Watch 1980 Dire Straits Performance In German ‘Rockpop In Concert’ Show

The clip features the band performing ‘Down To The Waterline’ and ‘Lions’ at Westfalenhalle in Dortmund.

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Dire Straits on stage in 1980. Photo: Tom Hill/WireImage
Dire Straits on stage in 1980. Photo: Tom Hill/WireImage

The official Dire Straits YouTube channel has published a clip from the band’s performance on the Rockpop In Concert show in Germany on December 19, 1980, in footage licensed from ZDF Enterprises.

As the group’s profile on the world stage grew exponentially that year, the near-12 minute video (shared on YouTube last Friday, 20) shows them at Westfalenhalle in Dortmund, performing both “Down To The Waterline” and “Lions.” These were the opening and closing tracks respectively on their self-titled debut album, released some two and a half years earlier.

As in many other countries, Dire Straits were already a big attraction in Germany, where that album’s long shelf life gave it a No.3 peak, after a modest No.48 start. By 2020, Dire Straits had spent a total of 85 weeks on the German chart and is certified platinum there, as in much of Europe, with a succession of Top 5 peaks. It reached No.2 in the US in the spring of 1979, their second-highest peak behind 1985’s mighty Brothers In Arms.

Dire Straits - Down To The Waterline / Lions (Rockpop In Concert, 19th Dec 1980)

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The band’s sophomore album Communiqué had gone to No.1 in Germany and they were touring their third, Making Movies, at the time of the Rockpop In Concert performance. That On Location tour, which spread into 1981, had started with a vast run of shows in North America from early October to late November.

Listen to uDiscover Music’s Dire Straits Best Of playlist.

That leg of the tour had embraced two dates at the Roxy in Hollywood and another at New York’s Beacon Theater, before a UK leg including an initial night at London’s Rainbow and a performance for the BBC’s flagship rock show The Old Grey Whistle Test, before three more Rainbow concerts just ahead of the holidays, including one on Christmas Eve. The Dortmund show opened with “Once Upon A Time In The West,” from Communiqué, also featuring the new Making Movies album’s “Solid Rock.”

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