Australian Tour – August 2013

Don McLean - Australia 2013
Don McLean – Australia 2013

If you were lucky enough to attend a show then please leave a comment or review below. You can also upload your own photos.

8/15/2013 Win Ent, Centre – Wollongong (near Sydney)
8/16/2013 Wrest Point Ent Centre – Hobart
8/17/2013 Hamer Hall Melbourne –
8/19/2013 Concert Hall Perth –
8/21/2013 Thebarton Theatre – Adelaide
8/23/2013 Opac Concert Hall – Brisbane
8/24/2013 The Events Centre – Caloundra
8/25/2013 Tweed Heads – Twin Towns, Gold Coast
8/29/2013 Canberra Theatre – Canberra
8/30/2013 Enmore Theatre – Sydney
8/31/2013 Evan Theatre – Penrith


Leave a Comment

  1. Saw Don in Canberra…absolutely sensational….I thought the lead guitar was a bit overpowering at times. Particularly in Winterwood….made it sound country with slide guitar.
    However when Don does solo accoustic it touches your soul……WOW!!!!
    I wonder if Don has ever thought of covering some of Harry Chapins songs….I would love to hear him do Taxi & Sequel.

  2. Don, thoroughly enjoyed your concert at the Enmore Theatre on the 30th. Castles In The Air & I Love You So were performed beautifully. Little Sister, excellent, and True Love Ways was a surprise, a gem of a song. What else would he have written in that direction had he lived? My family, six of us, were in the 4th row and all agreed, five stars and a koala bear stamp for a great show. I thought you handled the night with great humour and skill. We came to see a legend and were not disappointed. Thanks for playing and hope your feeling better.

  3. Sydney and Penrith

    The life of a troubadour is not always straightforward.

    It doesn’t matter how much planning goes into a tour, the one thing everyone dreads is that the star is incapacitated in some way. This is particularly so on the second last night of a tour to the other side of the world. There was some slack in the touring timetable (Don and the band were on Aussie soil for close to 3 weeks to play 11 dates) but that spare time had already passed. Even if a change of date had been possible, it is likely that many of the audience couldn’t have attended anyway.

    So Don took the decision to try and perform In Sydney. From his opening note it was clear he had a major throat problem which he was honest in stating up front (though it couldn’t be concealed). For an hour and forty minutes Don drew on every ounce of experience to try and deliver a show. The audience hung with him loyally and I didn’t see anyone leave, indeed he left the stage to a standing ovation. However, casting emotion aside, it would be dishonest of me to say that I felt the decision to proceed was proved correct.

    I suspect that like me, most of the audience were torn between love and respect for Don as an artist built up over many years and a realisation that this performance was compromised to such an extent that, brave and admirable though it was, it shouldn’t have taken place. I know that Don started out honestly thinking that he could ‘sing his way out of it’ and that his voice would warm up, but it unfortunately only got worse.

    But let’s keep things in perspective. It was only a concert gone wrong. No-one died and we move on. To nearby Penrith as it happens, on the very next evening. Whilst Don was not completely cured, and the volume knob had to be trimmed back somewhat, he was able to sing as opposed to essentially talking his lines. Not in the circumstances a classic show but certainly an interesting and varied one which included all the hits, with the obvious exception of Crying. Also it was great to hear the rarely performed Sea Man.

    So fate dictated a slightly low key end to what was otherwise a brilliant tour. I realise that some in the Sydney audience will feel short-changed and I hope that some form of recompense can be made and that they can see a ‘real’ performance in the future. For me, I make the long journey home with a case load of wonderful memories, not to mention dirty laundry!

    My thanks to Don and the band for giving me the impetus to visit the land down under, and to everyone else who made this the trip of a lifetime, fulfilling my dream of seeing Don perform on four continents.

    All the ‘hard travelling’ was definitely worth it. 🙂

  4. As a die-hard Don McLean fan of 40 years, I’m amazed this hasn’t happened many more times. I’ve been very lucky to go to many, many (lost count) concerts here and in the U.K. and I’ve always had a wonderful experience. As some of those concerts have involved long distance travel and hotel stays I’m sure that I’d have been far more disappointed if a show had been cancelled at short notice as there’s no guarantee that a rescheduled date would suit everyone anyway and the concert venues are always booked up so it’s not easy to change plans quickly. I suspect that far more people would have been disappointed if the show had been cancelled at the eleventh hour as that would have still involved a lot of expense. What a dilemma to have, knowing that you can’t please everyone. Well done to Don for soldiering on. We love you and get well soon. xx

  5. What a disappointment the Enmore Theatre show on Friday 30 August 2013 in Sydney was.
    I concur with all the previous comments about the show, which should have been rescheduled due to illness. Post any live music event there is usually an evident buzz in the air but the show was boring, poorly staged and the reason we were all there struggled through a very low key set list, with the band barely used.
    Refunds or tickets to another performance should be offered, as continued apologies from a poorly performing artist, who I had so looked forward to seeing deliver a stellar performance just doesn’t cut it.
    Over to to you…the concert goers of Sydney look forward to your response.

