Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
I really enjoyed this DVD, but...
Albert G. Smith Jr. | Daytona Beach, Fl USA | 01/16/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I really liked this DVD. It took a long time to get it upon its release (almost two months), but it is more than worth the wait.
The production value is very high. There is a nice opening sequence where the band and roadies arrive at the venue, and get ready to put on the show. The DVD uses this sequence to introduce the players, showing them getting off of busses, walking down corridors, and other mundane predatory actions. Knopfler walks out to a very enthusiastic crowd and after a few seconds of thunderous applause launches into the first song. I was very happy (as a guitar player myself) that many of his solos were shown in close-up detail. I like little things like that, seeing how he works to get that sound. I will not go over every song, but just be sure, there is not a single piece of filler here, although there would be a couple of songs that might be considered MIA. I could not imagine seeing B.B. King in concert without his performing "The Thrill is Gone", so seeing Dire Straits and not having them perform the break through "Sultans of Swing", the song that introduced them to the world is a bit strange. Oh well, you can't have everything. There is a good mix of rockers, softer more mellow songs and plenty of opportunity for Knopfler to let the other members of the band show off a bit. Overall, a great performance.
The one weakness that requires me to go with 4 stars rather than 5 is the fact that this is a medium that can offer so much more in terms of sound. That this is not offered in some form of 5.1 is a crime. I love concerts on DVD when you hear the crowds behind you and the music hits from many angles. If I gave this basic two-channel stereo rendering a 5 star rating, it would not be fair to the other DVDs out there that earned their 5s with terrific audio engineering. If this was a 1980s VHS tape, it would be a 5, but for a DVD introduced in the year 2005, two-channel stereo can't be given a perfect score for a concert performance.
The End of the Straits
Smallchief | 04/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the video of the last Dire Straits' tour in the early 1990s. It was not, I read, as wildly successful as their tour of the mid 1980s and after the tour the Straits faded into history.
About one-half of the songs on the DVD are from the Straits last CD, "On Every Street." There is a country sound on many tracks, emphasized by Paul Franklin's steel guitar. I quickly tired of the opening rock numbers, "Calling Elvis," "Walk of Life," and "Heavy Fuel," but the mellow songs that followed made up for it. Mark Knopfler's moody and exquisite songs "Romeo and Juliet" and "Brothers in Arms" are here, as are superb versions of little known tunes such as "Your Latest Trick" "On Every Street" and "You and Your Friend." The bluesy, country solo of Knopfler in "You and Your Friend" is one of his best ever-- and that is saying something. "Money for Nothing" rocks and "Private Investigations" has the great guitar explosions at the end (although PI and "Local Hero" are both better in the other Straits live album "Alchemy").
Dire Straits was a tuneful high-quality group of musicians and Knopfler is a wonder on guitar. There's not a whole lot of flashy showmanship. They stand up Strait and play outstanding music.
Bryan Lockwood | Redmond, WA, USA | 07/11/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've been lucky enough to see Knopfler live in concert twice now - recently in the 'Sailing to Philadelphia' tour, and about 10 years ago onstage with Eric Clapton. Both were moving experiences.After the latest concert, I decided to snap up all the Knopfler videos I could find. Then when they came in, I hung onto them for a few weeks - thinking I'd go out and buy some audio/video gear worthy of these performers. Still haven't done that yet, but I have broken down and watched 'On the Night' and 'Alchemy'. Both are -excellent-, but I beleive 'On the Night' slightly edges out the 'Alchemy' video.Let me try and put it simply: musically, this guy owns the keys to my soul. If I could make music, this would be the music I would make. I am especially taken by the slower songs, but there is nothing here I don't -really- like. I'm no writer, so I won't try to describe them all (don't have enough superlatives at my disposal!) - I'll just stop at a few of my personal high points.Starting with 'Calling Elvis', which builds and builds to a sonic crescendo that leaves you grinning like a maniac, Dire Straits captures the crowd, just reaches out and owns them. Moving through 'Walk of Life' and 'Heavy Fuel', we get to the terminally pretty 'Romeo and Juliet', with its wonderful story telling and beautiful guitar lines. On to 'The Bug' (later covered by Mary-Chapin Carpenter) and the music-noir 'Private Investigations', which really shows off the band and is a great concert experience. Instrumentally perfect!'Your Latest Trick' brings the tempo down a bit, with its resigned bitter-but-still-hooked feeling. 'On Every Street' and 'You and Your Friend' keep the same general moody trend, yet with uplifting bits (especially in 'On Every Street'). 'Money for Nothing' is almost obligatory, yet this version, while lacking Sting's vocals, may be the definitive one instrumentally. (EDIT- I take that back, now that I have seen the shorter but punchier version on 'Music for Montserrat' - with Sting, Eric Clapton, *and* Phil Collins on drums!)Nearing the end, we get a wonderful version of 'Brothers in Arms' with that wonderfully haunting guitar line recently showcased so well on TV's 'The West Wing'. 'Solid Rock' is a good old-fashioned rock-and-roll romp, and finally we are treated to a stunningly wonderful version of 'Local Hero - Wild Theme' - one of my personal favorites.All the way through the two performances on this tape, you see a relaxed yet commanding Knopfler doing what he does so incredibly well - leading a team of amazingly talented musicians through a tight, balanced, well constructed performance of just plain wonderful material. You may not recognize all of the songs: that's okay, they'll be hard to forget once you've seen this video. You may not have particularly liked some of the ones you do recognize - again that's okay, the live performance brings out the best of them, and exposes bits you can't get any other way. Mr. Knopfler seems to really enjoy adding surprisingly different beginnings to his songs in concert - and reinterpreting those songs with new details once he gets into the meat of them. Knopfler's one of those people whose genius really sneaks up on you. This is an excellent cross-section of his work up through 1993. I like it so much, I need to share it: I plan to buy more copies and give them as Christmas presents (especially to friends who were jealous because they couldn't make the sold-out 'Sailing to Philadelphia' show here in Seattle). And I still plan on upgrading my audio/video gear so that I can better appreciate this tape. Another reviewer summed it up best: "worth life itself". Get this video!"
Last of the great musicians
T M R CROSS | Liverpool, England | 12/08/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The video shows Dire Straits during two of their shows on the "on every street" tour. This captures the band at their very best. Mark Knopfler's guitar seems to be part of him, and it is through the instrument that he expresses himself. Played by nine of the best musicians in the world the songs move from the loud, angry sound of heavy fuel to the beautiful yet haunting Romeo and Juliet. Best moment of the video? Phil Palmer's guitar work on Romeo and Juliet and the guitar/drum exchanges between Mark and Chris Whitten in Brothers in Arms. Worth life itself."