Manchester, UK The Bridgewater Hall – October 9th

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

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  1. I saw Don in concert in Manchester 34 years ago this very same month, he was fantastic then and is still now. I recall that as I was driven home then I cried all the way home.I loved Don and his music so much and I thought I would never see him again.34 years later I’m still here with many concerts attended over the years and still love Don and his music so much.
    This time I smiled all the way home as I drove my self, son and friends home knowing that I’d see Don again on Saturday. You know its a wonderful feeling seeing Don in concert but when you know that you have only few days to wait to see him again its just fabulous.

    It was another beautiful hall, Don always comments on his surroundings and whilst the sound wasn‘t perfect it was a 100% improvement on Birmingham. The crowd loved Don and Don loved them in return. Dons concerts are never the same and I feel that Don truly feels the emotion from his audience and they were definitely with him tonight. He thanked the fans of Manchester and fondly remembers walking out on to stage when Vincent had just become No1 he said he was blown away .
    I never expect Don to sing any particular song .We all have our favourites but I just appreciate the fact that he is prepared to travel so far, leave his family and
    Afterwards he patiently and warmly greeted all fans and signed many things, I told him when it was my turn that “you were pure magic tonight “ to be rewarded with the gorgeous smile is fabulous .He seemed to have less difficulty with his voice tonight, not having to suck any candy and we were treated to Crying just beautiful and the range in Dons voice never ceases to amaze and thrill me.
    My 17 year old son came with me, he said afterwards what fabulous stage presence he has and inspired by seeing Don and the extremely talented band I had to tell him to go to sleep at 2.00 am as he lay in bed playing his guitar.
    Pat Severs on the dobro deserves a particular mention too.Pat you are brilliant .
    Then that banjo came out Hurrah!How many years have we waited , been told by Don some years that he wasn‘t a very good banjo player, who is he trying to kid! He is still as good as he was all those years ago.

    Thanks Don for giving us such a great concert in Manchester and lifting me on to Cloud 9 .

  2. Another great concert. I have seen Don many times since 1973 and first time at the BH. I was sat on the front row of the circle and the sound was bit iffy, but Don was in good form and back back to his old self , he seems a lot happier these days. I think the sound problem is the hall, rather than the ‘sound- man’. I went to a Nanci Griffith concert there last year and it was the same. Maybe the ‘Lowry’ next time he visits!

    But nothing could spoil a DM concert.

    PS. When is he going to get rid of his ‘comb -over.’ I’m the same age and have gone bald gracefully. ( my wife’s comments not mine)

  3. This was a truly great concert. Admittedly the sound mix was at times not the best but that shouldn’t detract from the fact that Don and his band were in fine form. Don’s voice and guitar playing didn’t disappoint and the way he took requests after American Pie was staggering! We loved the banjo/guitar section in the finale and it was clear Don was having a blast,too. I was lucky to have been there and am envious of those who will see him later in the tour.

    PS Emily McGuire also deserves credit for her set and for the delightful way she chatted and signed CDs in the interval.

  4. Bill Hamilton you are a gentleman .Thank you so much for posting to “put the record straight “.
    I am totally incapable of posting a review so soon after a concert.It’s too hard for me to come down from cloud nine having been to two concerts in two nights and having shook Dons hand and been acknowleged by him as the girl who always brings him a rose and then receiving the warmest of smiles when I told him he was Pure Magic.I’ll write a real review later.
    Looking forward to Liverpool on Saturday .

  5. I went to the concert at the Bridgewater Hall and stayed over at Jurys hotel with my partner Julie.
    I have been a fan and seen him many times over the last 35 years or so starting with his concert at the Odeon Manchester 2 nights after Vincent first went to No 1 in the charts.
    Really enjoyed the concert but selfishly would have loved him to sing a few more of his own songs especially hte likes of Tapestry, 1967 and If we try etc.
    However the concert was great and it got better the next morning when he cam down for breakfast in the same hotel.I waited till he had finished eating and then and then politely asked him if I could talk to him for 5 minutes . It was a special time for me , we talked about many things and then I had my photograph taken with him in the hotel foyer.
    Trying to get tickets for the Roayal Albert Hall later in the month which would be special.
    Thanks Don for a wonderful 35 years of great music, lyrics and songs

  6. The phrase ‘you can’t please all of the people all of the time’ seeems apposite today!

    The reviews for each of the shows have everything from Don being in great voice and the sound being perfect to Don being unable to perform Vincent adequately! So where is the real ‘truth’? As ever, probably somewhere between those two extremes.

    I may be the only audience member who was at Cardiff, Birmingham and Manchester. Unfortunately I didn’t sit in the same position at each and the content of the shows was of course not the same each time. That fact in itself must pose a problem for the soundman. How does he (or maybe it’s a she!) know whether Don is about to do a rock number with the band or an a cappella ‘Stardust’?

    I was responsible for the initial comments about problematic sound quality, based on Cardiff (sitting in stalls M, I think). It was hard for me to make those comments, and I drew some criticism for it, but I don’t see much point in writing if it is not to express your true opinion.

    Birmingham for me was much better, especially after the audience bravely intervened and got Don’s voice raised (I was on the ‘circle ledge’ i.e. at the side, for that show).

    At Manchester I was in front stalls Row D on the right hand side and for me that was easily the best for sound, although in retrospect I realise I didn’t hear Tony’s piano too well.

    Most of the halls Don is playing on this tour are major orchestral halls, and I think part of the problem may be that they are ‘too good’ acoustically and not designed for amplified music. Unfortunately I have never heard Don in any of these halls before – we might get a better comparison at Liverpool where many of us have heard him before.

    But to keep things in perspective, I haven’t exactly seen the audiences staging massed walkouts. Each show I have been too has drawn warm applause at the conclusion of each song, standing ovations at the end, and long lines to meet Don so either most people enjoyed the show or they are adopting double standards.

