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Mark Knopfler May 16, 2001

Myself getting to meet Mark Knopfler, and Richard Bennett:

 

          On May 16, 2001 I arrived in Portland Oregon at about 3:15 to hopefully get a chance to meet Mr. Knopfler. I went to the back of the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall where two security guards were waiting for Mark to arrive. I talked with them for a while about Dire Straits and Mark Knopfler while waiting for him to arrive.

          During the time I was waiting about 7 or so fans showed up with various material for Mark to sign, including a guy with the whole Dire Straits back catalogue on vinyl. We were told that they would be coming from PDX, and would be shuttled to the venue. Then at 4:15 a dark blue van drove up to the sidewalk were we were all standing.

          The doors opened up, Mark’s manager and the tour manager got out and stood at the door by the front passengers side seat, the black tinted window came down and, sure enough, there was Mark wearing a blue baseball cap and sunglasses. (He looked really cool!) We formed a line, and I was about 5th in line. The other guys handed their stuff to him, and Mark signed them one after another, but when I walked up to him I shook his hand and said, “It’s a pleasure to you, Mr. Knopfler” He looked at me and said, “What’s your name son?” I handed him my Sailing to Philadelphia album and he singed it “To Shaun, Mark Knopfler.” I thanked him and said, “good luck tonight.” I brought my camera hoping to get a photo of myself standing next to Mark, but they got out of the van in a hurry, so that didn’t happen. But I got some great photos of him sitting in the van signing autographs.

          I couldn’t believe what had just happened to me: I was in shock, as I still am and probably will be for a long time! While they went into sound check I talked with a few fans, and we exchanged emails and phone numbers so we can keep in contact. About 4:45 Mark’s tour manager was standing outback where Mark arrived, so we chatted with him a while and asked questions about Mark. He had some great stories to share but he didn’t have the time to tell us. At about 4:55 we thanked him for talking to us, and he said, “Would you guys like a pick?” We replied, “Sure!!” He reached into his fanny pack and gave us each a Mark Knopfler signature series pick that are only made for Mark! We thanked him and he said, “Enjoy the show.”

          As we were walking down the sidewalk to the front of the venue there was Richard Bennett walking down the sidewalk coming toward us with one of the road crew guys. I walked up to him and said, “Hey, Richard, how are you doing? Can I get a picture?” He said, “Sure!” I handed my camera to the fan I met to take the photo. I stood next to Richard and he put his arm on my shoulder. So I put mine on his and what was the photo! I thanked him and he said, “Enjoy the show tonight!”

          After all this excitement was over I had to wait another couple of hours for the show to start so couple other fans and I just walked around downtown to waste some time.

 

 

 CLICK ON THE PHOTO DESCRIPTIONS FOR THE PICTURE:

All photo's by Shaun Toman 5-16-01

 

-Mark signing material

-Still signing

-Signing again

-Yet another lucky guy!

-Myself and Richard Bennett

-The Marquee at the Arlene Schnitzer

-My autographed CD cover!

 

 

 

 

Mark Knopfler May 16, 2001 Portland Oregon concert review:

 

At 6:15 p.m. the doors to the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall opened for one the greatest guitarists of all time. As we walked in and they took our tickets, I stopped at the table with all the tour merchandise to buy a couple of shirts and a tour program. We walked into the hall and the stage was setup for William Topley, Mark’s opener. He was great to hear live because I’ve only heard a few of his tunes on the radio. William played from 7:00 to 7:30, and from 7:30 to 8:00 they were getting setup for Mark.

At 8:05, the lights go dim, the crowed starts to roar and there he is in the spotlight flashing his Gibson Les Paul and waving at the very anxious audience. All the stage lights turn blue and they start with “Calling Elvis.” What a great tune and a nice updated version. Between every song Mark had some comment about the next one, and he told some type of story or joke about himself.

          The next set of songs included Romeo & Juliet/Sultans of Swing/Done With Bonaparte/Junkie Doll/Speedway At Nazareth/and Pyro Man. Pyro Man is a very cool tune, from the harmonica intro to the bluesy feel, to the middle of the song where Mike Henderson handed Mark the harmonica as he talked into it and it gave his voice a tin can type sound, which sounded really cool. At the end of the song during Glenn Worf’s bass solo, he layed his bass on the stage and pulled each string to make a thundering sound and then stood up, held it on its back and dropped it about 4 feet onto the stage floor which made a loud “boom” and the song was over.

          The last before the encores was “Telegraph Road”, which was the best song of the night so far, it much have lasted 15+ minutes and half of that was Mark wailing on his guitar. It gives me chills just thinking about it. So all the stage lights were turned off and the house lights were still off as the crowd stood and clapped, cheered and whistled for about 2 minutes until Mark and his band came out for the first encore, which was “Prairie Wedding” followed by “Money For Nothing.”

          During “Money For Nothing” the whole audience was out of their seats, dancing, clapping and then singing along to, “Get Your Money For Nothing and The Chicks For Free”. Mark loved it! He was smiling throughout the whole song. When “Money For Nothing” was over they got a very long-standing ovation, which made them play yet another great tune, “So Far Away”. Mark kept putting his hands over his eyes like a visor while singing “Your So Far Away From Me” and then followed that by a wave to the audience.

          By this time I was sure Mark and the band was very tired but the Portland crowd must have impressed Mark so he talked with the other members and, sure enough, yet another encore “The Long Highway”, a very nice tune, there were couples holding on to each other as the song had a soothing type of feel to it. When they were done the lights came up and Mark and his band line up and waved at the crowed, while we were cheering vigorously at what this fan feels is the best musician in the world. He bid us, “Goodnight,” and they left the stage. I have to say that this was the best concert I have ever been to, because Mark is such a nice person, his music is perfection and of course, he is Mark Knopfler!

         

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