Dublin – Olympia Theatre October 20/21

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

14 thoughts on “Dublin – Olympia Theatre October 20/21

  1. great set tonight don, really blew us all away. thanks for coming to our little republic. we appreciated your taking the time to sign autographs after the show. you are a gent.

    good health to you always..

  2. brother saw you in the national stadium dublin ireland23/24 years a go he brought me to your show you have not lost it great show and your band are magic see you soon

  3. The show last night in the Olympia Theatre Dublin was a full house which also included the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese and her husband who watched the show from one of the boxes at the side which overlook the stage. We were treated to a masterclass in singer/songwriting from Don who was in great voice. So many highlights, the best of which were, Crying, Empty Chairs, If We Try, Vincent and The Mountains of Mourne. Don also did a few numbers on the banjo and the show lasted just over the two hour mark. Great stuff.
    No “meet and greet” and no cds/dvds on sale, which was a pity as he had a captive audience who would have been more than willing to part with their money for quality items. The usual suspects were hanging around the stage door as we left, but after the scrum that ensued the last time Don played that venue we decided to head home. Some tickets available for tonight, just might be tempted to go again, you can’t beat class.

  4. Dublin, Ireland
    21 October

    A bright sunny day greeted Don’s arrival by the Liffe for the first of two shows. The Olympia is in my mind one of the best venues for seeing Don. Old and dusty it may be, and the seats are damned uncomfortable – after two hours sat down I thought my knees were going to explode – but it certainly has atmosphere and a great sound.

    We were well back in the circle for this first show, albeit right in the centre. After the usual starter from Emily Macguire, whose set list I now know rather well, Don and the band came on just before 9 and played straight through for about 2 hours. As usual the sound was very good, much lower and more subtle than at many of the other venues and we got to hear much more of the band. Strangely, I was also much more conscious than ever before of Ralph’s backing vocals – not sure if he is singing louder or it was just the acoustics in the Olympia but it sounded good, so sing up Ralph!

    Don still seems to be struggling a little with his throat and went through a fair amount of ‘sweeties’ – I am constantly amazed by his ability to sing ‘Crying’ perfectly whilst eating butter scotch!! All the big songs were there which was great for the crowd although as always I would have been quite happy with a set drawn from ‘Tapestry’, ‘Don McLean’, ‘Prime Time’ and ‘Homeless Brother’! Not much in the show that I hadn’t heard at other shows, apart from a lovely ‘Love Hurts’ immediately preceding ‘Crying’. Of course, this being Ireland we got ‘Mountains of Mourne’ although we did also get that in Glasgow following a request from the audience. I still think Don should drop the re-singing of the start of AP. The song really doesn’t need it when it is already extended to at least 10 minutes with the middle instrumental (which I like, especially Tony’s thumping piano) and an extra chorus. The audience loves the singing and dancing opportunity, but I’d prefer some extra banjo please Don!!

    Talking of singing, certainly in the circle many of the audience decided to treat a lot of the songs as sing-a-longs. It was certainly amusing, if occasionally a little irritating, especially given Don’s often criticized habit of a delayed start to lines which meant that the audience invariably got there first! I haven’t heard as much unprompted singing at a Don concert in a long time. By the way, though many started Crying not many lasted till the end!!

    After the show we went to the stage door. For those not familiar with it, the stage door at the Olympia is in a narrow side street. There was a flotilla of three cars drawn up with a Mercedes at its head. There was also a surprising amount of Garda (police) around. Just when I had decided that Don had gone up in the world the door opened and I realized that it was the Irish President Mary McAleese. The crowd clapped politely as she got into the lead Merc and then the convoy swept away leaving the lane barren of motorized transport. Can’t wait to see Gordon Brown at the RAH 🙂

    A fair number of the crowd then also left, leaving a much smaller number of fans than I have seen on previous visits. Tony, Ralph and Jerry emerged and moved off quickly, presumably for a well earned meal. A slightly bemused looking Pat Severs then came out carrying his guitar in a case (obviously he didn’t trust theatre security!). He spotted us and we talked for about 10-15 minutes as he waited for a car that was meant to be there but wasn’t. He is a lovely fellow Pat and it was nice to get a chance to talk. We didn’t miss the chance to tell him to ask Don for more banjo, a concept he was happy to embrace. He said he couldn’t understand why Don did not play it more as he was one of the best banjo players he had ever played with. He also said that Don often plays the banjo for an extended period in sound checks! Aaaargh!!!!

