Mark Knopfler Sails Past the Straits

The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, Sept. 16


Photo by Alexander Zayas

A low-key Mark Knopfler, playing a small stage with his pack of lads, somehow managed to turn the packed Colosseum into a pub gig that was light on flash and heavy on the heart. Since Dire Straits came undone in 1996, Knopfler’s superb songwriting has only gotten better—his ballads carrying us to places and people in the process of being forgotten.

Knopfler took us down a fading “Telegraph Road” to meet a broken-down driver at the “Speedway at Nazareth,” and he bade us to listen to a laborer’s last days in “Mighty Man.” He and his band strung all these stories together on a thread of Brubeckian jazz and Anglo folk, blended in green hills and towns black with soot. It was the sound of a place where the dead creep through Marbletown to the sound of plucked bass, fiddle and Uilleann pipes, sending out a soft squall along the wires of Knopfler’s National Guitar. ★★★★✩

Photos by Alexander Zayas

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