Leave a Comment

  1. We were in the Grand Canal theatre for the first time last night. Sound was excellent where we were 9three rows from front).

    I’m not a fan of long winded “Its great to be back in Dublin…” ramblings, but some acknowledgement early on would have been nice as well as an occasional word about the origins or purpose of some of the songs. Very good set, except that I would have preferred to have Everyday in the B Holly collection. I’m not sure the banjo pieces were ideal for an encore. He should have finished with Vincent. He can still hit the high notes, especially in Crying. I was delighted to hear Homeless Brother one of his best songs.

    All in all a great night

  2. Dublin was my fourth concert so far on this year’s tour and Don still throws in a few surprises so each concert is pretty well unique. It is always difficult to fill a big venue on a Sunday and the upper circle was closed off for this show, even so there must have been about 1800 in attendance. The audience seemed to be in a Sunday kind of mood and, unusually for a Dublin crowd, they were a bit subdued but still everyone I spoke to said they had a great night and wanted Don back again soon.
    As usual Don tossed in some numbers with local appeal and we got Mountains of Mourne and a rip-roaring Johnny McAldoo. Don remembered the Clancy Brothers when he sang the latter but what he didn’t tell the audience was that when they recorded their Greatest Hits album in New York in 1973 Don backed the Clancys on guitar and banjo on 4 songs, including Johnny McAldoo. The Clancys were ecstatic as Don was a big star at that time and they were amazed when Don insisted they should only pay him the union rate for a session musician, the grand sum of $40 a day. They don’t make them like that any more, good on you Don.
    We also got a great performance of Genesis, I can’t recall hearing that in a while and also Ancient History which I name for a different reason. On Playing Favorites the young Don McLean sang in a very high key, giving the song a very distinctive sound. That key is not achievable now so it was interesting to hear it sung in today’s voice, still great of course. The other appealing thing about the original Ancient History was the steel pedal guitar which helped to create that distinctive sound. The current band can’t produce that sound so it is a case of getting used to a new version. Ancient History was written for Johnny Cash and he recorded it but such was Johnny’s condition at that time that he told Don when he visited his home in Hendersonville that he couldn’t even remember recording it at all!!

    The much sought-after banjo was brought out at the end of the concert but it was not not without its problems tonight. Even the best performers can falter now and then but Don shrugged it off and finished his banjo session in style with Masters of War, a firm favourite on this tour.

    Many thanks to Don and the band for another great concert, the setlist was as follows:-

    Buddy Holly Medley, Well Alright, Crying Waiting Hoping, Peggy Sue Got Married
    And I Love You So
    Love In My Heart
    Supermans Ghost
    Homeless Brother
    Empty Chairs
    In Merle Travis 3 finger picking style, That’s All Right Mama
    Key To The Kingdom
    Mountains Of Mourne
    Tulsa Time
    Ancient History
    American Pie and Encore (this has become one very big pie)
    Castles In The Air
    Johnny McAldoo
    Banjo Medley
    Masters Of War

    Must mention Lesley Roley who was excellent again and she got a great ovation from an appreciative Dublin audience.

    Bill N 2010

  3. A friend of mine (Michael) in Dublin sent me this excellent review of the Dublin show. it is so good that I am sure he would appreciate it being read by a wider audience.


    Just back in from what was another wonderful show from this man. I would say the theatre was about three quarters full (it holds just over 2,100). The last time I saw him in Dublin in the Olympia Theatre a couple of years back I thought Don treated some of the songs as throwaways and was going through the motions. He seemed a lot more focussed on the material and heart and soul was put into it tonight.

