set list (the only time the full set list was done was in Red Rocks, where the band also played Done with Bonaparte).

The audience turned out to be of the cheering kind. Of course some people insisted on filming the show, subjecting themselves to Mark’s pointed finger. He then said “thank you for not filming, we appreciate it very much” in what appears to have been a sarcastic remark.

There were no special incidents (off‐tuned guitar, broken amp, etc.) during the show. We got some great performances though. The audience appreciated the Marbletown interlude to no end, as well as John’s whistle works during Why Aye Man and Sailing to Philadelphia.

the two seats on my right were empty so I asked the lady sitting three seats away if it’s OK that I move right beside her—closer to the center—a request she heartily accepted. Once the encore started, I was already up against the stage, along with about 10–15 other people who just stood there watching an extraordinary performance of Brothers in Arms.

At the end of the show, Danny kept his promise and handed me the drum sticks he used during the show. Very kind gesture—thank you Danny!

After the show I got to meet Alex and his friend Eric. Alex emailed me about a week ago, he’s from San Francisco and, being impressed with the Berkeley show, decided to fly to Boston to catch another, while convincing his friend Eric to go with him. We ended up talking for about 30–45 minutes outside the venue about all sorts of things—very nice fellows. It turned out that they happened to be in that lobster place near the venue and talked to Guy who was also there. We decided to keep in touch. It’s great meeting great people along the way.

After the show I started driving back to the motel. I was starving. I was planning on grabbing some fast food on my way, that’s why I decided to not go grab a drink & some food with Alex and Eric. What a huge mistake, as everything in Framingham is closed at night. I had to resort to some vending machine food.

Bah.

I’m finishing writing this post on 10:55am, the day after the show. I’m really, really hungry and there’s a 500km drive today to Syracuse, so I’d better be going.

Later,
Isaac

4 comments:

Alex Flagg said...

Isaac, it was great to finally meet you last night. I admire your spirit and dedication to follow MK to every single show. I was chatting with Eric about this today. If it were me, I would have skipped Syracuse and gone straight from here to catch the show in NYC rather than drive 300 miles to Syracuse then 200 miles to NYC. WOW.

Anyway, I hope Mark has a few more tours left in him. I really feel like listening to his music is a spiritual experience (not to get all California on you). Definitely shoot me a note if you plan to come out to San Francisco.

Alex

Jennie said...

Hi Isaac, just wanted to say hi and thanks for sharing your adventures in the blog:) I truly appreciate reading it and I admit to being quite jealous, lol. Can't all be easy and fun, I sure. You may need a "real" holiday once the tour is over:) The instruments you mentioned that were played at the meet and greet are Stylophones, I believe. Matt and Guy play them in Guy's behind the scenes video from Sofia. Great clip, in case you haven't seen it. Thanks again, and be well!

Isaac said...

Hi Alex,

Was great meeting with you as well. I felt sorry for not going for a drink with you guys but I was so dead tired. Looking forward to visit San-Francisco soon. Thanks for everything!


Cheers,


Isaac

Isaac said...

Hi Jennie,
That's right, it's can't be all easy and fun. I got to meet some crazy people along the way (like that motel owner in Regina that was going to beat me up) and made some bad choices when picking places to stay (the one in Montreal being the absolute worst), but hey, at the end of almost each day I get to see & hear great musicians in action. How bad can that be?

Thanks for letting us all know of that instrument's name. Very cool gadget.