Great show and a beautiful night for an outdoor performance by the legendary Mark Knopfler and band, held at the Cadence Bank Amphitheater at Chastain Park – and not a note was wasted.
TEXT & PHOTOS BY JOHN BOYDSTON
The former Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler is winding down a big tour in support of a new solo-release “Down the Road Wherever,” getting help on stage from musicians on stage, all of them multi-instrumentalists. Tremendous detail in the acoustics and highly finessed performances by all.
After years of platinum records and arena tours, one gets the sense that low-key star Knopfler is far happier doing things his way, and not having to slog through the mega-hit gyrations of his Dire Straits rock star days from the 80s and 90s. He is 70, and told the crowd sometimes he thinks he should retire but knows he’s got a pretty good gig and they’ll probably have to come take him away on a stretcher before he’ll stop. Knopfler was born in Glasgow, Scotland and raised near Newcastle upon Tyne, England.
Since Dire Straits disbanded in 1995, he’s made 9 solo LPs and produced film scores for movies, including ‘Local Hero’ and ‘The Princess Bride.’ No opening act, the band jumped right in with a long setlist which included only four Dire Straits songs, but I didn’t hear anyone complaining. He’s Mark Knopfler who’s sold 125 million records and worked with the giants of his industry, including Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton, and too many others to mention, so he can do what he wants.
He commented he remembers his first trip to Atlanta many years ago was by bus, and he recalled how thrilled he was being in the birthplace of blues-great Blind Willie McTell (1898-1959), noted in part for his syncopated finger-picking style. Maybe that’s where Knopfler picked up on his own unique playing style. Only got to shoot a couple of songs worth of photos, and from the soundboard, so not a lot of diverse photos but was glad to see Knopfler had his iconic Sunburst Les Paul strapped on for one of them.