Bob Dylan and Mark Knopfler: legends hit the stage at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center
There is no doubt as to why hundreds of people gathered in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center yesterday evening to witness the bewitching Mark Knopfler and Bob Dylan.
The show began instantly when the lights went down and a man dressed in banana yellow stepped out onto the stage to announce Knopfler and his band. The room erupted when Knopfler came on stage, with fans screaming how much they love and admire him from every corner of the room. His voice was smooth and relaxing, reminding us how refreshing it can be to hear someone sing without any gimmicks.
Song for Sonny Liston began with the spotlight on Knopfler as he played the mesmerizing intro; slowly the lights highlighted the rest of the band and set a bluesy southern atmosphere that would continue through the night.
He jokingly wished his band good luck before playing the very spiritual and uplifting song Done With Bonaparte. The violin combined with the accordion gave the song a classic Celtic sound that reminded the audience where Knopfler’s roots are.
Privateering was our personal favorite of the night from Knopfler – the song is the title track on his latest album.
He knew his audience well and what songs they wanted to hear. Joking between songs, he remarked: “I hear the requests comin’ in, don’t worry, we won’t play ‘em”.
Knopfler is hailed for his guitar playing nonetheless, so it was no surprise how he was easily able to set the room on fire with his solos. Marble Town, his final number, had a slow start and a rattlesnake sound in the background that added to the western cowboy theme of the song. The crowd really got going when the violin-bass duo kicked in to add to the entrancing sound.
As the song ended, the crowd cheered and clapped for more, giving Knopfler a well-deserved standing ovation. Knopfler had no choice but to do the Dire Straits hit, So Far Away, which is often requested from crowds as his encore piece.
When the lights lit back up during the intermission, we could not help but notice the eclectic age group that surrounded the arena. People of all ages were there to admire these two musical legends.
When the lights went back down, we got butterflies in our stomachs at the thought of finally being able to see Bob Dylan live. He marched out on stage and took immediate control of the crowd. He was dressed in all black, while his band wore grey suits with black shirts and black fedoras; therefore setting the tone that it would be a southern blues type of show. Dylan’s famous harmonica playing blew the crowd away during Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright.
When he played Tangled Up In Blue, the crowd went absolutely nuts. He hopped around from harmonica center stage to piano side stage as Knopfler came back out to join the group on guitar. The lights cleverly casted silhouettes on the black curtain during Forgetful Heart which was one of Dylan’s best played songs of the evening.
He took on center stage once more as he sang the words clearly, so you could feel the song get under your skin and raise the hairs on your arms – especially during his unforgettable harmonica solo. Dylan also played the familiar blues-rock sounding Ballad of a Thin Man and Highway 61, which transported us – making us feel as though we were in Louisiana listening to a man sing his heart out on the riverbank.
It’s no secret that Dylan doesn’t sound like the Dylan that many grew up listening to, but to watch him take control of that stage with the other hundreds of people in the crowd was unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. His fans are dedicated and devoted and cheered him on as he played his final number, Like A Rolling Stone. Like Dylan and his fans, with the passing of time, the song was not exactly the same, however it was still just as good. The night ended with the crowd clapping and cheering out of their seats for Dylan and Knopfler until the lights came back on.