    Finally an extremely ordinary Dublin taxi arrived, the sort that has a bent clothes hanger for an aerial. Don emerged and signed a few autographs before he and Pat departed – without the benefit of a police escort!!

    Tonight we have front row seats so the legroom should be a bit better and we will be able to see the whites of the band’s eyes, and check that Emily doesn’t actually run on castors!! Maybe as it is the second night Don will play around with the repertoire a little – dare I suggest no La La love You…… 🙂 Maybe we will be close enough to even make a few requests!

  5. Having just returned from holiday in Iceland with a weekend in Dublin tagged on to the end I haven’t had the chance to read any of the earlier concert reviews until tonight. I have to admit to being surprised by some of the comments.

    Having been a Don McLean fan since the heady days of American Pie, I first saw him play live at Preston Guildhall in 1973, I do find it hard to be impartial, the man can do no wrong in my eyes. However since 1976 my companion at Don McLean concerts has been my dear husband who whilst appreciating Mr McLean’s music doesn’t usually feel the need to leap to his feet the moment the great man comes on stage or at the first line of American Pie!

    Dublin is a favourite concert venue of ours, be that Bruce Springsteen at RDS or Don McLean at the Olympia Theatre. Maybe it’s the Guinness and the Paddy’s Whisky but the Irish crowds don’t hang back. In all the Don McLean concerts we’ve been to and there been many (very many!) I think I’d put the concert at the Olympia Theatre in 2005 as one the very best, the crowd was with Don all the way, on their feet and rocking from the outset.

    Last night’s concert was certainly very different, every Don McLean concert is different and surely this is why many fans are serial concert attendees! Don responds to the audience, let’s face it if only a few of the audience, usually the ones who are old enough to know better (!), leap to their feet for a “bop” during American Pie it probably gives him the clue that the majority that evening will appreciate the more melodic numbers. Certainly where we were sitting in row C the presence of Mary McAleese affected and distracted some of the audience and by the noise coming from some discreet “walkie-talkies” towards the end of the show several members of the audience were there because it was their job and not because they necessarily shared their employer’s taste in music. Actually I think it shows Mrs M has great taste!

    In short Dublin last night for me shows Don McLean is still at his peak and as receptive to his audience as ever. Now as that very dear husband of mine who not only agreed to fly straight out to Dublin at the end of our holiday, as well as agreeing to the concert at the Royal Albert Hall on Friday, has surprised me with tickets for Brighton, I’m looking forward to two more amazing and different concerts.

    I’ll have my fingers crossed on Friday as I’ve promised that same very dear husband that there’ll be Babylon on the banjo ….PLEASE Don!

  6. I had the pleasure of seeing Don perform on Saturday night in the Olympia. I was seated in Row D, almost the same place as when I attended the 2005 show. Fortunately there was no one seated in the few seats in front of me and I had a perfect view of all on stage. Unfortunately the craic seemed better on the other side which was packed, more dancing and clapping.
    As before, in 2005, I was blown away by the music and atmosphere in the theatre. It certainly is a great venue. During songs like Winterwood, Crossroads and Empty Chairs the rest of the theatre just drifted away and it felt like nothing else existed. Many other songs made me want to dance but, sorry Don, I was a bit nervous about that and only stood up at the end.
    I loved the encore and the banjo which many other concert go-ers did not have the pleasure of hearing. Don and Pat are brilliant playing together.
    I read all the reviews in the last fews weeks of all Don’s concerts. I believe the band are brilliant and I particularly love Pat Severs on guitar.
    I would have stayed all night listening to Don and his band. I hope it is not too long before they come back to the Olympia.

