Well, it’s that time again, Summer is here in Los Angeles. The air-conditioners are on, and so are the micro-bikini’s. During the day the beach is the place to be, but at night when the sun goes down, there is nothing more enjoyable than a concert under-the-stars at the fabulous Greek Amphitheatre. The Summer Concert series has already begun, and is in full swing. The Greek Theatre has been named for the eighth time, the country’s “Best Small Outdoor Venue of the Year,” by Pollstar, the live entertainment industry trade magazine. The Greek Theatre has received this award seven out of the past eight years.
Recently, The Greek played host to Rock n’ Roll Icon Mark Knopler best known for being the front man for the band Dire Straits. The 5,800-seat venue which offers an intimate concert setting, with state-of-the-art acoustics, was packed to the gills. Mark began by giving the audience a taste of his newest album "Kill To Get Crimson" which had a slight celtic feel reminiscent of early Jethro Tull (who will coincidentaly be playing the Greek later this Summer). One thing Mark is, is a masterful lead guitarist. Wheteher it's rock n' roll or one of his more somber pieces,
Mark Knopflers effortless guitar licks kept the audience mesmerized.
The show opened with singer/songwriter Jesca Hoop. Her off-beat style, combined with easy to listen to melodies, made for a delighful combination. Her self-confessed influences, include everything from early Folk songs, to Gospel and Chamber music, and everything else in between. She is refreshingly unconventional, and her easy listening style and cutie-pie good looks, make for a winning combination. Her music kicked off the show with style and grace, and set the tone for the rest of the evening. Remember the name Jesca Hoop, you're going to be hearing it a lot more in the near future.
Now, back to Mark Knopfler, Rock icon. Humility is a quality rarely found in Rock Stars, but Mark Knopfler is certainly no ordinary rock Star. With his quiet on-stage demeanor, it’s quite obvious that he would rather let his music speak for itself, rather than prance around the stage like Mick Jagger. No one can say that Mark Knopfler is the most dynamic musician to watch on stage, but for him, it’s all about the music, and the fans unanimously agreed. Knopfler selected songs from a full range of his vast catalogue of music from Dire Straits to his five solo albums. Knopfler doesn't talk much during his show, but no one was there to hear funny anecdotes or ramblings about our political climate. It's a concert folks, not a political platform.
The two-hour show was like a warm summer breeze. It makes you feel good and relaxed, and you never want it to end. Knopflers six-man band played a variety of instruments including the fiddle, mandolin and even a ukulele at one point in the show. Old time favorites included “The Sultans of Swing” and “Shangri-La” off the album of the same name. For his Encore, Mark performed such favorites as “Brothers in Arms” and “So Far Away”. I kept waiting with excitement for him to wrap up with a rendition of the high energy, “Money For Nothing” with the catch phrase, "I Want My MTV", but it was not to be. That being said, no one was disappointed.
In upcoming news, Mark Knopfler will appear on George Jones new release, a duets album 'Burn Your Playhouse Down' on August 19th, 2008. The album is a collection of never before heard duets recorded between Jones and many illustrious guests, and includes the track 'I Always Get Lucky With You' featuring Mark.
The best news of all is that the Concert Series at The Greek Theatre has just begun, and will be running through October. Upcoming shows include HippieFest 2008, Tony Bennett, Jethro Tull, Dolly Parton, the LA Jazz and Music Festival with Kenny G, James Taylor, The Gypsy Kings, John Mellencamp, Ringo Starr and his All-Star Band (pictured below) and The Black Crowes to name just a few.
If you want the VIP treatment, The Greek Theatres Premium One-Suite Box Program offers such amenities as: personal waiter/waitress service, VIP parking, and tickets for every concert hosted at the venue and access to the VIP’s Only Deck. A box suite is an impressive way to entertain clients, honor valuable employees, or to simply indulge in one of Los Angeles’ unique pleasures! There are only a limited number of box suites available, so I would suggest booking them as soon as possible.
I’d like to give a special shout out and thank you to the staff of The Greek Theatre for being so accommodating and making this truly, a night to remember.
For a complete listing of all the upcoming shows, go to the official website at www.GreekTheatreLA.com