Mark Knopfler Concert, Mumbai

It’s almost 18 hours since the Sultan of swing exited the stage with a delirious performance of rock music, impeccable guitar play, fans screaming "we want more" in a eye candy light show. One of my staunch headbanger friends was now ranking mark knopfler above his favorite guitarists. The Mumbai humidity never stopped knopfler singing and entertaining the wild audience.

It was a week ago when I bought the tickets for the concert. Tickets where cool credit card sized which would lead us to the gates to heaven. I guess due to the high prices of tickets there were lots of tickets to be sold even on the concert day.

With my previous experiences with Bryan Adams concert we had reached 3 hours before the concert only to find few hundreds of them standing in line. We were almost in the front of the queue. The concert was at MMRDA grounds at the bandra kurla complex, the only place which justifies the real financial might of Mumbai.

After one hour boring wait in the line the entry to the grounds started. Eatables and water(!!!), cigarettes, cameras were confiscated. We made a dash as soon as security guards had finished checking us and we were surprised to find that the 2500 ticket area was twice the size of 1000 ticket area. The barricades where quite robust the seeing the plethora of commandos we soon forgot the idea of gate crashing. The whole ground was small enough to enjoy the onstage action from anywhere. We were right in front sticking to the barricades and the view was excellent. The stage was right in front of us with two huge projection screens just beside the stage and uncountable number of speakers all over the ground.

We already where cursing ourselves on that we didn't get the 2500 tics as area near the stage was plenty and hardly anyone had come in. We would have been right near the feet of the god himselfL. In the next one hour fans slowly poured in. we were "treated" to really unknown blues songs and out of the roof prices for snacks and drinks. (500 ml Pepsi was for 50 bucks!!!). We remained standing right in front of the barricade in fear of losing our golden place.

The fans looked pretty decent and mature (looks wise ;)). We didn’t spot anyone with long, colored hair types. People were quite relaxed and most of them far away from the barricades where taking a much-needed break before the show started. I was again surprised to find any event like this lacking the mad rush and chaos especially in a city like Mumbai.

The sun was down by 7 and the screens came alive with advertisements. Even the nearby buildings were projected with interesting designs and patterns. The ground was now quite packed and fans were getting restless.

And at around 7 30 from nowhere the lights blinded us and knopfler, as his personality, made a modest entry. He was dressed in a White shirt, blue jeans the guitar completed his attire. He had put on twice the weight than the normal lanky knopfler we know of. Like amitabh’s white stubble, knopfler’s white hair gave him a matured, dignified yet modern look. For the first time saw him wearing glasses.

Talking about knopfler as a man, he was asked why did'nt he press charges against the woman who caused an accident 2 years back when he was driving his bike in which he escaped death and had 9 broken bones, he replied "Why the hassle?"

By now everyone present there was shrilling and screaming on top of their voices. Without waiting for the fans to subside, in his deep think voice, he said “Welcome mumbai” and then his guitar took over.

It would be absolutely futile for me to explain in words or pictures the experience about these live music concerts. And to experience one of the greatest guitarists ever, to experience him performing just a hundred meters right there in front of you is something to live for. The colorful and well arranged lights throwing up different patterns every second added an edge to the whole proceedings. A white beaming light right on knopfler making love with his guitar and sharing his orgasms made the whole atmosphere heavenly. And god was at the helm. This was a perfect example of what my cousin calls orgasm without touching (OWT). These moments are just to be experienced and live them. A camera you would have shown u pics like these. Dreamers like me can take up your dreaming while others can read a bit journalist type reporting ahead.

Pics are from : http://www.working-on-it.com/eng/index.html

Knopfler and his band took 2 breaks. They left dramatically as if the show is over only to return back as crowed yelled "we want more".

They played around 20 songs.

Most of them were from his latest solo album Shangri-la and Sailing to Philadelphia. I have heard Sailing to Philadelphia and its one amazing album.

He started with "Why Aye Man"

Here is the list of songs that he played as i recall:

Why Aye Man

Sailing to Philadelphia

Romeo and Juliet

What is it now

Song for Sonny Liston

Donegon’s Gone.

Money for Nothing

Sultans of Swing

So far Away

Telegraph road

Baloney Again

Speedway to Nazareth

515 Am

Brothers In Arms

Walk Of Life

Boom like that

Going Home (Local Hero OST)

Ending every song with an enthusiastic Thank you and asking "Is everyone ok?" he ensured fans never stopped screaming.

His signature songs were enjoyed with wild frenzy whereas his amazing guitar work for songs like Telegraph Road (and couple of songs which i had never heard) gathered him new hard core fans.

He justified why is known as sultan of swing as he swayed and moved to his guitar and fans.

For 90 mins i was in a high state gifting the body and soul to the god that is music.

Signing off with “Going home” instrumental he raised his guitar and waved a goodnight kiss.

It was hard to believe that 90 minutes had gone. We had captured in our eyes and ears some memorable moments.

Everyone collapsed on the grounds took a break for 10 mins and started out long trail to bandra station as all the public and private transport was over crowded.

This was a big dream come true for me.

Long live music and long live knopfler/Dire straits.