Wow! A Memorable Experience with Rock Legends ‘Dire Straits’
Bengaluru: “Money For Nothing, Ticks (tickets) For Free!- that’s right- Imagine getting four free tickets (VVIP Passes) inclusive of food and cocktails- and also the best Front Row seats in the audience. What more can you expect as a gift on your birthday? Thanks a million to my friend for making my birthday ( which was on 18 March) a memorable one, where I shared my joy and experience with one of my favorite Rock Band ‘Dire Straits’, when they rocked the Bengaluru International Exhibition Centre (BIEC) Ground on Sunday, 19 March 2017 during the “Dire Straits Experience” live concert. I couldn’t wait to hear the number one and 1986 Grammy Award Winning song ‘Money For Nothing’, with the lyrics performed live- “Now look at them yo-yo’s that’s the way you do it, You play the guitar on the MTV, That ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it, Money for nothin’ and chicks for free…”- although I wasn’t lucky to get “Chicks” for Free, instead was lucky to get “Ticks” For Free?
Two of the original “Dire Straits’ members- Chris White, a rock-star who wears a suit with red shoes, (who had toured with founder of the Band, Mark Knopfler during the ‘Brothers in Arms’ tour), along with front-man Terrence Reis (who steps into Knopfler’s shoes, so to speak, with his vocals and lead guitaring), the concert didn’t happened to be money for nothing- instead it was worth your money! At the “Dire Straits Experience”, the seven band members did The Walk And The Talk during the Seagram’s 100 Pipers Music CDs ‘Play For A Cause’, an initiative that will focus on providing sustainable drinking water to villages in Rajasthan.
It’s not hard to see why, even after two decades after the iconic band’s heyday, audiences both young and old throng their shows. Just two guitar riffs, that’s all it took to dispel any doubts and reservations. The Dire Straits Experience re-captured that old magic from the 1980’s when they ruled the musical world? The opening bars of “Telegraph Road” cut a channel back through the years and when Terence Reis broke in with his vocals the mega crowd knew this was the real deal.
Mark Knopfler is a tough act to follow but the new lead singer reveled in the responsibility and with original members Chris White on sax and flute and Chris Whitten on drums in cracking form. One of their biggest hits, Walk of Life, was next and people were already up and dancing. The BIEC arena is finally starting to get the amount of concerts it deserves, the cavernous layout with loads of space and with low key unobtrusive stewarding the party atmosphere was allowed to grow as the concert unfolded. I knew it was going to be a packed crowd, getting a few cheeky young DS fans and I recognized a lot of friends of a similar certain age as myself.
“Romeo and Juliet” was another hit greeted like an old friend, Chris White was able to show of his mastery of the saxophone and there was sparkling support from Richard Cottle on piano and keyboards, Tim Walters guitar and vocals, Paddy Milner also on piano and keyboards, and Michael Feat on bass guitar and vocals. Some of the ladies in the audience were flowing with the music and dancing like demons. It wasn’t just us mature bunch of Mangaloreans, namely my friends-Loy D’souza, Ajith IP, Mahaveer Jain and Sachin Kumar enjoying the show, there was a good mix of Bengalureans and a few more far flung visitors, from neighbouring Tamil Nadu and AP. We also ran into bunch of Mangaloreans who were also looking to have a good time at the concert- after all “Dire Straits” is one of the favorite bands of Mangaluru music buffs.
“Tunnel Of Love” was plucked out of their greatest hits catalogue and really hit the spot before “Your Latest Trick”,and “The Man’s Too Strong” followed on in style with Chris White switching to his flute to add another musical dimension. “Private Investigations” was more atmospheric and lingering and “Down To The Waterline” blended in nicely. The band were very much at ease and their enthusiasm was echoed by the fans, “Lady Writer” was one of their hits that I had almost forgotten about but I was glad to hear it again in all its glory.
“Brothers In Arms” was always a goose pimple song and it was more poignant than ever set against recent world events, ‘Dire Straits Experience’ wrung out every ounce of emotion and for me it was one of the stand out songs of the night. “Sultans Of Swing” took us back to the earliest days of the band, it really got the crowd pumped up and there were even a few air guitarists who were living every note. That was the final song, or was it? The clamour for an encore was met by the opening strains of “Money For Nothing”, the boys milked the audience on that one and the arena was a mass of waving arms and dancing bodies, while everyone pleaded for their MTV. “Going Home” was a fitting finale for nearly two hours of pulsating pop and rock, and truly it was quite an experience!