On Monday night former Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris brought their current tour to the Orpheum Theater in Minneapolis. The tour promotes the good new Knopfler/Harris recording, “All the Roadrunning”. Following a similarly fast-paced opening in Europe, the current jaunt is itself a classic bit of roadrunning, covering dates from Toronto (June 19) to Berkeley (June 30) with two nights off. It can’t be much fun.
Having come for Emmylou, I was disappointed by the show. Emmylou is more than a sideman in Knopfler’s performing outfit, but this was Knopfler’s show. Although Emmylou looked ravishing, the sound mix muffled and brutalized her voice, especially in the first half of the show. Having seen Emmylou when she last came through town in 2002 in her Spyboy configuration (a transcendent show documented on her live recording of the same name), the contrast was striking.
Walking into the Orpheum, I was greeted by Power Line reader Derek Brigham. Derek came to hear Knopfler, and he liked the show. I held off writing about it because I didn’t have anything positive to say. Derek, however, has a good and accurate account that is brightened by a photo display of Emmylou: “Random thoughts from a concert.” Although Derek enjoyed the show more than I did, I agree entirely with his demographic analysis of the audience (ouch!).