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 31, 2008

Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater, Miami, FL

I woke up at 8:00am today as Jim, Teddy & myself planned to leave Clearwater at around 8:30am. It was hard waking up. I went to sleep late last night, as my mind was racing with so many thoughts. I was trying to digest the fact that in about 24 hours this entire tour will be over. Not an easy thing to do, considering the fact that this tour was a huge part of my life for more than a month now.

But I did manage to wake up on time. Quickly packed my belongings and left the motel. Jim & Teddy were already there. Loaded my backpack, went inside quickly to drop the key‐card and within a minute we were on our way.

The first stop was this coffee / breakfast place. I can’t recall the name of the place, however it was rather impressive—only formally opened last week. Had a turkey sandwich which was good, as well as a latte. We knew that there was a long day of driving in front of us (well, in front of Jim; I was half asleep during the most of it) so we didn’t take our time.

The next stop before leaving Clearwater was to drop some stuff in a restaurant where Jim & Teddy’s son is working. Took us some time to find the place; dropped the stuff there and left within 3 minutes, this time heading directly to Miami Beach.

The way from Clearwater to Miami Beach is very pretty and interesting at the beginning of the drive. You get to see a lot of ocean, lots of green, lots of blue and, sometimes, you even get to see little islands close to the shore, something like the Thousands Islands Parkway in Ontario but with much less than 1,800 islands in them. Still a very pretty sight.

You also get to see and drive through the Sunshine Skyway, which is, according to Wikipedia, “the world’s longest bridge with a cable‐stayed main span”.

The closer you get to the interior, the prettiness disappears and you get to see those boring highway views, which really don’t amount to much. I was half asleep during this part.

We stopped for lunch in the small town of Labelle, in a place called Flora & Ella’s. This restaurant turned out to be a Labelle landmark, offering a very simple menu, very good value for what you pay. I had some beans on rice, a serving of friend apples and a pecan pie for desert.

Just outside of Miami, we felt a little thirsty so we pulled over by Burger King to buy a drink. Teddy has prepared me to the forthcoming—that I will probably be approached in Spanish rather than English, due to my middle‐eastern appearance. She was right. I got a diet coke, couldn’t find a lid for the small cup. One of the workers there insisted to help me in Spanish, even though I told her (in English) that I can neither understand nor speak Spanish.

Traffic into Miami Beach wasn’t that bad. It was about 3:30pm, and there seemed to be lots of traffic at the other direction—getting out of Miami. We quickly found the National Hotel, my target.

I bid Jim & Teddy farewell, and thanked them for the ride. It was great getting to know them. We agreed to chat more at the venue.

National Hotel was my target for the mere fact that it was also Jeroen’s target. This is Jeroen’s last stop before he ends his USA trip and goes back to The Netherlands on Saturday. Jeroen invited me to stay as a guest in his hotel room.

Jeroen was out, but he was responsible enough to add my name as a guest for the hotel room so I quickly got my key from the front desk and went upstairs.

So this hotel is a 4‐star hotel, offering excellent service and fantastic rooms. Jeroen, being himself, simply had to go for a room with perfect ocean view. The view from the hotel room is amazing:

IMG_1280

Checked some emails, and then Jeroen showed up. Was great seeing him again. We decided to go for an early dinner before we hit the show.

So we went to 1700 James Avenue, where the Casa Tua, recommended by Richard, is located. After about 5 minutes of wandering around the place it turned out to be closed. We went to Lincoln Road, which appears to be “the” place to be in while in Miami Beach, and walked towards a restaurant called “Sibille”, serving Italian food. Jeroen had dinner there before and recommended it.

Walking through Lincoln Road you see the same Miami Beach you see on the movies. Shirts are optional here, for both men and women; girls competing between themselves on who walks with the least amount of clothes on without being arrested; this is “fun town” here.

The restaurant offers a “happy hour” that actually lasts three hours—4:00pm to 7:00pm—during which you can choose to either pay half price for the food, or get two drinks for the price of one. We chose the former.

The menu was very interesting. It took us some time to decide what we want. The waiter appeared to have completely forgotten about us. We waited for about 20 minutes until the guy acknowledged our existence and came by. We quickly placed an order and continued chatting, filling each other in with what’s been going on since we last saw each other on Sunday morning.

