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  1. Well it was a great show on the Gold Coast – I didn’t get to meet Don but Tony Migliore was kind enough to take a photo back stage for me and Don was kind enough to autograph it! So I was very happy.

    My wife and I were in the front row right in front of Don and he gave us a few smiles and a wink as we sung along to his songs. (just quietly, I knew the words to every song)!!

  2. February 14th, 2011
    Jupiter’s Casino (sold-out show)

    I guess it helps being a major fan of the man but if Don comes your way, and you’re also a fan, jump at the chance.

    He was great. Sounded just like Don McLean when he spoke (which was often a reminder of why, I figure, he’s never been quite as big as his talent suggests he should be – he doesn’t play the game – he sure hangs it on some high-profile celebrities!) and when he sang (which was a relief!).

    Like Bob Dylan, he basically picks songs at random to play and the band (who would have to know a large part of his repertoire) start to play along (brilliantly, by the way).

    But unlike Dylan, who I’m also a fan of, you could understand every word he sang (which is important if the audience, including my mother, aren’t familiar with some of the songs).

    There was not one single dull moment. He’d been on for nearly two hours and I was thinking, gee, he’ll probably be going soon, when he started singing, “A long, long time ago…”.

    Honestly, if he hadn’t sung ‘American Pie’, I wouldn’t have noticed until afterwards such was the ‘you could hear the pin drop’ effect he’d had on the crowd for the whole performance.

    Fourth time I’ve seen him (’82, ’88, ’08 & ’11) . And only nine of the 21 songs he did this time did he do in 2008.

    Band: Tony Migliore (keyboards), Jerry Kroon (drums), Ralph Childs (bass), Vip Vipperman (lead guitar)

    He plays a Taylor guitar.
    If he’d sung ‘You Have Lived’, ‘Homeless Brother’ & ‘Crossroads’ at this show, I’d have easily given it 5 stars! 4.5 this time!

    A few – hitting that A note in ‘Crying’ bang on! ‘And I Love You So’, ‘Castles’. Definitely ‘Empty Chairs’. I gave him four standing ovations.
    Lotta Lovin’ (Gene Vincent; Chain Lightning – 1978)
    La La Love You (Homeless Brother – 1974)
    Winterwood (American Pie – 1971)
    If We Try (Don McLean – 1972)
    And I Love You So (Tapestry – 1970)
    Jerusalem (Believers – 1981)
    Superman’s Ghost (And I Love You So – 1989)
    Bronco Bill’s Lament (Don McLean – 1972)
    It Doesn’t Matter Anymore (Chain Lightning – 1978)
    Love Hurts (Believers – 1981)
    Crying (Chain Lightning – 1978)
    Fashion Victim (Headroom – 1991)
    Run Diana Run (Addicted To Black – 2009)
    Vincent (American Pie – 1971)
    Castles In The Air (Believers – 1981)
    Angry Words (River Of Love – 1995)
    Empty Chairs (American Pie – 1971)
    What Will The World Be Like (Love Tracks – 1987)
    That’s All Right (Elvis Presley)
    American Pie (American Pie – 1971)
    I Gotta Know (Elvis Presley)
    Support act was Monique Brumby. Very good.
    Very comfortable seats, plenty of leg room, little cup holders. View was very good. Sound was excellent.

  3. I discovered Don McLean as a teenager in the 80’s when I “borrowed” my aunties American Pie album. I played it to death struck by McLeans ability to tap into my own adolescent emotions and beliefs. His songwriting made the 80’s rot my friends and I listened to sound shallow and immature. His lyrics written a decade and more before had that timeless appeal people talk about. I still remember the boy who bravely sang Vincent to a crowd of unappreciative yobs at our high school Talent Quest. He like me understood. For the past 20 years I have seen the odd interview when McLean visited Australia and always vowed to see him in concert. I got my chance on Monday night. I dragged my husband along. His entire experience with McLean was singing American Pie loudly and badly along with the car radio mostly to annoy our kids. As I nervously watched the start of the show thinking had I built this experience up too much only to be disappointed, I realised that voice I had heard on my aunties record was in fine form and had been worth waiting for. Sometimes I closed my eyes and blocked out the grey hair and imagined that young face on that old record. I was not disappointed I was touched, entertained and glad that I had come. So was my husband which probably is the best recommendation of all that this was a great show. And yes he got to sing American Pie loudly and badly with the man himself. Can’t ever top that!

  4. I’ve never seen a Don McLean show that wasn’t good, very good (and I’ve seen quite a few), for he’s a master of live performance.
    But it’s also true to say that some shows just have an edge, a magic that is hard to quantify, and is so rare. Indeed, that’s what Don put on display on Monday night at Jupiter’s, a rare display of sheer magic and professionalism. Of course, the small and very comfortable theatre helped to make it a particularly intimate ‘lounge room’ type of experience but, from the very beginning, with the most low-key start I’ve ever seen as he strolled onstage and gave the audience a wave, a relaxed Don struck up an instant rapport with his audience.
    He told us we would experience a musical journey and he would be filling us in with little stories about the songs as he sang them.
    The first two ‘rocky’ numbers – Lotta Lovin and La La Love You
    (this was the first concert I been to in a long time that didn’t start with Buddy Holly)…soon gave way to some slower ones, Winterwood, If We Try (exceptionally beautiful on this occasion) and And I Love You So….the audience just loved this one, as always.
    Jerusalem, Fashion Victim and Run Diana Run woke us up at that point and Don then worked his way through a real mix of numbers of his own composition and many others, interspersing the singing with little and sometimes longer bits of chatting about music and life and the world in general, how he enjoyed Australia and especially the short time he’d got to spend on the Coast and how he and his wife now intended to travel a lot more because the children had grown up (“I’ll go anywhere they send me”). He got lots of little laughs and nods the whole way with certain comments he made and the lines of some songs that people obviously related to.
    Some songs as the night progressed – many of them with Don sitting, often solo or with minimal band – a truly beautiful and emotional rendition of It Doesn’t Matter Anymore (Buddy didn’t get forgotten), Love Hurts which was a warm up for a perfect Crying, Vincent, What Will The World Be Like, Angry Words, Castles, Empty Chairs and a long, sing-a-longy That’s Alright Mama before American Pie and the final….(”I’ll just do one more”) song Gotta Know. Don looked like he was having the best time and said so several times. So was I!
    Finally, the band was brilliant. Sometimes loud, sometimes very subtle but always perfect….you are all brilliant and compliment Don’s beautiful voice and melodies. No grand piano for Tony on this occasion but the keyboard was fine.
    To those going to the second Sydney show tonight, have a ball!
    I know you will. To Don and the band, see you in Melbourne on Saturday night. Can’t wait!

  5. Despite showing his age a little nowadays it was amazing to see that the “old pipes” don’t appear to have aged a day. A great voice, mesmerizing guitarist and wonderful songwriter!

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