    Don took to the stage at 8.55 and first up was the Buddy Holly medley, thought the sound was dreadful and we were in for a bad night. However from the second song onwards after he asked for his own guitar to be raised in his monitor, the night took off. We were treated to a masterclass by a songwriter in fine voice. Stand out songs were Winterwood, Crying and an acapella Johnny McEldoo, after which he mentioned the Clancy Brothers who originally performed it. The two songs he played completely solo Empty Chairs and Vincent were worth the price of admission alone, awesome. Of course he played American Pie, complete with a guitar solo in the middle of it, why it has that I don’t know. After AP he and the band went off stage and when they came back for the encore he asked “you wanna hear that song again ?” and he proceeded to sing the first verse of AP again. Once again I ask why ?

    He then said he was going to do a few more numbers in the time he had left as he would not be back to us for a long time. So maybe the rumours of this being the final tour could have some truth. He finished up with a display of different types of banjo style, he played two instrumentals and then went into Masters of War by Dylan to end the evening. Two hours in total, great stuff. No meet and greet but I did see him later as I drove by on my way home, signing stuff for people at the tour bus which was parked beside the building.

    Set list

    Well Alright
    Crying ,Waiting, Hoping
    Peggy Sue Got Married
    And I Love You So
    Love In My Heart
    Superman’s Ghost
    Homeless Brother
    Empty Chairs
    Genesis (In The Begining)
    That’s All Right Mama
    I’ve Got The Key To The Kingdom (by Rev Gary Davis)
    Mountains Of Mourne
    Tulsa Time/Heart Of Texas
    Ancient History
    American Pie


    American Pie reprise
    Castles In The Air
    Johnny McEldoo
    Banjo Instrumentals
    Masters Of War


  4. A great night, as always, I have been going to Don’s concerts since the 1970’s…. and I am never disappointed. The new venue is not as intimate as the Olympia theatre, but very nice and the sound was great…


  5. Great to see Don Mclean still able to perform after all these years.Gripes not with the performance was flawless of the Don and his band.The sound system employed this New Venue’s theatre compared to established venues like o2,Olympia & Vicar Street was a let down. Certain songs were drown out with a lot of feedback and hiss in the location we were at.Maybe we were located too close to amplifiers but disconcerting all the same.Sound maybe ok for musicals as there was displayed of advertisements for musical products but really not sufficient or subtle enough for an individual or a bad to perform. The audience when trying to sing was drowned out by the musicians on stage overpowering the audience participation and maybe contributed to the lack of response in some parts by the audience.
    Hope that if Don McLean does play again it will be at the Olympia or the o2 or vicar street but not Grand Canal Theatre with it’s present sound set up.

  6. A new venue for Dublin audiences and a new venue for Don to play in, so what was it like ? Well for those who chose to stay away, they missed a great night. A mix of the famous songs, a few country numbers, Buddy Holly medley, we even got Johnny McEldoo and The Mountains of Mourne. Highlights for me were the McLean classics And I Love You So, Vincent, Winterwood, Empty Chairs. He talked about the Grammy Awards in 1970 when after ” losing 4 Grammys”, he ended up at Johnny Cash’s house with Roy Orbison. He followed this comment by singing an Orbison song called Ancient History and then he sang Crying ,never faltered on the high parts. Tried his best at times to get the crowd in singalong mode but they weren’t up for it, put this down to the venue which is not as intimate as either the Olympia or Vicar St. Finished up the set on the banjo, which he had difficulty tuning, played two tunes which he did not name and then did the Bob Dylan song Masters of War to end the night.

  7. Just got home after a great night at the Grand Canal Theatre. Don is just as good as ever and went through a wide range of songs, styles and some great banjo instrumentals. His keyboard man was brilliant and all his group contributed in great style. Don’t leave it too long in coming back to Dublin.

  8. My first Don McLean concert and I loved it. Really enjoyed the piano on American Pie, Dylan’s Masters Of War on banjo was fabulous and the singing was very very good throughout.

  9. I’m going with my brother tonight to see Don in the new Grand Canal Theatre. I’ve not been in the new venue before but I’ve heard lots of good things about it.

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 )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ 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 )


Connecting to %s