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 13, 2008

Orpheum Theatre, Minneapolis, MN

So yesterday was a really long day.

After leaving the coffee shop I started driving pretty much non‐stop towards Minneapolis. The road is a bit more interesting than before, I’ll give you that. They call Minnesota “The State of 10,000 Lakes”, which can’t be right because I sure I’ve seen just about a million of them. Lakes are everywhere. Usually very small, kind of “islands of water” in a sea of green. Very nice.

I did stop in Hardee’s somewhere in North Dakota, though. Wonderful hamburgers—really recommended:

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But the drive was long. I didn’t mention it in my Winnipeg post, however I seem to have caught some ear infection a few days ago. So in the morning of the Winnipeg concert I had to go to a doctor, and yada yada yada, we’re looking at 10 days of antibiotics. Nothing contagious, of course (so I can still attend the concerts)—just physically annoying. Also, antibiotics make you tired. So now you can imagine what driving 740km under antibiotics feels like.

Not pleasant, but I made it to Minneapolis.

My hotel was in Burnsville, a lovely suburb of Minneapolis. $45 a night. The room was perfect, everything else sucked: the staff didn’t know much about what they’re doing, and the wireless high‐speed Internet simply didn’t work. It appeared as if their routers are connected to a DSL modem and the DSL modem simply “forgot” to establish an authenticated connection. I was too tired to explain this to them. Being very tired, I just accepted it.

Quick change and then off to downtown Minneapolis. I figured I’ll grab a quick bite before going to the concert.

That turned out to be a bad mistake.

First, it seems that my GPS and the city of Minneapolis have decided to collaborate against me and close the highway that takes you from Burnsville to downtown Minneapolis. this sucked at so many levels because I had to basically find a way to arrive there avoiding highways. I set my GPS to avoid highways, which did the job but took extra 20–30 minutes to do.

Not really knowing downtown Minneapolis, I simply arrived at the venue, parked the car right in front of the venue and figured—hell, this is a main street here, I should be able to find something for a quick bite. Well, restaurants were aplenty; but I was looking for something quick. Not fast food—simply some place that you can step in, get some food and get out without the entire ceremony of a full‐fledged restaurant meal.

I couldn’t find any. Only restaurants there. There are a few pubs too but they were very crowded.

I noticed Glenn standing beside the venue talking to who appeared to be a couple of friends, and also noticed John sitting there talking on the phone. I hate to interrupt people who appear to be busy talking between themselves (or on the phone) so I didn’t bother.

Now whoever knows me, knows that I’m not very friendly when I am hungry. The same people would tell you that I’m not very friendly when I’m tired either. I was both hungry and tired. Believe me, it’s a good thing I was alone. Anybody spending any time with me under these conditions is bound to hate me at the end.

I figured—well, maybe I’ll eat something at the venue. The guy wanted $2 for a cookie. Yes, that’s right. A small chocolate chip cookie: $2. I have much more than that lying in my bank account, but this doesn’t mean I have to put out with outright cruelty, so I passed. I was determined to find a quick bite in downtown, even if it means that I have to miss the show. Yes, really. I can’t enjoy anything when I’m starving.

About 5 blocks away from the venue I finally found a place to get a quick bite. The place served Italian food and was owned and operated by Lebanese people. The taste was neither Italian nor Lebanese. I love Italian food and I love Lebanese food, but that wasn’t any of them.

By the time I returned to the Venue, Jesca was performing her second‐to‐last song. So I can’t comment much about her performance. Waiting for the applause break to enter the hall, I went to the bar and asked for a cup of water. The bartender apparently confused “a cup of water” with “a bottle of water”, handed me a small (250mL) bottle of water and said only two words: “Three dollars”. Straight to the point, not beating around the bush with “Hello, how are you” and stuff. I explained to him that what I really want is a cup of water, not a bottle. He gave me the look of somebody that has just lost a tip on a bottle of water, and handed me a small cup of water. It had maybe 4–5 drops of water, all the rest was ice. Thank you very much, Sir.

The venue:

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What struck me in the show in Minneapolis wasn’t any of the band members, which were great as usual. That show, for me, belonged to the crowd. An amazing crowd. You can certainly see that we’re approaching the east coast. People much less restrained, more comfortable in their behaviour, less shy. I love this kind of crowd that doesn’t make you feel bad for cheering. I enjoyed being a part of this crowd. Made me feel closer to home, in some way.

The set list was the usual set list. I wrote before that Shangri La appears to have been wiped from the set list, which I feel a little sorry for because I happen to like it.

Great performance by everybody. I felt that the amazing performance was in part due to the crowd being really, really happy. It appears that the crowd had waited a long time for this show. Not sure when Mark (or Dire Straits) appeared here last. The crowd cheered very often, and was very active; I got the feeling that the band, after a series of concerts in front of rather laid back and restrained crowds, really enjoyed the attention. They gave the audience exactly what it was looking for. I noticed the look in the eyes of so many people (I was seated in the second row, pit center) and it’s amazing to see the eyes of 40–50 years old people shine with satisfaction.

After the show, time to go back. That highway was shut down both ways, so I decided to follow the same procedure as before, avoiding highways. GPS showed me that it’ll take me 40 minutes to get home. Then I asked myself, “I wonder what does this ‘DETOUR’ button do”, and—lo and behold—the thing quickly directed me to the nearest available exit (it turned out that the highway was only partly closed).

Sweet thing, this GPS.

Back to the hotel, wireless Internet still doesn’t work. Front desk receptionist allowed, after some convincing, for me to check my emails from his own front desk computer.

Went upstairs and, for the lack of Internet access, went straight to bed.

Woke up this morning at about 9:00am. Long drive today to Chicago so I stopped by Starbucks for some scone and a latte.

And off to Chicago I drive…

Isaac

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

That closed freeway is a pain in the butt, but the reason it's closed is that a bridge collapsed last August, 10+ people dead, quite a mess. I think it's supposed to be fixed by Christmas, which isn't too bad.

Isaac said...

Hi Anonymous,

Thank you for the information. That would explain it. Too bad about that bridge collapsing... makes my trouble detouring the highway seem quite insignificant.


Isaac

Actual Minnesotan said...

Bit after the fact, but I find it impossible not to correct Anonymous. The bridge on 35W that collapsed was just NORTH of downtown Mpls, while Burnsville is FAR to the South. 35W was open both directions on either side of the bridge during the entire period of construction, so Isaac just ran into the 62 Crosstown project, which was, I'm afraid ORDINARY road construction. Harrumph...