OK a slightly longer review the day after. I really really enjoyed my first Mark gig and can't wait for a longer Mark only show after the new album gets done. I was right up front, only two McCusker sized folks between me and the stage. Being up front where I could watch Mark's fingers definitely added to the experience. Sound was top notch, I enjoyed the sound of all of Mark electric guitars. I found myself watching Richard almost as much as Mark he's a very talented no.2 man in a band (another little bloke eh?)
I had hoped for Why Aye Man for an opener simply because I like the lyrics and story of the song but WII is a nice opener and it's varying dynamics a good indication of what is in store for the night. Now for the flutes,pipes and fiddle...these guys are superbly talented, and I like the songs Mark has done in this vein over the years, but having these songs interspersed between more rocking and bluesy tunes was disorienting to me. I probably would have gotten more into a Celtic 'segment' of the show as Bob used to group several acoustic numbers together in a portion of his shows 10+ years ago. Just my opinion of course.
I favored the songs featuring Mark on electric such as Sonny Liston, Brothers in Arms etc. During Privateering (which is a lovely tune and will surely stand out on the album) I was thinking 'I'd love to see Mark in a 4 piece band that is more blues/rock oriented. When next appeared the 3 piece on Sonny I was in heaven, favorite part of Mark's set for me. I enjoyed Haul Away greatly, more than Privateering, which hadn't happened when just listening to the recordings. I thought the crowd around me were very appreciative of the bands set, loud cheering and I'm sure most were Bobcats as none left until the end of the evening.
re: the Mark & Bob show, I thought Saturday night was better, not that the songs were played that much differently but they were the same exact three I had seen the night before, minus Trying to Get to Heaven which had been the best one Saturday. They more than atoned by the joint encore. I saw Bob speak to one of his minions near the end of his set and they ran off, after Watchtower I saw a Bob slave turn around what I hoped was Mark's amp so I expected Mark to come out and join on Like a Rolling Stone. He didn't but Bob announced Mark's return after that song and when I saw Mark come out and adjust the Mike stand I got excited. When they walked into the intro of Forever Young I was almost overwhelmed with emotion, as I had been jokingly bragging on ER that Bob would play the song for me as a final encore on my birthday show, so to have Bob AND Mark BOTH sing it (for ME no matter what the rest of you believe
) was priceless.
As I mentioned earlier, when Mark sang the final verse he extended his arm in gesture to Bob while intoning 'may your song always be sung...' and it was a special moment.The crowd roared in agreement and Bob looked genuinely moved. Mark and Bob exchanged an embrace and had words after and Mark joined the band for the line up and bow. Bob and Mark both kept deflecting the cheers towards the other and anyone who thinks there is anything but tremendous respect and appreciation between these two should seek out a video and watch the encore a few dozen times.
THANK YOU BOB, THANK YOU MARK FOR A SPLENDID TOUR.