Dire Straits

Old Waldorf (San Francisco, CA)

Mar 31, 1979

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  1. 1 Down To The Waterline 03:16
  2. 2 Once Upon A Time In the West 05:39
  3. 3 Lady Writer 03:49
  4. 4 Sultans Of Swing 06:14
  5. 5 Eastbound Train 04:00
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Mark Knopfler - lead guitar, lead vocals
David Knopfler - rhythm guitar
John Illsley - bass
Pick Withers - drums

Recorded in early 1979, this concert captures the original four-piece lineup of Dire Straits, before rhythm guitarist David Knopfler departed to pursue a solo career. Shortly thereafter, his brother, Mark, would take control of the band, and eventually parlay his piloting role into a successful solo career of his own.

Since no official live recording of the original band was ever released (though there have been some unofficial bootleg circulations), this five-song show is important as documentation of the beginning of Mark Knopfler's extraordinary musical talent. All the early hits are here, including "Lady Writer," "Down To The Waterline" and ,of course, "Sultans Of Swing," with Mark Knopfler's now distinctive extended guitar solo.

There is a noticeable lack of energy here, possibly because they knew the lineup was changing and simply wanted to finish the tour. It's hard to say. What's clear, however, is the fact that after Mark took over as official band leader, the group would go on to release two of the greatest studio albums of the 1980s: Making Movies and the legendary Brothers in Arms.