The food, I have to say, was delicious. I had a Caesar Salad for a start, then veal‐filled Ravioli with mushroom sauce. Not a huge plate, but a great value for the money you pay (during happy hour, of course). We shared a Dulce de Leche crepe—I had to explain to Jeroen what Dulce de Leche means. Apparently this wonderful thing is not very common in the Netherlands.

After dinner we went back to the hotel, changed and off we went to the venue, a sheer distance of one block away, for the last show in the tour.

Doors were supposed to open at 7:00pm. They let us in on 7:10pm, and we had to kill some more time until they opened the hall’s doors.

My seat was in the pit, front row, one seat to the right of the absolute center. Great way to finish the tour.

Slightly before Jesca’s show, John McCusker approached me as I was sitting, and we had a little chat. I thanked him for the tour, he thanked me for being there. I told him that it blows my mind how he constantly finds new ways to expand his Marbletown work which I absolutely love.

Realizing that I will not have the chance to bid the band farewell, I asked John to say goodbye to everyone for me, which he promised to do.

Great guy.

Jesca’s show started at 8:00pm. Her show today was very good—her best show in the entire tour, in my opinion. Jesca and I agreed before to meet for a short chat before the tour ends; at the end of her show, I called her name but apparently she couldn’t hear me. I looked for her in the lobby, she wasn’t there.

Too bad.

Paul showed up on the stage a few minutes before the show started. Danny showed up as well, behind the drum kit. Paul read his usual announcement from paper, and as he said “however”, Danny rolled the drums, much to Paul’s amusement. Danny then stroke the cymbal as Paul said “personally removed from the venue”.

Funny.

Countdown continues. It’s not easy to explain what went through my head in those seconds. It may appear as complete nonsense to you guys, but put yourselves in my shoes for a second. Imagine that you’re following the band for 37 days, watching 31 shows. The tour is a huge part of your life during those 37 days. What do you feel like when you realize that it is soon going to be over?

The countdown ended as the band captured the stage on 9:00pm and gave one of its best shows so far, if not the best one of them. The band appeared very eager to play this last concert, and they did it very well. It was the shining moment (well, two hours) of each and every one of them. Everything in this concert went smooth, and the sound was great. We got great guitar solos, especially the one in Song for Sonny Liston. Marbletown was great as usual, with John going even further with his great violin work.

The band played the usual set list. As the tour is over, here is the set list for the entire North American tour:

  1. Cannibals
  2. Why Aye Man
  3. What It Is
  4. Sailing to Philadelphia
  5. True Love Will Never Fade
  6. The Fish and the Bird
  7. Hill Farmer’s Blues
  8. Romeo and Juliet
  9. Sultans of Swing
  10. Song for Sonny Liston
  11. Done with Bonaparte (only performed during the first concert, in Red Rocks Amphitheater)
  12. Marbletown
  13. Speedway in Nazareth
  14. Telegraph Road

Encore:

  1. Brothers in Arms
  2. Shangri La (only performed in very few concerts)
  3. So Far Away
  4. Going Home (theme from Local Hero)

The crowd cheered a lot today. The atmosphere was very similar to the Las Vegas shows—not surprising, considering that both Miami Beach and Las Vegas are resort‐type places that people go to in order to have fun and let everything go, rather than restrain themselves. So we had the customary drunk fellow sitting two seats to my right, who, together with his wife, talked quite a bit during the show and made all kind of noises, until being threatened by a rather threatening‐looking Italian guy who was sitting right beside them.

At the end of the show, we all gave great cheers to what I would consider the best musicians’ make‐up in the world. I have to admit that it was a very hard moment for me.

Then I suddenly realized that Guy and Danny are marching towards me, reaching their hands. For a moment I was under the impression they were going to pull me onto the stage (it really looked like it; Jeroen thought so as well), which freaked me out to an incomprehensible end, however it turned out that they came to shake my hand and bid me farewell. That was very sweet. I thanked them dearly for everything. Then came Richard; I shook his hand and thanked him as well.

