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

Monday, July 28, 2008

Ovens Auditorium, Charlotte, NC

So the flight ended up being delayed for three hours. There was a thunderstorm and all airplanes were crowded. As the storm passed, air control opened up a few lanes and by the time our turn arrived it was already 4:00pm.

In my previous post, I mentioned the mature fellow whom I started speaking with and quickly got the impression that his temper is very short. Well, we ended up having a great discussion afterward. It turns out that he is a nuclear engineer, dealing with nuclear energy. Originally from South Africa, he had that kind of British‐like sense of humour and I was laughing so much during our discussion. I can’t recall ever laughing like that while talking to a total stranger.

The flight was very rocky—well, we’re talking about an airplane smaller than most buses I’ve seen. Service was very satisfactory. Finally we landed in Charlotte. The airplane stopped, everybody was very happy to unlock their safety belts and get their belongings from the overhead carry‐on baggage compartments. We were very excited, until the voice came up in the speakers informing us that the pilot has accidentally parked the airplane in the wrong spot.

That seemed to have completely wreck my flight partner’s nerves. We laughed so hard about how everything goes wrong when he’s on an airplane. Poor guy has been spending his time in airports and hotels for the last 3 nights trying to get from France back to his house in Virginia.

The airplane backed out and then in into the adjacent parking location. We were very happy that this nightmare is over.

Quickly rushed to the baggage claim area. It was 6:00pm already and the show starts at 8:00pm. As soon as I made it to the baggage claim area, I called Kami to let her know I’ll be out of the airport shortly. It turned out that she was already in the airport waiting for me, so after about a minute we finally met. It was so great to see her.

Took my huge backpack and went outside, where we quickly located Bruce—Kami’s husband. Quickly loaded my belongings into the SUV and off we went on our way to the hotel.

I first met Kami and Bruce in the Kettering concert, when they were seated front row, two seats to my right. Such great people—it was great meeting with them again. They drove from their house in Kentucky to Charlotte to catch the concert, and since they were going to spend the night they invited me to stay as a guest in their hotel room.

The hotel is called The Omni Hotel, right downtown on East Trade Street. A fantastic hotel, I have to say. Very clean, very big—they have their own Starbucks downstairs—and there’s even a piano (which I didn’t get around to play). The room was huge and had everything in it.

Put my stuff there and then we discussed where it is that we want to eat, before going to the concert. We realized that, no matter what we do (unless we eat fast food), we’ll have to miss Jesca’s concert. We decided to eat at the hotel’s restaurant, where we all enjoyed a great meal. I don’t recall what it was that I ordered—it was the special of the day, which had a bunch of seafood in it, dates, figs and other surprises, surrounded by awesome pasta. Preceded by a great Caesar’s salad, that was definitely one of the best meals I’ve ever had. Amazing.

We continued talking about all sorts of things, then it was time to get to the venue. It was already close to 8:00pm.

Kami, it turns out, is a songwriter and a composer; Bruce is also a musician and plays the guitar. Kami herself is a great Mark Knopfler fan, and decided to record a song for him. She wrote some awesome lyrics, and with the help of Bruce they recorded a beautiful song. We heard the song on the way to the venue. As she’s very shy, it took us (Bruce & myself) some time to convince her that she should pass it on in some way, even though some vocal parts still needed some final touch. She said that’s the best way she can think of to give something back.

So sweet.

We made it to the venue at approximately 8:25pm. We were told that parking is $6 but there was nobody to collect.

We entered the venue as Jesca was playing her last song. I was seated in row C seat 101—not a bad seat; Kami and Bruce were seated at the front row, almost at the center.

During the intermission between the concerts, Kami went outside so I joined Bruce as the front row. Suddenly the guy next to me turns to me and introduces himself. His name was Rich. I told him that my name is Isaac, to which he reacted with extreme joy as it turned out that he’s been following my blog. It further turned out that he and Kami exchanged emails back and forth. What a small world.

As Kami arrived, I made my way back to my seat and decided to get something to drink before the show starts. As I made my way out, someone coming the opposite way stopped me.

– “Isaac?”

