Knopfler 'Sailing' On World Tour

Mark Knopfler -- best known as frontman of U.K.-arena rock act Dire Straits -- will launch a world tour with a March 27-28 stand at Mexico City's National Auditorium. The artist's first tour in more t

Mark Knopfler -- best known as frontman of U.K.-arena rock act Dire Straits -- will launch a world tour with a March 27-28 stand at Mexico City's National Auditorium. The artist's first tour in more than a decade comes in support of his second solo album, "Sailing To Philadelphia," released last fall by Warner Bros.

The extensive outing will take him through parts of South America, as well as much of North America and Europe before winding down July 31 in Moscow. Multiple-night stands are planned in the Philadelphia suburb of Upper Darby, New York, London, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Amsterdam, Brussels, and Paris.

Knopfler told Billboard last year that he's glad to leave behind the arenas and stadiums of past Dire Straits tours. "It got so big -- I just wanted to go and run away," he said of the band's years of playing the world's largest venues. "Playing in huge, great places all the time suits some people, and it's great -- good luck to them. I wouldn't say I felt out of place in it, but I never really dug it [like] a fix that I felt I needed to have... and I thought if I was going to improve as a writer and as a player, I was going to have to try to get myself into another situation."

Knopfler's touring band will feature Dire Straits keyboardist Guy Fletcher, who played on both of Knopfler's solo albums, as well as all of his forays into film soundtracks (which include "Wag The Dog" and "The Princess Bride"). Also along for the ride will be the musicians who formed the core of the band on the album -- drummer Chad Cromwell (Gary Allan, Steven Curtis Chapman), bassist Glenn Worf (John Anderson, Trace Adkins), and bluegrass guitarist Richard Bennett (Alabama, Bellamy Brothers). The line-up will be rounded out by guitarist Mike Bennett.

The 13-track "Sailing To Philadelphia," which features guest vocals by Van Morrison, James Taylor, Squeeze's Chris Difford and Glen Tilbrook, and Gillian Welch, has sold 286,000 copies in the U.S., according to SoundScan. The album debuted at No. 2 on Billboard's Top Internet Album sales chart and at No. 60 on The Billboard 200.

Here are Mark Knopfler's tour dates:

March 27-28: Mexico City (National Auditorium)
March 31, April 1: Buenos Aires, Argentina (Luna Park)
April 2: Montevideo, Uruguay (Teatro De Verano)
April 4: Porto Alegre, Brazil (Gigantinho)
April 6-8: Sao Paulo, Brazil (CrediCard Hall)
April 9: Rio De Janeiro (ATL Hall)
April 23: Boston (Orpheum Theatre)
April 24: Wallingford, Conn. (SNET Oakdale Theatre)
April 25: Washington, D.C. (DAR Constitution Hall)
April 26-27: Upper Darby, Pa. (Tower Theatre)
April 28: Newark, N.J. (New Jersey Performing Arts Center)
April 29-30: New York (Beacon Theatre)
May 2: Ottawa (WordPerfect Theatre)
May 3: Toronto (Massey Hall)
May 4: Detroit (Fox Theatre)
May 5: Rosemont, Ill. (Rosemont Theatre)
May 6: Milwaukee (Riverside Theatre)
May 7: Minneapolis (Orpheum Theatre)
May 12: Morrison, Colo. (Red Rocks Amphitheatre)
May 14: Seattle (Benaroya Hall)
May 15: Vancouver (Queen Elizabeth Theatre)
May 16: Portland, Ore. (Arlene Schnitzer Hall)
May 18: Berkeley, Calif. (Berkeley Comm. Theatre)
May 19: Las Vegas (Hard Rock Hotel - The Joint)
May 20: Los Angeles (Greek Theatre)
May 21: San Diego (Copley Symphony Hall)
May 23: Dallas (Bronco Bowl)
May 24: New Orleans (Saenger Theatre)
May 25: Birmingham, Ala. (Alabama Theatre)
May 26: Atlanta (Chastain Park Amphitheatre)
May 27: Nashville (Ryman Auditorium)
June 3-5: London (Royal Albert Hall)
June 7: Frankfurt (Festhalle)
June 8: Stuttgart, Germany (Schleyerhalle)
June 9: Vienna (Stadthalle)
June 10: Warsaw (Sala Kongresowa)
June 11: Berlin (I.C.C.)
June 13: Munich (Olympiahalle)
June 14: Erfurt, Germany (Messehalle)
June 15: Oberhausen, Germany (Oberhausen Arena)
June 16: Hamburg (Stadtpark)
June 17-19: Amsterdam (Heineken Music Hall)
June 23-24: Brussels (Forest National)
June 25-26: Paris (Le Zenith)
June 27: Lyon, France (Halle Tony Garnier)
July 5: Zurich (Hallenstadion Zurich)
July 17: Birmingham, U.K. (NEC Arena)
July 18: Brighton, U.K. (Brighton Centre)
July 19: Manchester, U.K. (Manchester Evening News Arena)
July 20: Glasgow, U.K. (Clyde Auditorium)
July 21: Newcastle, U.K. (City Hall)
July 23: Cologne, Germany (Cologne Arena)
July 25: Copenhagen, Denmark (Forum)
July 26: Oslo (Oslo Spektrum)
July 27: Stockholm (Small Globen)
July 29: Helsinki (Hartwall Arena)
July 30: St. Petersburg, Russia (Octlabrsky)
July 31: Moscow (Kremlin Palace)