Then they all disappeared from the stage, leaving a huge crowd very happy. All except one guy, 30 years old, born some 10,000km away and lives 2,500km away from Miami Beach, who was very sad to see this end.

The tour is over, and so is my blog. Well, almost. There is one more post to be published. I need to get my thoughts together first; the last post will be published soon, perhaps even today.

Isaac

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

you seem to think that you are the only one who has ever liked MK. The comment that I made about knowing his music since you've been on this earth is literal he has existed forever and for a long time. His music is timeless. BTO is right ... you do whine alot....yes you are lucky to have followed him but you have not enjoyed him as the rest of US WHO have known him for a LONG TIME. Feel grateful that you've have followed him but you will NEVER appreciate as much as a true Mark Knofpler fan.You have complained too much during this tour making it all about you....When it was Mark Knofpler we wanted to hear about!!!! What happened to that. Maybe next time you will spend more time on the star!!!! and a little less time on you..I posted comments with a name earlier in this blog but you chose to ignore it. MK is the best ..you've appreciated his music as a true fan. Find another idol as you are not worthy................

Martina said...

Hi Isaac,

unfortunately we didn't meet in Florida, I'm from Germany, but live half of my time in London too. I was at the last two shows here with my hushand and little son Thommy.
We arrived very late at the venue, because we had to get our tickets first. I'd not planned the two shows, so no pre-sale tickets for me.
I've attended 41 shows now during the KTGC tour, but only two in the US. Maybe next time I'm doing more in the States as I did in 2001.

Your blog is very nice, just discovered it. I took a lot of pics during my journey http://s232.photobucket.com/albums/ee132/marky66_photos/
Time to go to bed now, we have to catch our flight back to London tomorrow.

Hope to meet you next time.
Kind regards,
Martina

carmi said...

hi sabal'e
so son u finish your trip 37 day's too short to u too long for me but u know my heart the chinese comfissus say;the enjoy start the day after when u close your eyes and sail to beginning.so my son i wish u good flight to home
love u
dad

Nat said...

Hi Isaac, I don't know you but I have been following your blog and would like to thank you for sharing your experience with us.
Of course your blog is about you, it's YOUR blog!
Thanks again. I wish you a smooth return to real life.
Nat

jennifer said...

That's a beautiful thing to say to your son, Isaac's dad. Very touching. Very sweet. Lucky you Isaac.

Jennifer said...

Anon; 2:50, I do believe you might want to re-identify yourself as you have cast suspicion on others on this blog. Doubtless Isaac would be able to identify you however others may not.

Nancy said...

I've had the pleasure of seeing Isaac several times on this tour, and to say he isn't a "true fan" is simply ridiculous. His deep appreciation of MK and the band cannot be denied. Loves the music, rearranged his life to be at every show this summer - sounds like a fan to me!

I've thoroughly enjoyed reading the blog. If every entry was nothing but gushing over MK it would have been a very boring read.

Isaac, have a safe trip home. Thanks again for sharing your experiences with us. I look forward to seeing you again someday, my friend.

Kami said...

Dear Isaac,
A beautiful end to a lovely tale. Getting to know you, both through your blog and in person, has been one of the greatest gifts I have ever been privileged enough to receive. You are a true heart.

Thanks for sharing your journey, my friend.

Bear hugs,
Kami

Matt Duncan said...

Hi Isaac

I just wanted to say thanks for sharing your experience with us through your blog, I've enjoyed it just as much as Guy and Richard's diaries. It was really great to get a fan's perspective on the tour.

I only attended two shows (Edinburgh and Newcastle), and even though I consider myself to be a huge MK fan I think I may have got bored listening to the same set 30 times, so well done! (I definitley couldn't have listened to Sonny Liston 30 times!)

As for the comment from "anonymous", firstly he/she should have the guts to leave their name, and secondly they are clearly talking out of their arse. If your blog had just been repoorting about the shows then it would have been pretty boring. The travel aspect was what made it interesting, and it is absolutely right that you pointed out where things were less than acceptable and what you percieved as being wrong with the US (although I am sure that a lot of your complaints would also apply here in the UK).

Anyway, thanks again, would be good to see you over at the MK News forum (where I post as dustyvalentino) or perhaps you will make it over to the UK for the next tour!

