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

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Conexus Centre of the Arts, Regina, SK

Before I start, here’s a nice sign I photographed on my way to Regina:

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Findlater?

WTF?

Still shaken from that incident with the business‐savvy motel owner, I went to sniff around the Conexus Arts Centre. It was about 5:00pm and there was nobody there. My dear GPS (the best $300 I spent in my life, other than that night back then in Montreal but I swore not to tell) found me the closest place to eat, which ended up being Taco Del Mar. Taco Del Mar is, as it seems, a chain that only operates in western Canada (well, Saskatchewan is kind of west, if you think about it. For Torontonians, whatever is west of Ontario is “western Canada”). They sell wonderful huge burritos, with all bunch of ingredients inside. People who know me know that despite my slim fit figure (6’0, 175 lbs.) I can eat quite a bit. And that taco made me full, so imagine that.

Went back to the venue and still nobody there except for a couple sitting down in what seemed to be a Porsche to me. We chatted for about 10 minutes, very nice people. The absolute opposite to that motel guy.

(Sorry, that incident really upset the hell out of me)

I then went to the venue itself and took some pictures for you guys.

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The ticket scanners were there so you could enter the venue but not enter the hall itself. The ticket scanner looked at my ticket with amazement and told me that I have the best seat in the house (row AA, seat 28), which turned out to be almost correct—I was one seat left of the absolute center. Still not bad.

Entered the venue and had a chat with some of the people who work there. In general, during this trip I am much chattier than before. I never really was a small‐talker, but now it appears to have changed. No idea why.

So somehow my discussion with the ushers led to the inevitable. They asked me if I have ever seen Mark Knopfler live and I told them that yes, about 13 times in the last 16 days including today. They quickly computed this and apparently arrived at the conclusion that this is some impressive concert attendance ratio, so I told them the story.

The rumour spread quickly and soon enough I was bombarded with all sorts of questions about my past, present and future. Then somebody came to me and told me that what I’m doing is courageous and outstanding and unheard of. I told him what I tell everyone who presents me with similar statement—for me, there is no other way.

I entered the hall and man, that’s some pretty venue. Similar layout to the Jubilee Auditorium in Edmonton. Comfortable seats, distance of about one meter between the front row and the stage, no fence of any kind.

Jesca Hoop went on stage on 7:30pm sharp and gave her usual performance except for one new song at the end—very nice song. Half way through her concert she talked to the crowd and said that we probably guessed that she has some tendency towards the abstract, and the crowd laughed. It was really funny. Duh! Sweet voice and sweet songs.

I took some pictures of the venue’s interior as well.

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The band showed up on stage on 8:30pm sharp and went, as usual, straight to business with an awesome performance. The sound in the venue was excellent and sounded great from the front row—people I were talking to after the concert mentioned the great sound as well so apparently it’s not just me.

The set list was as usual, no new / different songs but there were some interesting points in tonight’s concert.

During “What It Is”, John was taking a little different approach in his violin solo during the interlude, which, in my opinion, sounds better than before. Deserved—and received—a good cheer from me.

I also noticed him altering his whistle’s sequence during Sailing to Philadelphia and today it sounded very emotional. As a matter of fact, Mark and John’s collaboration in Sailing to Philadelphia’s outro has become a much anticipated part in the concerts for me. John’s whistle work there is very touching.

The Marbletown interlude seemed to be longer tonight than always—which is of course a good thing.

During the performance of Telegraph Road, I noticed that Mark’s Pensa is set to have bit more distortion than usual. It was very weird to hear Telegraph Road’s first solo played with a distorted guitar. I’m not sure if it is was intentional or not (maybe I was just dreaming?), but it sounded… well… interesting. Not better and not worse. Just different. Just as good, but different.

Also during Telegraph Road, one of the Vox amps behind Richard appeared to have been gone kaput. Richard and the soundman tried to fix it, apparently to no avail so the microphone has been switched to the other Vox amp right beside it.

The crowd gave a great cheer to the band at the end. It appeared to have been a very cooperative crowd today, not too wild but not too boring either.

Some pictures:

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After the concert I went to Earl’s for some late dinner. I wrote a little bit about Earl’s in one of my previous posts. Yet another “western Canada only” chain with fabulous restaurants, very well decorated, and some great food. The jewel in the Earl’s crown is their restaurant in Jasper, on Patricia Street, with the patio overlooking the Rocky mountains.

Anyway, I’ve been to quite a few Earl’s locations so far in my life and I noticed something interesting. There’s one thing that is consistent among all Earl’s restaurants, and it is that the girls who work there (hostesses, waitresses and any other client‐facing positions) are absolutely stunning. I haven’t yet seen a client‐facing girl working in Earl’s that couldn’t be a model. Awesome eye candy, of the kind that actually distracts you from eating. The best Earl’s in that respect is the one in Victoria, BC. I’ve been there twice and the girls there are so beautiful that I really lost my appetite.

I always thought it’s very peculiar so tonight I decided to find out for sure. I called my waitress (who was, of course, stunning as well) and asked her if Earl’s has some policy about only hiring absolutely stunning looking girls. I asked it in a real question‐like tone, not a flirt (I wouldn’t know how to flirt if my life depended on it), however she appeared to think otherwise. She told me that Earl’s restaurants indeed tend to only hire great looking girls, then said “it’s shallow, I know”. So I told her “shallow, yes, but fact is that it works wonders” so she laughed again.

She laughed a lot. Well, lets face it… they do work on tips. But at least I got my answer.

No show tomorrow so I’ll either stick around in Regina or make my way to Winnipeg. I’m still in the process of deciding which alternative is less boring. Will play it by ear tomorrow.

Take care,
Isaac

5 comments:

Morten said...

Nice shot of Mark during Sunny Liston. I think I may have gotten the Les Paul bug... went and played one in a music store in Kelowna yesterday.

Patrick said...

Hey Isaac, Patrick here (you know, Matt's crazy friend who's into Green Power startups etc)

Anyway, Matt passed on the link to you blog and I thought I'd hook you up with some good recommendations for Food in Winnipeg.

Bombolini on Broadway and Hargrave is good:

http://www.amiciwpg.com/bombolini.html

Also, if you want a good hamburger, I really like Mrs. Mikes.

Little Italy is on Corydon Ave, and Bar Italia has a great patio and nice gals.

If you're downtown and want a Guinness, the Kings Head is great too. You may have to pay a $5 cover charge to get a membership. But whatever.

Here's a google map:

http://maps.google.com/maps/user?uid=112106877848059831494&hl=en

Isaac said...

Hi Morten,

I know what you mean regarding the Les Paul... it is really special. I got the opportunity to play on a 59' custom authentic reissue, valued at $6500, it was great.

Isaac said...

Hi Patrick,
How's it going? Good to hear from you.

Thanks for the recommendations, will check it out.

How about recommendations as to where to stay? Cheap but decent. If you have friends willing to host me for a night or two (starting tonight), it would be even better. I'm on my way to Winnipeg right now, about 350km away, if you can recommend a place to crash for the night, how about SMS'ing it to me to 519-635-5003 as I won't get to check e-mails in the next few hours?

Anyway, thanks again for the recommendations and we're going to have another great BBQ once I'm back!


--
Isaac

Milly said...

Good words.