The group formerly known as Dire Straits will next make a stop at the Variety Playhouse in Atlanta’s Little Five Points neighborhood March 19.
The new outfit is comprised of original members Alan Clark (keyboard/producer) and Chris White (saxophone) and five hand-picked musicians — lead singer Terence Reis, drummer Steve Ferrone, bassist Mickey Féat, keyboard player Jamie Squire and guitarist Adam Phillips.
“We’d briefly considered using a lineup of ex-Dire Straits players — and believe me, there were plenty offers — but we decided to go our own way, to hand-pick the absolute best,” said Clark.
The newfangled crew’s playlist will primarily consist of classic Dire Straits hits like “Money for Nothing,” “Sultans of Swing,” “Romeo and Juliet” and “So Far Away.”
The erstwhile group shot to worldwide acclaim in the 1980s, earning multiple Grammys and selling more than 100 million albums. The band broke up briefly in the late ’80s and for good in ’95 when lead singer Mark Knopfler started a solo career.
“I see it as a continuation of Dire Straits more than anything else, really,” Clark said. “We’re playing Dire Straits the way they’d be playing it now.”
Based on the buzz — and numbers — generated by The Straits’ U.S. tour, audiences are eager to hear what Clark and Co. have to offer.
“As the exclusive U.S. agency behind this tour, we were overly thrilled with the response from buyers and the industry about these musicians being back together,” Brand Entertainment Agency Inc. President Greg Burns said in a statement. “We are very proud to be working with this legendary group of musicians.”
In regards to the band’s vaunted live show, band members say continuity is key.
The Variety Playhouse crowd can expect to bear witness to what others around the country have been getting — a two-hour set infused with equal parts familiarity and energy.
Dire Straits’ original following — those who bought tickets the last time they played Atlanta — aren’t the only ones who’ve been turning up for the latest tour.
“We see people who were fans of the bands in the ’80s and ’90s, but, we also get lots of young people who grew up listening to the parents’ records,” Clark said. “So, we’re getting a mixture of people, which is good.”
IF YOU GO:
o What: The Straits in concert
o Where: Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave., Atlanta
o When: March 19 at 8 p.m.
o Admission: $36
o Information: www.variety-playhouse.com