Come Together: Dire Straits’ Making Movies finds a gaggle of New Zealand’s finest musicians keeping another classic rock album alive, one that we have little chance of hearing by the original artists ever again.
Making Movies was Dire Straits’ third album (1980) and in my opinion, their best. Or at least, my favourite.
So I went to this show with high hopes, but also with some reservations. The previous two Come Together shows (Neil Young’s Harvest and Tom Petty’s Damn The Torpedos) were the finest of the series so far.
Could this show stand up to those? And what material would musical director Jol Mulholland choose to fill out the nearly two and a half hour shows (Making Movies is only 38 minutes long)?
The core band tonight is Mulholland (guitar & vocals), Brett Adams (guitar & vocals), Mathias Jordan (keyboards), Michael Barker (percussion) Alistair Deverick (drums), Mike Hall (bass), Finn Scholes (various woodwinds) and Nick Atkinson (sax).
Featured vocalists are Jon Toogood (Shihad), Milan Borich (Pluto) and Arahi.
The first set of the show is Making Movies played through from beginning to end, so no real surprises there except to note how easily Arahi fits into the Dire Straits sound. None of the vocalists tonight could be accused of ‘imitating’ Mark Knopfler, but they each find their inner Knopfler in their own way.
Unfortunately a good track listing for an album doesn’t always translate to a good setlist for a live show and in Making Movies’ case, the album’s strongest moments are at the very beginning…Tunnel Of Love, Romeo And Juliet, Skateaway and Expresso Love are very difficult to follow, especially my personal faves Romeo And Juliet followed by Skateaway.
If the show had ended there I’d be a happy fan.
But of course it didn’t.
Once Making Movies ended (with a very entertaining version of Les Boys featuring a leather-clad, shirtless Milan Borich) there was still a lot of time left to fill.
The first set closed with Wild West Ends, Lady Writer and Once Upon A Time In The West...lovely tunes all and beautifully played…but not exactly barn burners. Brett Adams added a personal note before Once Upon A Time…telling us his first-ever concert was Dire Straits at Western Springing in 1981…its those little nuggets that keep these shows from being merely a night of covers.
As always Brett Adams’ and Jol Mulholland’s guitar playing was exquisite, reason enough to be here.
The second set began with Private Investigations from 1982’s Love Over Gold, and a subtle, hushed vocal from, Milan.
Then Sultans Of Swing get the party started…sort of.
The following numbers…Water Over Love, The Man’s Too Strong and Your Latest Trick (featuring some fine horn playing from Finn and Nick)…possibly going a bit too deep into the Dire Straits catalogue.
We come out the other side with Down To The Waterline and So Far Away, a tune that brought the energy level up and the audience clapping along.
By now we are 40 minutes into the second set and, in my opinion, is this would have been a perfect place to end it, with an encore of the obvious, Money For Nothing.
Instead, we got Brothers In Arms (the song) and a nearly 15-minute version of Telegraph Road.
Don’t get me wrong, these are all lovely tunes and they were performed very well, but the audience was struggling to stay interested…empty seats were beginning to appear at this sold out show.
Finally, Money For Nothing is wheeled out and then a beautiful version of Mark Knopfler’s Going Home: Theme Of The Local Hero.
So there you have it…maybe too much of a good thing.
The lengthy version of Telegraph Road gave me time to wonder if this isn’t the future of “classic rock” as the original artists get older and pass on, and younger musicians keep the flame burning. But for how long?
Will there still be an audience for this music once the boomers and millennials are gone?
Will The Beatles, Stones, Heartbreakers, Fleetwood Macs, Eagles and Neil Youngs be held up as music from a golden age or will it eventually fade away?
I guess, only time will tell.
Click any icon to view a full gallery of photos from Veronica McLaughlin Photography
Come Together: Dire Straits Making Movies Setlist:
- Tunnel Of Love
- Romeo And Juliet
- Hand In Hand
- Solid Rock
- Les Boys
- Wild West End
- Lady Writer
- Once Upon A Time In The West
- Private Investigations
- Sultans Of Swing
- Water Of Love
- The Man’s Too Strong
- Your Latest Trick
- Down To The Waterline
- So Far Away
- Brothers In Arms
- Telegraph Road
- Money For Nothing
- Going Home: Theme Of The Local Hero
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