– “Yes…”

– “Hi, it’s Daren”

Daren emailed me about three weeks ago, after reading my blog, and has been following it ever since. We made plans to meet while in Charlotte but it never materialized—no worries, there’s always a next time. We shared a couple of laughs, then he pointed at where he was seated—second row center.

Great guy!

I went back into the hall as the band was making its way onto the stage. The audience were all cheering like crazy, and there I am marching down the stairs towards my third row seat. Guy Fletcher recognized me and pointed at me as if saying “Oh, you again”. Yes, Guy. Yes. I made it. Flight delayed by three hours but I made it.

Sitting next to me was a cute couple—a blond girl with short hair and what appeared to have been her boyfriend, but I wasn’t sure until halfway through the show when they started holding hands. Poor couple, didn’t know what’s going to be sitting next to them. The show was so great, I moved every bone and muscle in my body as I danced during the entire show.

This is a very small venue, yet the sound was fantastic. I checked with Kami and Bruce after the show, and they mentioned that the sound was great even at the front row—much better than the previous concert they attended, in Kettering (which was open‐door).

The audience was great, very cheerful. They were so happy to see the band that they cheered all throughout the concert. Great performance by the band (performing the usual set list). Perfect. Each and every song was performed in a way that left the audience cheering with sheer enthusiasm. Nobody really wanted this concert to end.

It was fantastic.

While playing Romeo and Juliet, some chick decided that it’s the best time to approach the stage, holding a piece of paper and what seemed to me like a rose, and put it on the stage, much to the discontent of the stage security guard who forced her to return to her seat ASAP.

Right after playing Song for Sonny Liston, before introducing the band, Mark provided some insights about Sonny Liston, apparently some facts that he learned before composing the song. It was really funny. I can’t recall the exact words, but he was telling about something he read, when they asked a heavyweight boxer what is so scary about Joe Louis, and the boxer responded “it’s getting in the ring with Joe Louis, and realizing that he wants to go home early”. We all laughed heartily. And, whoever of you who heard Mark Knopfler talk, can probably appreciate the fact that his tone of voice really adds lots of humour.

Mark then went on to introduce the band, failing to mention the special truck / U‐Haul trailer required to carry Richard’s immense collection of instruments. Also during the introduction, he spotted someone recording and asked them to stop that blinking red light.

Wonderful Marbletown interlude and another fantastic performance of Telegraph Road which made a lot of people in the audience drop their jaws. The first part of the show was over and the audience cheered extremely loudly for more.

I went to the front row, to discuss the show with Kami and Bruce. Right before the band came back, I told Kami that I have to make my way back to my seat, however she instructed me to stay where I am. We ended up sharing one seat, so there again I find myself at the front row during the encore. This seemed to have made Richard laugh, as he can’t figure out how come I always am either seated in the front row, or suddenly appear in the front row during the encore, as if out of nowhere.

Well, what can I say. After so many shows, the front row always finds a way to have me in it.

It was worth being seated 5 hours in an airplane for this show.

After the show, as I approached the agreed‐upon meeting place between Kami, Bruce and Myself, I ran into Daren again. He was accompanied by his girlfriend—a sweet lady who I believe responds to the name Cinamon, his friend Doug and another woman whose name I didn’t get. We shared a few more laughs until Kami and Bruce showed up and off we went back to the hotel.

Daren, beer is on me next time I’m in town!

We drove back to the hotel and decided to stay in the bar for some drinks. We had a few, talked about all sorts of things, ran a few laughs and went upstairs. Another great day has ended—great not just due to an awesome concert, but also to this absolutely great couple I had the privilege to meet.

Kami and Bruce—thank you so much for hosting me and being such great people to hang out with!

We’ll be off to Middlesboro, KY soon, where Kami lives & works, hang out for the rest of the day and make our way to Atlanta tomorrow morning as both Kami and Bruce have decided to see the band in action once again in Atlanta.

Later,
Isaac

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Any word on a set list for the Charlotte concert?

Isaac said...

Hi Anonymous,

Yes, I wrote that it was the usual set-list. I prefer to not publish the set-list as it may ruin the surprise for those who haven't seen the show yet. Feel free to e-mail me and I'll reply back with the set-list.


Isaac