Regent Centre, Christchurch – 4 February 2014

Review by Janine Pulford

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Following a warm-up by Marcus Bonfanti with his huge blues voice and some finger pickin’ good guitar playing, the much-awaited Straits made a Floyd-esque entrance with ‘Where do you think you’re going.’ It had everyone in the sell-out concert transfixed. The audience were glued and they stayed that way throughout the whole concert as all the best Dire Straits tracks burst into the Regent Centre in a professional blaze.

Standouts were the dualling guitars in ‘Private Investigations;’ a mellow ‘Romeo and Juliet’ with original Dire Straits members Chris White playing delicious saxophone and pianist Alan Clark ending the track on a beautiful high; ‘Telegraph Road’ as only the Straits can do it, fast and furious and ‘Tunnel of Love’ with that tight Straits rhythm and Terence Reis’ mesmerising solo guitar playing. I freely admit, I missed Knopfler’s voice, but I’m a committed fan of his and at times Reis was uncannily close, but sometimes his voice was harsher as was his astonishing guitar work. ‘Communique’ turned into a massive jamming session, which got people dancing. And what better choices as the concert drew to a close but ‘Brothers in Arms’ and ‘Sultans of Swing’ ending with a frenzy of dualling sax and lead guitar. Magnificent. Musicians who can offer up this type of concert should be cherished. It was entertainment of the highest note, talking of which, Jamie Squire on keyboards aired his incredible pitch perfect voice in the encore of ‘Money for Nothing’, what a star.

It was a concert full of life and love and the audience were encouraged to take photos, videos and dance. They did the lot. Here’s to The Straits, I can’t imagine life without them.

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