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.



Saturday, July 12, 2008

Centennial Concert Hall, Winnipeg, MB

So after the restaurant I decided, for some reason, to go back all the way up Portage Avenue to my motel, drop the car there and take the bus. I believe that what I wanted to achieve is to actually “live” the city, see the people, you know, feel a part of Winnipeg.

People told me all sort of stories and jokes about Winnipeg. I have to say that Winnipeg is not a bad place to be in, not at all. Downtown Winnipeg has lots to see and do in it, there are quite a few parks and places to rest. The downtown area is bigger than I thought, and in the summer there’s a folk festival going on there (which I didn’t attend—I had a Mark Knopfler show to attend).

Will want to visit this place again at some point.

Bus took forever to arrive at the venue. and it really arrived at the venue. The bus stop is literally right by the venue’s stairs. It was 7:20pm already, 10 minutes before Jesca’s act so I had to hurry.

Got my seat—second row, absolute center. Not bad. A few minutes and Jesca appears on the stage wearing her regular attire—that purple dress. She looks great in that dress, however I happen to prefer the other, “secondary” outfit (jeans, shirt—nothing fancy but she looks beautiful in it. That’s what she wore for the Vegas show, and some very few other shows later).

Jesca gave her standard show except for the last song (Jesca, what’s its name?) which I only heard once before in the tour. Beautiful song. Tunes her lower E string down to D, decent guitar work. I like that song.

I occasionally find myself humming “Seed of Wonder” for myself when I’m driving.

During the intermission, I got the chance to take some pictures of the venue:


I have decided to not take any pictures during the show itself this time. First, I really suck at taking pictures. Second, I remembered the show in Woodinville, where cameras were strictly prohibited, and I actually liked the idea of simply shutting my eyes for pretty much the entire show and get myself hypnotized with the music.

The band, rested after a day in Chicago, appeared very shortly after Paul’s declaration of war against recorders. Mark greeted the crowd by “good to be back”, which means that he’s been here before—I talked to some people after the show and they told me that the last time he’s been to Winnipeg were during the Dire Straits days.

I think that, so far, everybody in the band changed clothes at least once except for Mark. Same jeans, same black T‐shirt. Some people don’t like change…

The sound in the venue was very good. Sitting in second row center, I got some great sound, not too loud (not even during Speedway in Nazareth) and not too soft. Just the right volume. No audio hick‐up’s this time—all equipment appeared to have worked flawlessly.

The guys gave Winnipeg a show that’s been worth waiting for. The crowd was fantastic—people didn’t seem to be talking with one another, they listened, they cheered, they were really a part of the concert. I loved being in that crowd. Way to go Winnipeg!

I know you guys always look for the weird and unexpected. It’s really boring to hear that all shows are so great (which they are). So what’s different in the show tonight?

Well, first I should mention that in two of the songs—Hill Farmer Blues and So Far Away, it appeared that either Mark just wanted to continue playing to eternity or the band just wanted to end it already. In both songs, Mark continued playing a solo sequence when the rest of the band was going for the outro—I could see the look of “WTF” on the faces of some of the band members. When it happened during So Far Away, Mark turned to Guy, gave him a big, hearty smile, as if saying “come on, dude”. But this band being comprised of such great musicians, they recovered so quickly that I don’t think too many people noticed.

The set list was the usual. It appears that the band has decided to chuck “Shangri La” from the encore as I haven’t heard it in a while.

Guy is back to his regular concert attire, that white shirt with what seems to be red / pink flowers on it. Coincidentally, I reverted back to my own attire—the Shangri La shirt has finally been washed today.

As usual, everybody improvised and seemed very happy about it.

One of my favourite performances in the show is the performance of Going Home. Before I heard it live, I really wasn’t a big fan of the original version (from the soundtrack)—instead, I really liked the “unplugged” version that appears on the “On the Night” DVD (just guitar, keyboard and some bass, no drums). However, listening to the “fast” version live makes for a completely different experience. Mark and Richard appear to go very well together. Richard taking the Gibson and using that volume pedal at the intro really gives me the shivers as I am a huge fan of this Gibson sound and Richard’s just so good at it.

