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.



Friday, June 27, 2008

Las Vegas

I arrived at Las Vegas airport at around 2:00pm, flying from Salt Lake City. That was my second ever visit to Las Vegas, the first one being approximately one year ago.

After touring the strip for a little while and grabbing some great lunch at Jimmy Buffet’s Margarittaville (the Caribbean Chicken Salad, or whatever it is called, with the sugared pecan and chicken breast strips on it, is VERY highly recommended), I took a taxi cab to the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, as it is located a few miles out of the strip. The Joint is a few steps away from the main entrance.

I have mixed emotions about the Vegas concert. I was seated in the front row (seat A‐8, two seats away from Jordan, another local to the Mark Knopfler forums—hey Jordan!), and the concert as itself was fantastic. It held what I believe is the best performance of Telegraph Road that I’ve seen so far in the tour. Mark Knopfler and the band rocked the crowd off their feet (which wasn’t that hard to do, given the fact that this is Vegas and most people in the crowd had some decent amount of alcohol in their blood) and gave a truly amazing performance, with a set list almost identical to the one in Salt Lake City save for one less song in the encore.

So the concert was great; but as I wrote before, I have mixed feelings. What happened was that, being seated in the front row, I witnessed some less pleasant incidents.

OK lets face it, this is Vegas. People don’t go to Vegas to restrain themselves; they go to Vegas to be themselves, and a lot of people, lets face it, do it by drinking alcohol. This is fine, really. I’m not judging people by the amount of alcohol they consume. And also, I don’t judge people by they behaviour when they’re under the influence of alcohol. But one thing I am really appalled of is the selfishness of those people, who get drunk (or high, or whatever) and force other concertgoers to accommodate their special behaviour, be it intentionally obstructing the view of people in the back seats, repeated attempts of video‐recording the show, lighting up cigarettes (!) or threatening to start fights with other people in the venue.

I do not claim to be a master of human behaviour, but I define myself as a very tolerant, patient person. One of the reasons for me getting to where I am right now, is my ability to put myself in other people’s shoes and look at situations from their point of view. I have worked very hard to obtain this skill; it helps me understand people better. However there’s a vast distance between understanding something and accepting / agreeing to it. So yes, I understand that those people wanted to get drunk, probably in order to forget about their troubles at home / work / social life, and you know what? all the power to them. But ruining it for other concert goers? That is simply unacceptable. Drunk people are not allowed to drive because it risks other people’s lives. I think it’s only fair that drunk people, who wilfully release themselves from any responsibility for their behaviour, should be removed from the venue once their behaviour starts to affect other people’s enjoyment of the show.

So what did we have there, other than a magnificent concert?

We had a lady who, as soon as “True Love Will Never Fade” started, stormed into the front row with a pair of roses in her hands and held them high, as if asking Mark to take them. Now, mind you, Mark was busy making love to the guitar (it is an extremely romantic song). I couldn’t figure out whether she was completely crazy, or did she really expect Mark to stop the concert for a minute and take the roses from her. After a minute or so, between verses, Mark said “OK, that’s enough, you can put them down now, thank you”.

We had multiple occurrences of Mark, himself, asking people to stop recording devices.

We had a few people in the front row who got drunk even before the concert started and made the concert a nightmare for people behind them and besides them. One of them has repeatedly attempted to smoke. He just felt he had to smoke, and the hell with everyone around him. Once, he was asked by the security staff to stop. At a later time, a guy next to me (Hello Mark!) asked him to stop, a request which was responded by a threat of starting a fight right there. The person has eventually been forced out of the venue by a security guard so huge that even I (6” tall) had to flex my neck muscles so hard in order to be able to look at his face.

Mark & the band played only 3 encores in that show, one less than in any other show. Can you blame them?

I was really hoping that Mark performs “Sucker Row” and “Sands of Nevada” in the Vegas show. Unfortunately that didn’t happen. Maybe next time, assuming he will ever want to play there again.


Anonymous said...

Hi, In regards to your hoping to hear Sands of Nevada or Sucker Row, MK does not add many songs during a tour, and you will almost NEVER see a song done for one city. He may add a song or two for the rest of the tour, but don't expect a special song for a place. The set list is pretty fixed, with the exception of 2 or 3 songs that rotate.

Anonymous said...

Issac - thank you so much for this blog and for taking us all along for the ride. And thanks to Dr. Fletch for linking here! I've been a fan of Mark's for almost 30 years, and I finally got to see him and his incredible band this time around at the L.A. Greek Theater. I was back in B Section center, on the aisle, and I was having a great time until the five gentlemen in the row in front of me decided to smoke it up during "Romeo and Juliet" - and we're not talking tobacco. A group to my left talked loudly throughout much of the show, and the couple behind me thought that chatting on their phones was the thing to do during many songs, including "Brothers In Arms". There was an incessant flow of people wanting in and out of the row to buy beer, so I was constantly distracted from the music I so desperately wanted to give my full attention to (I, too, tend to trance out and let the music take me to many places). But my experience seems like nothing compared to what went on in Vegas. I'm really enjoying your blog, and I salute you for taking the time to do this for all of us who can't do what you're doing but would give anything to be able to.

Anonymous said...

Hi Judy,
Thank you for your comment.

Yes, I did realize that some people smoked non-tobacco products. Well, lets face it, this is Berkeley. I would be very surprised if it didn't happen...

Thank you for checking my blog out - stay tuned, more to come...