    There are several things I do know (or maybe believe is a better word) from 35 years of listening:

    1. Don has a superb voice
    2. The band are each highly professional players, and committed to giving Don the best backing in their power.
    3. No-one will be more concerned than Don and the band if there are problems.
    4. I NEVER want to be Don’s soundman!

    Finally, I don’t agree that Don ‘whinged’ about people leaving before the guitar/banjo section in Manchester. His attitude seemed to me to be that the main concert with the ‘big songs’ was over, that he was indulging himself a little, and that he wouldn’t be at all offended if people left. He had a broad smile on his face at the time and I didn’t actually see many leave.

    Personally, I’d sooner miss the train and walk home than miss a session where when Don starts moving to acoustic guitar and banjo picking, but the world would be a boring place if we were all the same!

    Hope everyone in Newcastle enjoys the show and looking forward to Liverpool, Sheffield and Glasgow next week!

  7. Well we had central front row seats and the sound was OK ( except for the drums and occasionally the Steinway ) but most important was that it was a great concert ( With 2.5 or more American Pies what else could it be ! ) ranging from a tear-jerking Vincent through In The Museum and Fashion Victim ( Inspired track list with those 2 standing out ). It was far far better the the Free Trade Hall concert all those years ago and more than made up for the Tatton Park fiasco

  8. I have to agree with Chris Stern (above): the sound mix at the Bridgewater Hall on 9 Oct was AWFUL. No excuse for that at a venue as good as the BH!
    But then, the singing (or, as Chris notes, what we could hear of it) wasn’t too good either. When will singers realise that slowing down the delivery of song lyrics does not enhance their “impact”; it merely results in a loss of timing (dropping a bar) during each verse. “Vincent” (a great song) was performed at a snal’s pace.
    To add insult to injury, McLean whinged when those of us tried, discreetly, to leave just before he hit the banjo. Sorry, Don, but I’m not about to miss the last tram home to stay and listen to poorly sang, badly-mixed music. You and your songs deserve better than that. Roll on to Richard Thompson next week. Now there’s a man who NEVER fails to deliver the goods . . .

  9. I saw Don on at Plymouth Pavilion just a few years ago and recall similar problems with the sound then. Too loud, drowning out Don’s voice, which after all is the main attraction, for me at least. Let’s hope Don gets to see these concerns & can address them! Looking forward to the Bristol show regardless.

  10. Don
    So looking forward to your gig in Dublin on 20th , really do want to enjoy your fabulous voice live .
    I have been tracking the comments on your UK concerts to date and am concerned at the level of dissatisfaction with the sound system,on tour , particularly the suggestion that the band are too loud and drowning out your voice . No doubt they are all consumate musicians and as such should complement your performance not overpower it .
    Hope someone takes peoples comments / concerns on board to optimise the Don McLean experience ’07 .
    Until Dublin

  11. Don Mclean was in excellant voice on his first visit to a full house at the Bridgewater Hall.He said that the sound of the Hall was fantastic and as the home of the Halle Orchestra so it should be. He was on stage for almost two hours,commencing with Singing the Blues and closing the evening with two banjo instrumentals for which Don received the applause he deserved.
    Main criticism was that at times his backing was too loud and Don is either aware, or should be made aware of this.
    Don has visted Manchester since 1973 and has appeared with a small orchestra and on one occassion on his own with just his guitar/banjo.
    Thanks Don for giving your Manchester fans an evening to remember and I hope you enjoyed the evening as much as your fans did.

    In closing I must mention Emily Maguire the supporting artist. She sang some tuneful songs but as somebody at a previous concert mentioned,you can’t hear her lyrics. Possibly she should be performing in a Folk Club.
    She comes across better on a House video which you can watch on You Tube.
    BILL H

  12. I have to agree with Chris Stern. The sound was awful and it ruined what would have otherwise been a great gig. The last 40 minutes without the rest of the band almost made up for it though.

  13. What a great night in Manchester last night, we were lucky to have front row seats at the concert, the sound was perfect and Don was realy enjoying himself, as were the nearly full audience.

    I thought that they were going to have to drag him off at the end as he was clearly having a good time.

    Looking forward to seeing him at the Albert Hall next, thank you for the memories and music.

  14. Saw Don last night in Manchester – what a fantastic show and what a great musician. Concert ran well over time and it was good to see a true artist enjoying himself and giving everyone in the audience so much pleasure.

  15. My wife son Adam and I went to see Don last night and had a fantastic evening. Don’s voice is richer than ever and shows how much he loves music and Manchester too.
    Thank you Don for having the time to say a few words to my son while signing his CD. Adam was a successful Uni student getting Bsc 2.1 honours. However in January he had a break down and listen to Don’s work again but this time with understand with Vincent and Crossroads reducing everyone to tears. We could see those words in our son being very real.
    Thankfully his mum and the staff of St Luke’s along with Don’s songs brought in through the worse in 8 weeks
    Thanks Don

  16. I’ve seen Don over 20 times going back to RAH 1973 and including shows in the USA. I once saw him 4 nights in a row (1975) As a performer myself I’ve been greatly influenced by Don’s music and his live performances. I’m very sorry to say that tonight the sound was AWFUL. I was in a very good seat bang in the middle of row J and it sounded like a bad gig in a church hall. With a full band you couldn’t hear Don’s vocals clearly and yet on Crossroads the keyboard was too quiet and seemed to be way off to the left. His Martin guitar sounded like it needed a preamp and somebody to give it some EQ. At the end of the show when sat down and in particular when he picked up his banjo we got a reminder of the vintage Don, the consummate entertainer. I’m really really sorry to write this but maybe somebody can tell the sound guys????

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