Ok... Unfortunately this review starts off a little negative. It does end on a happy note though!
Woke up on Sunday feeling pretty rough. We hadn't had much sleep, perhaps four hours at most because of the neighbours. Although I was looking forward to it, I found myself wishing the gig was on another day as all I wanted to do was go to bed. The plan had been to travel into Liverpool early and hang out by the docks and then grab some dinner before the gig. Because of the lack of sleep and grey skies we decided to head out with just enough time to grab food before the gig. Thankfully the sun came out a little later and with the aid of some caffeine I was more in the mood!
We got to the arena car park and the weather had improved even more, so after grabbing some food at a restaurant on the Albert Dock we hung out for a few minutes near the arena and grabbed some rays... And a few photos....
There was no support act so we got in there about 15 minutes before show time, grabbing a beer before finding our seats. We had a good spot a few rows from the front with a clear view to the stage. Looking around I was surprised to see quite a lot of empty seats. The mood also seemed quite muted.
The band arrived on stage about 15 minutes past the advertised time and people where still trickling in. Mark asked if we where alright and when the response was surprisingly muted he jokingly asked "Are you sure you're alright?" I was expecting everyone to be up on their feet cheering when they came on stage and yet it was if people had been expecting someone else.
What It Is
Corned Beef City
Knopfler kicked off with a couple of cracking songs. Red Strat slung on his shoulders, this was classic Knopfler from the start. The muted response and lower than expected crowd was in my mind still. I looked around and saw people still arriving. It looked like it would be pretty much a full house in the end. I came to realise Liverpool had been playing not long before so many may have been stuck in traffic, at the game or watching it. Maybe it was that Sunday feeling? It didn't seem to affect the band as they ripped through the two tunes.
Father & Son
Hill Farmer's Blues
Things really picked up with Privateering. One of my favourite tracks from the new album along with Redbud Tree and Kingdom Of Gold (Which he didn't perform). This band is one of the finest I've ever heard. I won't go through the names but each one was a musician of the highest order. Something I also noticed was just how good the mix was. Arenas aren't the best for music sometimes, but every note was crystal clear.
I Used To Could
Seattle... Another of my favourite tunes. Wonderfully dreamy, it was a joy just to lean back in the chair and soak up Marks Voice on this! The crowd was also finding it's feet and where clearly fully enjoying the show now. If they weren't then they would with the next tunes...
Part II to follow: