November 6, 2011
Review by Martin Altenbokum
It was a foggy evening in the Hannover area this Sunday evening and I was
late to take my seat in the very comfortable arena there. The show was
already running and I took my seat with a fabulous overview.
I remember some songs by Knopfler and Dire Straits in the last 70's, early
80's but haven't heard a lot from Knopfler and friends since then. There
were in total eight musicians on the stage, five guitars, two keyboards,
playing excellent songs and I thought very early that evening that it was
worthwhile coming to Hannover just to listen to Mark Knopfler.
Philadelphia was a very nice song, the new songs were also very likeable.
Most of them sounded Irish or Scottish to me, hard to figure out for a
non-expert. The band seemed to be fully caught in their music and it was
good to watch the harmony between the band members. Mark Knopfler
communicated - unlike Dylan - with the crowd and this was very much
appreciated. He played for about one hour and a quarter and received
standing ovations causing him to play an extra song which is a rare thing
for an opening act.
I had a seat to the outer left of the stage and an excellent but unusual
view on the stage. The band stood very closely together on the left half
of the stage, leaving just one or two meters between the members and they
left the other half of the stage unused. Throughout the whole concert Tony
Garnier stood in the middle between the instruments of Donnie and the
drums and it looked to me as if he'd like to hide there and didn't want to
After a short break Dylan for re-arranging the stage the band showed up at
9 pm. I had little hope that they would not play Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat
and so it came; the song did not reach many of the crowd, it sounded a
little unambitious. Don't Think Twice It's All Right came next and was
very well received and one could sense some passion of the band.
The next three songs were quite unspectacular, very much as usual. Not
Dark Yet was a highlight and very expressive. Jolene was very unusual, the
song was hard to recognize and very different from the version which I
liked in 2008 in Bethel Woods as part of the encore given there. Visions
of Joanna was another highlight, very enjoyable. HWY 61 was the best song
of the evening and it seemed that the band liked it also very much. Ballad
of A Thin Man sounded a little strange with all the echoes and was
somewhat "artificial", not the best version I've heard, All Along The
Watchtower was a little weak, LARS very nice.
To my big surprise and pleasure Bob gave an extra song, Blowin' In The
Wind. All in all an average concert, but nevertheless a very nice evening,
in particular with Mark Knopfler and his folks opening the show.
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