  7. In Mars I bought my tickets for this weekend.
    6 months later, 6 of my friends and me went on a plane in Norway friday, heading for a Dublin-weekend until monday. My friends all now fully understand my enthusiasme for this brilliant artist. Saturday we were all amazed by the faboueles Olympia Theater and its atmosphere. A fantastic evening with a brilliant Don. For the first time in my life, I got to hear “Vincent” played with Pat Severs on his Dobro slide guitar…. An we got them all good songs, as those masterpieces they are…. We had a faboueles evening i Dublin.
    Sunday:
    I went back in the boxoffice an bought the last ticket for this evening consert to… Don was just as brilliant again this day. “Vincent” was played earlier in the show, today with Pat Severs back on his regular lead guitar. I did not hear “Crossroads” on sunday…?? I did not either hear “Just the 3 of us..”( if that’s the name of the song) That good story about that old famuly photo, and that good song just hit my heart… And I agree; Those banjo-performances are just amazing. My friends said; ” That brilliant singer, don’t need a band…”

    I met Don in Herning, Denmark 2 yers ago, on a early sunday morning.
    This week end I was lucky again. I’ve got 2 Don McLean conserts i 2 days.
    Thank you sir. And thank you Dublin.

    Rune from Norway.

  8. I played the irish national events centre in killarney a few times and so i know my way around, i went backstage in the hope id get a picture with the legendary don, he was most gracious to me, acknowledging the fact that it took guts to ask him in the first place, i spoke to him and i told him i was a singer massively influence by him and that right now i was performing elvis tribute shows, which i do with some of elvis origional groups and a band from the usa called the exspence account showband, he smiled when i told him we were re creating the 1972 madison sq garden concert on nov 9th and 10th to sell out crowds and that he would get a royalty payment from this strange looking guy in his dressing room for singing elvis version of AND I LOVE YOU SO, meeting don was such a great pleasure and he smiled when i said i owned a martin dm and that i knew it was his 62nd birthday, i had all the weavers material i could get and his entire collection on cd/dvd/ and vhs.
    he asked what inec stood for, i told him IRISH NATIONAL EVENTS CENTER…
    he said ill sign your autograph now but come back at 845 just before i go on for the photo, ill have my black shirt and guitar around my neck.#
    i sang the opening to CASTLES IN THE AIR as i left, my favourite song of all time…
    came back and got the photo later…
    i watched dons show and to quote him, SOMETHING STRUCK ME DEEP INSIDE…
    i made up my mind that night, just like don did at the weavers re union he attended in leu of his prom night, that i would pack up doing elvis tribute shows and put pen to paper and write my own truth, well i came home that night and i cried tears of joy, this TROUBADOR who came to my home county of kerry in ireland awakened in me that which only he could have done, he killed me softly, yes i will play to 4000 people on nov 9th and 10th but i long for the day i come back and play to the crowd with my own songs, in my home the picture is double mounted and framed in beautiful gold frame and i wouldnt trade a million dollars for it.
    thank you don, for being clear, true, down to earth, and for teaching us of this generation what being a troubador is all about.
    thank you don and please return to killarney soon.
    mark leen tralee co kerry ireland

  9. Great show on Sunday night too – even if we didn’t have the President!
    We were sitting in a box and got lots of pictures.
    Really enjoyed a truely great performance.

    Don
  10. Have been nipping over to Ireland for the past 6 yrs since Don hasnt been to mainland England for a while,so this tour i got tickets for 2 concerts in the UK,2 in Dublin.What a Fab time i have had,all front row seats! I love Dons voice more now than ever,love the songs he sings,loved the return of the Banjo,love the Band. Dont think of retiring yet Don-and bring that banjo with you! He sang so beautifully ‘Oh my,what a shame’ from the DM album-just pure pleasure to listen to. He kept joking on Sunday how we need to think of it as a saturday night so we could enjoy it more rather than thinking it was work tomorrow. I like to hear the little stories he tells from his life and about the songs. Keep on touring Don- we love you over here.

  11. Great to hear Don again in the Olympia, and, at last he brought his banjo with him…. brought me back to the National Stadium Concerts where it was a regular guest……again, I left feeling a part of the concert and not just a listener, looking forward to the next tour.

    Ann

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s