All the best,

Matt Duncan, Aberdeen, Scotland

Anonymous said...

Hey now, Isaac!
Your MK US Tour travel blog was delightful! Thank You for it. I was fortunate to have been able to see the band twice this tour: Red Rocks & last night in Miami.
ReMARKable!!
My husband and I took our 25 year old son, Gavin & his girlfriend, Amy to the Red Rocks show. Gavin has been listening to Mark since the day he was born. He had no choice, growing up in our house! Watching him enjoy the music in Colorado filled me with such joy & love. Sharing music with your kids/young people is priceless. My Mom took me to my first concert when I was 11: Donovan in NYC. I will never forget it as long as I live. Last night I sat next to a sweet man & his 10 year old daughter. She knew many of the songs, a true fan. Age does not define the level of your "fanness" It is what you feel in your heart when Mark plays those notes.
I say a big Thank You to Mark & the band, A very deserved Rest Up, and God speed you back to us.
Hope to meet you sometime, Isaac.
Victoria Clark, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Roderick said...

Hi Isaac,

I can only imagine the void that is left for you at the end of this journey. In a small way, I can empathize because your blog has been a part of my daily routine for a month now, and I'll miss it.

Anon's post reminds me of something my mom taught me years ago. Before you say something, ask yourself if it meets these three conditions. Is it true? Is it fair? Is it necessary? Don't think he/she met any of the three.

Well done, Isaac. You set out in search of inspiration. I would love to hear your thoughts on that now that you've completed the journey.

And a quick hello to another poster, Matt in Aberdeen, it was great to see you in Edinburgh.

Rod.

Matt Duncan said...

Hi Rod!

Yes, you raise a good point, there IS going to be a big void, I've been checking GF, RB and Isaac every day for the past few months.

What the hell am I supposed to do at work now??!!

In all seriousness Isaac, I enjoyed your thoughts on the other issues that you commented on from time to time and if you were to keep a regular blog going with your musings on life, the universe and everything, I would no doubt look in.

Cheers,

Matt Duncan

Anonymous said...

Hi Isaac!

Your blog is very good stuff. I found it yesterday and I have read it completely.

Thanks and greetings from Finland!

Barbara said...

Hello Isaac,
We were at the Kettering show...in one of your pictures my husband and I are sitting right of the stage 5 or 6 rows back (green&blue shirts)....we got there early and relaxed. We drove nearly 4 hours to see MK in person for the first time. We were part of the older fan base....but was happy to see young "knoflings" enjoying this genius of lyric and guitar. Have been fans a long time! I recall seeing you sitting up front with another couple at Kettering. Discovered your blog and have followed the MK tour through your blog, fans on MK webpage, Bennett, and Fletcher diaries as well. Have enjoyed reading everything about the KTGC tour! Yesterday was sad for me as I knew the tour was finished. We had hoped to attend several more shows, but work commitments demanded our time. I can only say next tour we will plan our time away from work regardless to what the boss says. I've enjoyed your thoughts about the world, people, and living. I am pleased to know there are young people out there looking at life beyond the "moment." Next time I will not be so shy to walk up to you and say "pleased to meet you...."We are from Ohio and if ever passing through, please stop by. We welcome time with you as we are people who love music, other's thoughts of the world, the people, and what could possibly happen next. Have a safe journey home and take great care. It has been an interesting musical experience and thank you for sharing it with us.

Golden Feather said...

"When you find what's worth keeping
with a breath of kindness blow the rest away."

Robbie Robertson

Jennifer and Rob said...

A wonderful adventure - for an adventurer's soul. It was a pleasure meeting you in Calgary. We enjoyed having you stay - you are welcome anytime.

Have a safe journey back to Waterloo - Ash has Phil and Sebastian's waiting.

Take Care Jennifer and Rob

Alex Flagg said...

Isaac, great job documenting your travels. I disagree with a previous commentor that the focus should be on MK and not you. A blog is supposed to be about you or whatever you decide to write about. You're not a paid journalist. This is about documenting your journey from the mundane of being slightly thirsty and getting a Coke at Burger King, to the high of chatting with the band backstage. And you did a wonderful job digging deep into your thoughts and feelings every step of the way. I have no idea how you remembered everything you wrote about. I can't wait until your final post. Such suspense, such anticipation. Did Mark walk up and shake your hand? Did he hand you his pick? We'll have to wait and see...