At the end, Danny appeared a bit insulted that the crowd cheers to everybody else except for him. He was rewarded by good cheers very shortly after expressing his frustration.

That’s it. Another very good show.

A shot of the venue after the show:


After the show, I had to return to my motel by bus. Now people did tell me that downtown Winnipeg is not a place to hang out at night; they appear to be right. All kind of strange people hang out there, I don’t think they’re Mark Knopfler fans. Then again, every big city has that. Toronto has that, big time—you don’t feel very secure wandering around downtown at night. Vancouver is actually OK in that respect, unless you’re talking about Downtown Eastside (East Hastings, east of Gastown) which is pretty much the scariest place to be in, at both daytime and night time.

Tomorrow is going to be my longest driving day in the entire tour. About 735km (456 miles) are between myself and the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis. I will have to leave very early so… time to sleep.

If anybody wants to get together tomorrow, or before / after any show, I should always be available by phone. Feel free to call or text‐message to (519) 635‐5003.




Anonymous said...

Isaac, great to read your blog about the show in Wpg. I was there last night, as well, with my son and his partner. Attending a Mark Knopfler concert was in my top four musicians list, which has now been completed...so I suppose I can die happy (Dylan, Van Morrison, Clapton and Knopfler). There are, of course, many others, but these have been favourites since I was quite young.

I drove into Wpg from the Wpg Folk Festival, which you should come to attend. It's absolutely fabulous and always happens during the second weekend of July.

To the point - what was the play list of last night's concert? Did you write down the exact songs and the order? Would you mind sharing that info with me? I'm at pareimer@hsd.ca and you can look at my web site at http://preimer.srss.ca.

Hope to hear from you and what an expensive, but fascinating thing to do - follow the tour around NA. Wow! Good luck and safe travelling. Next time you're in the area, give us a call, and we'll host you. Forget the hotels. Come for the Folk Fest!

Paul Reimer

Anonymous said...

Hi Paul,
Yes, seeing Mark Knopfler and the band is certainly something that music lovers should do at least once in their lifetime.

I never heard of the Winnipeg Folk Festival before. As a matter of fact, I am ashamed to admit that, other than BC, AB, ON and NS I never took the time to really research what is there to do in any of the provinces. Saskatchewan and Manitoba, usually dubbed very boring, are actually very nice and there's a lot to do there. I will certainly visit Winnipeg again.

I will send you the set-list, as I remember it, to your e-mail address.

I'm going to take you up on that invitation - no escape... Will e-mail you next time I'm in town, possibly next year for the folk festival.



Garth said...

I didn't have the amazing seats you obviously had but had great sound on the first balcony as well. Knopfler's tone & volume control are simply breathtaking. Your tour sounds epic - how do you manage an escape like that? I'd also love to get the setlist if you wouldn't mind - gdagger73@hotmail.com

Happy blogging & tailing Knopfler & Company!

Anonymous said...

Hi Garth,
Now you see why I go to all shows? :-) It is an amazing show.

I will e-mail the set-list to the e-mail address you provided.

How did I manage an escape like that? Well, I just decided that I have to do it and there's no other way. Once you set your mind into a specific goal, blend it with as much desire as I had (and still having), you just go and do it. All the rest falls into place, even if it means that some sacrifices have to be made (and, in my case, there were).

In other words - I managed this escape because it was extremely important to me.


Anonymous said...

Must be a fun trip. I was front row, slightly stage right...awesome seats, awesome concert, and like Guy Fletcher said in his tour blog, attentive audience. Probably ranks in my top 3 concerts of all time. If you have the play list, mikester76@hotmail.com would gladly accept it.

Anonymous said...

Hi anonymous,

Just sent the set list to the email address you provided...


Anonymous said...

hey, i was at the show, it was amazing...thanks for the blog it's quite entertaining and definately appreciated

if i could have the setlist as well i would be extremely happy

there was this acoustic blues song they played that i can't seem to recall the name of, i don't believe it was Marbletown...it was slower and really sounded like an old blues number

i'd really like to know the name of that song!


Anonymous said...

can u please send a setlist to dthaueleff@hotmail.com
from the winnipeg show at the concert hall
thx very much in advance,