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.



Monday, July 21, 2008

Landmark Theatre, Syracuse, NY

After finishing that burger I ordered in the “Cheers” replica and swore to never set foot in that place ever again, I realized that it’s time to go if I want to make it to the show. Took some photos of the market, then some iced latte from a place that shouldn’t be allowed to sell any sort of coffee anymore.

There appeared to be so many people in downtown Boston. My wonderful GPS showed me a few shortcuts to the Interstate, so within 2 minutes I was already on the I‐90 Westbound, waiting in line at the toll booth.

Massachusetts is a pretty state, and fun to drive through. As you approach New York state, things become rather boring. The weather turned more and more against me as I approached Albany. There’s been some severe storm on the way, so severe that I had to park my car on the shoulder as it was impossible for me to drive. It was raining so heavily that you could barely see anything more than five meters away. I waited for a few minutes waiting for the storm to pass, which didn’t happen. So I ended up driving 40 km/h till it got better.

Was pretty scary.

Eventually I did make it to Syracuse, though. I have only been in Syracuse once before, for circumstances I wish to not elaborate on but I can tell you that it involved a woman and that that experience caused me to never want to set foot in Syracuse ever again. During my last visit here, I got to think that this is a very boring city with nothing to do in. However crossing through this time, I noticed that there are a few things to see and do in here.

It was Sunday evening. Streets are, for the most part, empty. I parked my car within 3 minutes drive from the venue, right on the street. I heard that crime is a real problem in Syracuse so I took my backpack, containing my entire earthly belongings, with me to the venue.

Stopped in Subway to grab a bite, then another block and I’m at the venue.

The venue, called “The Landmark Theater”, appears to be run down a little but you can see that it once used to be a really awesome place. There’s also a poster at the entrance encouraging people to donate time and (mostly) money to help revitalize this “palace” (that’s how they call it). The hall itself was also run down—obviously this place has had its share of neglect—but again, looking at the walls and at the ceiling you can easily tell that this place used to be amazing. It was a little sad for me to realize that.

The venue had two rows in the pit. I was row YY seat 11. Row YY turned out to be the front row, and the front row turned out to have 21 seats, which makes my seat the absolute center. That really was center. Looking forward, I could see that my seat is perfectly aligned with the gap between the two front speakers. It couldn’t been any more “center” than this.

Show started early—at 7:00pm—the earliest one so far. Jesca kicked the night off with a great performance. It was her first time playing “Enemy” in this tour. A great song from her first album, “Kismet”, which I have some things to say about but didn’t get the chance to put it in writing yet.

The venue was almost full. Surprisingly, the pit’s second row had about 6–8 seats left empty, pretty much in the dead center.

The band appeared at 8:00pm and were greeted warmly. Played the usual set list, perfect performance by everybody. There were a few things peculiar in this concert though.

There was this incident that Mark almost slipped, during the performance of Romeo and Juliet. And by “slipped”, I mean literally, “slipped”. I think he got his feet tangled with some cables on the floor, and had the expression of “Oh no, I’m going to fall” on his face. Luckily he survived.

Also, after playing the Song for Sonny Liston, there’s this part when Mark introduces the band. He usually has his Gibson with him when he does that, however this time the crew worker took his guitar away before the introduction began. It was very weird to see Mark without a guitar wrapped around him, putting his hands in his pockets.

A few people tried to record the show. During the introduction of the band members, Mark pointed in my direction and mentioned something about a blue light. Probably someone right behind me tried to tape the show.

During “So Far Away”, Mark usually embeds the name of the city he’s in into the first line of the song. However this time he said something completely different—I couldn’t understand what it was but it wasn’t “Syracuse”, for sure. Right after, he started coughing. It turned out that he noticed some problem with the equipment, as a stage crew member came rushing to the stage to assist Richard with something—I believe it was a faulty cable? Not sure.

All and all it was a very good show with good improvisations all over the place. I really enjoyed it and, by the crowd cheering, it was evident that everybody loved it.

Right after the show, I decided to drive all the way back home to Waterloo, which makes July 20th the longest driving day for me ever, with just about 1,000km driven in that day only (2,000km since Friday). My car appeared to not like it one bit. The engine is starting to make some valve noise.

But I did get home, though.

During the ride back, I heard “Inamorata”—the entire album—a few times, on repeat. This is such a wonderful album, containing great love songs with excellent lyrics and outstanding melody.

”Cold Water…”

Tomorrow I’m flying from Buffalo to Baltimore, then probably renting a car to get to the concert about 30 miles away. This is going to be the more challenging part of this trip, as I am trying to rely on public transport as much as I can—the driving really became a pain, to the point I really think it’s unhealthy.



Scott Melville said...

Isaac -- I've enjoyed reading your blog and was referred to it by the Guy Fletcher tour blog. I live right near the show tomorrow night in Vienna, Virginia. I want you to know you CAN take public transport from BWI to Wolf Trap. It won't be EASY but it is very doable. From BWI, take the MARC (Maryland transit) train to Union Station, D.C.. From there, get on the metro (subway) and take red line to Metro Center. At Metro Center, take Orange Line toward Vienna. Get off at West Falls Church stop and there is a shuttle bus between the metro and Wolf Trap that starts at 6:00 p.m. Total trip time will be about 90 minutes but give it two hours to be safe. Total cost should be around $10 each way. We'll be at Wolf Trap before the show, enjoying the beautiful venue and having food and wine with my wife and our other huge Knopfler fans. Let us know if you can join us for a glass of wine and some chow. We'd love to hear stories from your adventure.

Scott Melville
Vienna, Virginia

Anonymous said...

Hi Scott,

Thank you for your e-mail with the detailed explanation! However, due to the fact that I'm carrying a 70L backpack with me, I believe that by the time this trip is over I'll end-up paying much more for a mental therapist than I would by just renting a car at the airport... :-)

But thanks! Hope to catch you there before the show. My cell number, should you wish to send me a text message and let me know where you're at, is (519) 635-5003.