Rob in Calgary said...

In following your blog lo these many weeks I have some observations of my own (in addition to Jennifer's).

1) Thank you Isaac for an amazing journey we have all enjoyed vicariously.
2) Thank you to all of you who have taken Isaac under your wing to make his journey easier and more enjoyable. Hearing about your kindness is one of those stories that re-affirm one's faith in humanity (much needed in these times)
3) Thank you to all of you who have contributed comments to Isaac's blog. You have shown us all we are all part of a larger shared experience. (I suggest anyone who is reading this blog now should leave a comment. Let's see how many of us there really are.)
4) Thank you to whoever was responsible for ticket sales. It was wonderful, as a fan club member (at no charge thanks), to be able to buy front row seats before the tour was announced. Isaacs close proximity to the stage each night would not have been possible otherwise.
5) Thank you Guy & Richard and other members of the band for inviting Isaac to the Meet & Greets and for following his blog.
6) Thank you to MK's management for having a reasonable "recording policy" (audio OK, video NOT OK)
7) I have to say though as well, I think MK's management missed out on the chance to generat a lot of "goodwill" (not to mention publicity) by not tying you into their tour. A simple link from Mark's site to your blog would have produced amazing results. If it were me running the tour, the last night Mark would have presented you with a signed Mark Knopfler Signature Strat (which Fender would have gladly donated).
8) Finally I have to say I am disappointed in Mark. While he flys around in a private jet you follow him by car at your own expense. You have helped pay for this tour by spending almost $3000 on tickets alone. Would it have killed Mark to join the other band members and shake your hand on the last night? How much does a guitar pick cost? Yes he's shy, a superstar, a musical genius but I also think too often these days those labels are used as an excuse to abdicate from acting in a way that any of the rest of us would consider common courtesy. I know you probably disagree with me on this one Isaac but honesty is one of my fatal personality flaws.

This is YOUR blog (take note "anonymous") but this little comment box is all mine.

I'm glad we got to know you. Our house is your house anytime.

Cheers,
Rob (& Jennifer who agrees with me)

jennifer said...

...to distinguish, and add some clarification...the posts of "Jennifer" are those of mine...not the couple "Rob and Jennifer"... Which I think Rob was pointing out.

Rob and Jennifer, you did some homework!

Anonymous said...

You can't be handing out "autographed" Red Fender Strats to every "Rudiger" that follows the band around.

Rob in Calgary said...

I agree. I would never give a red strat to anyone named "Rudiger".

If you take the trouble to re-read my comment you will hopefully understand that if they had made the effort to publicise Isaac's effort (I'm not aware of anyone else who went to ALL the shows) that Fender would probably have donated a guitar (and by the way not just a red strat but a Mark Knopfler Signature Strat, big difference) at NO COST to Mark but of great value to Fender. You can't buy advertising like that.

KLM said...

To all of you "anon"s out there who can't find a decent thing to say:

Please go wet someone else's blanket.
The spirit of those who have enjoyed reading about Isaac's travels is, apparently, unknownable to you.


Finally, Rob, I have to say that I agree with your number 8 above. It would have been a decent thing for Mark to do.

Isaac, thank you for your generous heart. Take care and be well.

nancy said...

Hi again Isaac. Thanks very much for your blog which, by the way, is about YOU and YOUR experiences and is not meant for OUR gratification. (Anonymous, you missed the point completely.) You did a great job and I'm sorry I didn't meet you in Syracuse...again, seats YY were in the pit? DUH. I looked for you in the wrong place. Happy and safe travels to you and yes, we are all a bit shocked and choked up that the tour is over. What a trip it was! Nancy King in NY

Anonymous said...

..."anonymous"...I found you...

Anonymous said...

'Scuse me folks but what "anonymous" did should get everyone angry.

"anonymous" I could play with you.

Watch out.

Frances said...

Hey Isaac!

