Birmingham, UK Symphony Hall – October 8th

If you’re lucky enough to have attended this show then please feel free to post your comments/review below.

Photos can be sent to email and we will endeavour to post them on the site.

11 thoughts on “Birmingham, UK Symphony Hall – October 8th

  1. I saw Don McLean for the first time ever in Birmingham tonight, I have loved his songs and voice for so long, he was superb. At the end of the show his CDs sold out in minutes, I was not able to buy one but waited and he signed his autograph for me, I told him I thought he was a “legend” and I truly think he is …….Thank you Don for the music . . . .

  2. Having had the privilege of attending last night’s
    concert in Birmingham I can only say that Don is sounding superb, and seemed to be really enjoying the concert. The play list was a grand mixture of old and new, and there was more banter and conversation during the evening than I think I have ever heard. However the god is mortal – for the first time ever I noticed a slip in lyrics – but well recovered and with a smile!
    The band were great, especially Pat, and Don was generous with the time he spent signing and talking to fans after the show. The highlight for me…..Crossroads, suddenly I was back 35 years, 1972, a teenager full of hope. As track followed track it all brought back amazing memories. Thank you Don for providing the music of my life.
    God Bless
    Lesley

  3. Dubious sound mix for first 30 mins – one of the great, sweet voices of the last 50 years buried under a swirling layer – come on sound man! Things picked up from Castles In The Air. Tulsa Time/Heart Of Texas rocked well. Vincent could lose the dobro noodlings – less is more chaps. Masters Of War on banjo was awesome. Keep going Don – y’all come back now!!!!

  4. I’ll keep my comments today brief because others have already said most of it.

    I feel vindicated now in my comments about the sound at Cardiff. At Birmingham I was off to the side and in the circle so slightly raised and I didn’t think the sound initially was anything like as bad as it was in Cardiff. I am sticking to my guns here, the sound in Cardiff was close to appalling from where I was sat though I realise that not all seats get the same sound and the whole thing has to be balanced.

    After about six songs in Birmingham some people (it seemed to me in the stalls) said that they were unable to hear Don. After he established that they were actually telling him something and not simply yelling requests Don quickly got the sound man to raise his voice in the mix – and what an improvement!! Finally we could really start to here those glorious tones without straining and I for one was relieved!! Well done those who did the yelling…it takes bottle to interrupt a performer like that but we all benefitted.

    The show followed similar lines to Cardiff until about half way. At this point the Cardiff show veered (I’m tempted to say careered but I am already in enough trouble!) towards rock whereas Birmingham went down the cowboy/Josh White/Woody Guthrie/folksy route. It will come as no surprise to those who know me that I much prefer the latter. Plenty dobro tonight, though like a previous poster I didn’t think it fitted with ‘Vincent’ at all. I know I am not alone in favouring NO accompaniment at all on that song.

    Astonishingly Don messed up the lyric on ‘Crossroads’ – only about the second or third time I have ever heard him make such a noticeable gaff on any song. He clearly couldn’t believe it himself as I saw him turn to Tony at the end of the song shaking his head as if to say ‘how the hell did THAT happen!’ The brain is a funny thing – you can be lyric perfect in a song like ‘The Ballad of Billy the Kid’ which I have only heard him do 2 or 3 times yet screw up on a song that you do every night!! The performer’s equivalent to suddenly realising you have gone wrong in driving a route you go every day!!

    Great to hear ‘Bronco Bill’ and ‘Jerusalem’ and of course the banjo encore though I think Masters of War is an odd song to finish on, brilliant thought it is to listen to it again. No ‘Crying’ tonight…Don is having a bit of trouble with the dry air I think so maybe didn’t feel up for it…or maybe he just forgot. 🙂

    So off to Manchester….whaich guise will Don adopt tonight?? I think one thing is certain…he will be checking that sound carefully and I bet he checks with the audience early whether it is ok. I am near the front, so I’d rather it wasn’t TOO loud chaps!!

    PS I warmed more to Emily Maguire last night, probably because I could hear her lyrics! Very listenable and well worth your trouble getting there early for – note that last nights show started at 7.45 despite the ticket saying 8, presumably to give a little more time (close to 2 hours for Don) and on the basis that ‘no support’ appears on most of the tickets so it is really a bonus.

  5. the sound was wrong, it didn’t enhance any song and let down some. it’s not a problem with the band who are top musicians. also why not more don mclean classics? i love his best music – not interested in western music.

  6. We talked to some of the backroom staff after the Birmingham gig. I asked about the impaired sound balance. To my amazement it was said to be the fault of the accoustics at the Symphony Hall. This may in part absolve the sound engineer but places the responsibility firmly in the lap of the tour and artist management who choose the venues. They are presumably quite happy to receive their cut of the £33.00 I paid for a goulash of noise.

  7. Having spent the first half hour totally in awe of the man Ihave adored for 34 years (I was 9 years old when i first heard “THE album”.. I realised that it was not my dodgy right ear causing the problem with the sound I was getting…I was in row 4 of the stalls, slightly to the right and Don was WAY back in the mix…A few people tried to tell Don that they could not hear him well but he wasnt sure what they were saying, and was about to carry on, so I took a deep breath and shouted “LOUDER PLEASE DON!” and thankfully he heard me and had the sound increased and..what a difference it made to the rest of the night! (never thought I would ever interrupt my hero live on stage!)

    The suprising highlight for me was a wonderfully arranged Bronco Bill’s lament which i had forgotten in the mists of time..what a simple but timeless, classic song.

    So, some love the old classics,some love the cowboy,and some love the old cover songs..So lets have a poll to see what would make a fans ultimate live concert track list..I think that it would be a very interesting exercise for all of us..and for Don to perform it?…Well I’ll keep dreaming until the next tour..

  8. I have loved your music and charisma since American Pie. This was the fourth time I have seen you in Birmingahm ….. you still have the same magic, purity of tone, and stage presence that is so captivating.
    However, I was not a fan of you support act, and felt that she could have introduced herself more fully, ie, her style of music and purpose of being your support act!!!
    I was also very disappointed about the lack of any programmes of the concert as I have kept previous ones as souvenirs.
    However, it was a fantastic concert, and I hope to be able to see you again one day!!!

  9. I was so thrilled when this tour was announced to know that I’d be able to get to more than one concert, having waited nearly two years to see Don again I was just glad when the concert finished that this wasn’t my only concert of the tour otherwise I would have been bitterly disappointed.
    I am eternally grateful to the brave soul who called out to Don that we couldn’t hear him after what seemed like a life time of listening to his muffled voice. How can it be in such a splendid hall that the sound can be so poor and why oh why did it have to be the night that Don was on. Don kindly suggested he start again which would have been great if he could have .Considering Dons voice was obviously causing him some discomfort he told us he needed to suck a candy whist he sang [how does he do that? ] he still sang and played his way through a brilliant eclectic mix of songs with some very beautiful songs in there such as to Have and to Hold and it was lovley to hear Dons new song “The Three of US” having read the words in the biography, very moving.
    The band as always compliment Don and as much as I’d love to see him Solo he obviously loves having the support of some very brilliant musicians who quite clearly too are good friends as well.
    Don loves to play with his voice and use it like another instrument and I just go weak at the knees when he sings those very low notes. My sister who came with had not seen Don since 1973 told me afterwards he was just as good as she remembered.
    What a treat we had as the encore was Masters of War on the banjo from a real master. Looking forward to the other concerts very much.

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