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 17, 2008

Fraze Pavilion, Kettering, OH

7:26am now, and I’m writing this blog entry from my own sweet home in Waterloo, Ontario. Been awake for almost 24 hours now.

… Let’s start from the beginning.

Woke up in Nashville at around 9:00am. A quick look at the “deluxe” breakfast offered by the hotel revealed that it is not much more than a traditional American breakfast—not a good way to start a very busy day (and I am not going to get into the biology of it all; one reader has already called me an ass for criticizing the common American breakfast). So I decided to drive to downtown Nashville for a quick bite.

Downtown is literally 5 minutes drive from the hotel I was staying. Almost no traffic and I found myself a sweet curb‐side parking spot right on 2nd Avenue & Broadway. A quick look at my wallet has revealed that I am short in change; it took me a few attempts to find a place to change a $5 for me. Put enough coins for an hour worth of parking and went on looking for a place to eat.

There’s plenty of them… but not what I was looking for. Then I remembered that bakery place called “Panera Bread”—they have a shop right downtown in Commerce Street. Ordered a salad and a sandwich—delicious. When you order, they give you that piece of plastic that looks like a coaster, but it’s actually a pager. As soon as your order is ready, the thing starts rotating in a rather violent manner so you know to pick your order up.

Another short stroll in downtown, went into this used guitars shop and into a coffee place that had a neat sign in the front but very disappointing offerings. Parking meter was about to expire and I realized I should get the hell out of there if I want to make it to Kettering on time.

I didn’t book anywhere to spend the night as I was toying with the idea of driving back home to Waterloo right after the show (which I did). So I drove straight to the venue, about 5 hours drive. To avoid severe hunger during the show, I stopped at Marion’s Piazza, about one minute drive from the venue, which offers pizzas and sandwiches—good quality for fair prices.

Accessing the venue was a snap. Found a parking spot in a nearby school and walked about 30 seconds to the pavilion.

The Fraze Pavilion is surrounded by what appears to be a park, with a big pool and a fountain beside it. Very neat view. Peaceful. You have three people handling you upon entering the venue—one checks your belongings, one scans your ticket and one ties some wristband over your wrist. Pipelining at its best.

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This really is an impressive venue.

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After being seated in a God‐awful seat in Nashville, it was great being back to the front row. I was seated two seats to the right of the center, again right in front of Richard. Distance between front row and the 3 feet tall (!) stage was less than one meter—you could stretch your legs right on the stage if you wanted to (but I didn’t). Seated to the right of me there was a guy named Jared—I got to know him when I sold him an extra ticket I had for the Kettering show (long story). Also nearby was a lovely woman named Kami, who happens to be participating in the MK forums and apparently got my name from there. She turned out to be quite the dancer, as we all danced during the encore, much to the joy of Guy and Richard who had to put up with my irregular and incoherent body movements I dare call “dancing”.

Left of me, at the center of the front row, there were two couples. One of the guys asked me how I got such good tickets, I responded that I bought them. It turns out that the other guy in this bunch is a bass guitar maker from Cincinnati, and knows Glenn Worf personally, so they received really good tickets as well as VIP passes from Glenn. I told them about my quest to follow the tour and they seemed to have appreciated it very much.

Both guys gave me their VIP passes. Of course I have accepted, however I believe I won’t use them—just because you have the keys to somebody’s house doesn’t mean that you’re invited and welcome. But the passes will make a great souvenir. Thanks guys!

Jesca appeared on stage at 7:30pm. The weather was very hot and humid to a point of it being unbearable, which prompted Jesca to comment, right after her first song, “it’s f’ing hot in here”—not before making sure there’s no children in the crowd (well, I’m not sure how thorough her examination was). The heat didn’t seem to affect her performance, though. Clean, smooth performance which the audience appreciated.

Here is Jesca with this lovely outfit that I like so much:

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25 minutes break, then Paul’s usual statement about recording, and the band appeared. The audience cheered loudly and heartily well into the opening song.

The view was perfect, the stage was low and I haven’t yet taken a clear enough picture of Richard, so I pulled my camera out and took two pictures—the only two pictures taken during the entire show. Only reason I took them was that visibility was so good:

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It was so hot and humid, you could see the band sweating pretty much 5 minutes into the show (just like the rest of us). The heat seemed to have had some impact on Mark as he glitched a bit during the Why Aye Man solo’s. What do you expect. The guy wears a black T‐shirt and a long‐sleeve buttoned shirt on top. People in this venue tried to get as naked as they can, and this guy tries to put as many clothes possible. Nevertheless he (Mark) compensated for it with some great guitar work in Romeo & Juliet and Sultans of Swing. Audience got swept off its feet when Sultans of Swing played, and went really bananas with Telegraph Road—a very good performance of this song yesterday. Another highlight was John trying out a few new directions during his violin parts in What It Is, as well as wonderful whistle work during Sailing to Philadelphia. There are so many directions to take these whistle and violin parts… and John appears determined to try them all.

During the quiet intro for “Going Home”, which was the last song played, Mark said “by the way, thank you for not filming, you are great”, to which the audience responded by some good cheers.

All and all, this was an excellent show with an excellent audience. We all danced (well, they danced; I just moved my body in random directions) during the last two songs. It was hot and humid beyond belief, but we had fun.

Right after the concert, not having accommodations booked in Ohio, I figured that if I stay in Kettering for the night, then at the next day I’ll have to battle with:

  1. Driving the Interstate through three big cities (Dayton, Toledo and Detroit);
  2. Border crossing to Canada; and
  3. Traffic in Toronto

With potential to some heavy road construction in the way—knowing all of that I figured that the more I drive towards my house in Waterloo—the better. I ended up driving all night until I got home at 6:30am this morning, tired as never before. I had to stop for about 30 minutes to rest somewhere along the way, about 100km away from home.

It is so weird being here, at home. I feel like I don’t belong. I belong with the band, on the road… whose house is this anyway? What the hell am I doing here?

Concert in Toronto tonight. The only concert in the entire tour to which I am not going alone. I am going with Jonathan, a good friend of mine who moved from Israel to Canada more than a year ago. He’s an MK fan as well and never got to see him performing live. He’s excited.

Bye for now,
Isaac

4 comments:

Morten said...

Welcome Home :-)

Now... get out of there!

We want more stories from the road :-)

We saw James Taylor last night in Kelowna. JT was in top shape with many new cover tunes and many of the old classics. Not quite a Knopfler concert but very good indeed

bigmike said...

Isaac!

I've been following your blog religiously out of sheer envy that you have been able to attend each and every show!

I was upset I would not be able to make it to the Boston show (my hometown) as my bassist is getting married in Chicago this weekend. However, I was able to put together a trip to the Clearwater show next week to surprise my girlfriend.

I was hoping to make a mix tape with the typical set list from the tour thus far to help prepare her for the greatest musical experience of her life! I am thrilled he is playing Hill Farmers Blues!

Any ideas about where a typical set list might be posted? Could you provide some insight? I could pass along my email if you are worried about ruining the element of surprise for everyone else!

Thanks!

Michael

Isaac said...

Hi Morten,

Yeah, it's a too short visit at home... I'm going to drive to Ottawa in a few minutes.

Glad you enjoyed JT. I wish I have the chance to catch him live at a later tour.

Isaac said...

Hi Mike,
Thanks for checking my blog out!

E-mail me directly (isaac@shabtay.com) and I'll e-mail you back with the set-list. Note though that the set list may change... but it's been pretty constant so far.


Cheers,

Isaac