Not sure if you remember, but prior to the Regina concert you met up with a couple from Alberta? You gave us your blog address and we've enviously enjoyed your stories as you followed the tour.

We looked for you after the concert, but unfortunately didn't see you and as it was raining we caught the first cab we could so our poster wouldn't get wet.

Thanks for sharing your incredible journey! Take Care

Kelly and Frances

Anonymous said...

my thoughts still stand true....you are not a MK fan you don't know what GOOD music is all about. I followed this blog thinking that I might gain some insight about Mark. Instead all we've heard about is expensive latte's and bad hotel accommodation's.Again, it is Mark we want to hear about you. You have made this all about you. I'm sorry that I have wasted my time following this blog as it is NOT about what we want to know about it.... is all about you, Good luck in your future endeavors. You may have a following out there that thinks you are some thing else but you really do not appreciate good music, Next time just go to a concert and really appreciate the good music Mark performs. Think about it.karaokequeen

kami-kam said...

Dear Anonymous,
My dad has always advised me to never get in a "pissing match" with a skunk, but sometimes, it seems, I still have a ways to go before learning my lesson.

1. If you don't care for Isaac's tale, (which, again, IS Isaac's story), why do you bother to read it?

2. What good purpose does your negativity serve?

3. Who died and made you the arbiter of who appreciates music and on what level?

4. What is all of this business about being a "true fan"?

5. What insight into Mark are you looking for, and why can't his music be enough?

6. Given your attitude, do you think Mark would ever actually even like you, assuming there would be any common ground, which I can't imagine?

7. Clearly your assumption of what this blog was about is off, so is there any good reason for you not to just let it be?

8. That said, your repeated attempts to dirty the water here are less than kind-spirited. Would you mind muddying the water elsewhere?

Isaac said...

Wow. 28 comments so far and counting - thank you all! As I cannot reply to each one individually, I decided to concentrate it all in one comment.

First, to "anonymous" who has attempted (and somehow succeeded) pissing some readers off. I am sorry that you didn't find my blog to your liking. In some way, you are right; I am not a Mark Knopfler fan. I don't even know him; I never met his family; I don't know what he likes and what he doesn't; I don't know where he lives and what he eats for breakfast. Quite frankly, it is none of my business. I have way too many things to worry about.

I am a fan, though, of his music; and more than that - a fan of the entire band.

If you were looking for more observations surrounding Mark Knopfler, and some more material to complete some sort of a puzzle with regards to the man's internal soul, I truly believe that following my blog was, indeed, a waste of time for you. I would suggest that you consult the various Mark Knopfler forums out there for more Mark Knopfler information. Alternatively, if you are so interested in "the star", perhaps you should write him a letter, or an e-mail, asking to interview him so you can get your questions answered.

Martina: Thank you for your e-mail. I have only heard about you through Guy's diary, who implied that I was trying to break your concert-attendance record, which is untrue of course as I have never heard of you before. Thank you for your support and for the link to the pictures, and I hope you are safe & sound now back in Germany.

Carmi (A.K.A dad): Thank you. I told you, dad, there is much more to English than translating words directly from Hebrew. :-) But I believe that most readers got the comment's meaning. Please kiss mom (Ilana), my sister (Natalie) and your three grandchildren (Yarin, Tal, Raz). I love you, and I hope to see you all soon.

Nat, Jennifer (not Rob's wife), Matt Duncan, Roderick, Victoria Clark, Anonymous from Finland, Golden Feather, KLM, Nancy King, Frances: thank you for your kind words, and I am very happy that you liked my blog and were able to follow the tour through my writing.

Kami: Thank you for your support, as well as for keeping me company (and allowing me to keep you and Bruce company). Keep on composing music - you and Bruce together can do wonders. I cherish the time we spent together.

Jennifer and Rob: Thank you so much for your kind words and your support. We only spent a net of 3-4 hours together, yet I can see where Ash got his wit from. :-) Thank you for allowing me to spend the night in Calgary, despite the fact that Ash told you nothing about me beforehand except for my name. It was a pleasure getting to know you. Thank you for everything!

Nancy, Alex Flagg: Thank you for your continuing support, via the blog as well as e-mail. It was a pleasure meeting with you both!


My last post will be published very soon.