    1. I agree – whilst he was very gracious and apologetic it was extremely disappointing. A pity a decision wasn’t made to cancel or postpone.

  6. Saw Don Mclean last night at The Enmore Theatre in Sydney and as much as he gave it his best shot, I feel that the show should have been postponed altogether. The night out was for a birthday present for my husband and we took two friends along with us. Don defiantly gave it his best shot considering he had an obvious vocal problem due to an allegie to wattle. He kept apologising through out the whole night which was nice of him but if he new that his voice was affected the promoter should have postponed for another night, I hope tonight’s concert is better. The range of songs he sang were a little disappointing because he was catering to the small vocal range that he had. A bit sad when he spoke the words to American Pie and had to get the audience to keep the melody of the song going. Also Vincent was no where near the performance that it should have been. On the whole very disappointing concert especially since we have been bought up on his classic songs all our lives, four very disappointed fans.

  7. I was at the Sydney concert and couldn’t help but wonder why the date wasn’t rescheduled due to illness.

    The dates for Australia were so packed in that this may have made it impossible, so clearly someone should have allowed for a few days’ rest now and again, and room for movement.

    Some of the ballads were sung OK but when Don almost ‘read out’ the lyrics to American Pie rather than singing the song, it was clear that this concert should not have happened that night.

    Get well soon Don.

  8. The concert in Canberra was everything I hoped it would be. I came away on such a high! The sound was pretty shit at the start, and it took Don making a comment about how nice the venue was and how great the sound was and that was as it should be given we’d all paid good money to see him play.. for the soundies to get their act together and fix it.. The sound improved right after! The end of the concert was very emotional, 2 standing ovations, and singing American Pie at the top of our lungs! It was probably a good thing that he didn’t sing too many sad songs because I only had so many tissues to spare. I just wish my brother James could have been there. He loved Don’s music. 🙂

  9. Wow! Canberra show last night was amazing. Does anyone have the complete setlist? In particular I am keen to know the song he taught the audience to sing half-way through the show. I am so grateful that he came to Canberra!

  10. Saw Don as a newly-pregnant fan in Christchurch in NZ. Last night the “baby ” took me to his Canberra concert for my birthday. As brilliant now as he was then. And ‘baby’ knew all the lyrics because they had clearly infiltrated his womb-home over those months! Thank you Don – more precisous memories than you will ever know.

  11. On Friday 23/08/2013 we were two of the lucky ones who got to see Don McLean live in the Concert Hall, QPAC Brisbane.
    After many years of kicking ourselves because we didn’t get to see you the last time you toured here, we were very excited to see you were returning to us once more. We rushed to buy tickets and counted down the days to the concert and we were not disappointed.
    You were quite simply amazing!!!! when people asked me how the concert was I say that it was fantastic and your voice is so amazing that you could sing the phone book and it would sound beautiful.
    Don there is a reason you have a career spanning 45 years when careers today last 45 minutes…..Something called “TALENT”.
    Your music certainly has made up a large part of the soundtrack of our lives… are an icon and a treasure! We love you and certainly hope this is not the last time you come to see us.
    THANK YOU!!!!!

  12. Don McLean
    August 25th, 2013
    Twin Towns Services Club

    Everyday (Playin’ Favourites – 1973)
    Fool’s Paradise (Playin’ Favourites – 1973)
    Mountains O’ Mourne (Playin’ Favourites – 1973)
    Jerusalem (Believers – 1981)
    Sea Man (Believers – 1981)
    And I Love You So (Tapestry – 1970)
    The Wrong Thing to Do (Prime Time – 1977)
    Promise to Remember (Addicted to Black – 2009)
    Crying (Chain Lightning – 1978)
    Tulsa Time/Deep In the Heart of Texas (The Western Album – 2003)
    Superman’s Ghost (And I Love You So – 1989)
    Winterwood (American Pie – 1971)
    Crossroads (American Pie – 1971)
    Oh, My What a Shame (Don McLean – 1972)
    Empty Chairs (American Pie – 1971)
    So Doggone Lonesome (a Johnny Cash song)
    Thanks a Lot (an Ernest Tubb song)
    American Pie (American Pie – 1971)
    Got the Bull By the Horns (a Johnny Horton song)
    Vincent (American Pie – 1971)
    Castles In The Air (Believers – 1981)
    El Paso (Sings Marty Robbins – 2001)
    The Story Of My Life (Sings Marty Robbins – 2001)

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

    He plays a Taylor guitar.

    No support act.

    I like how he makes the setlist up as he goes. I’m told his band practise about 40 songs pre-tour and he just plays whatever catches his fancy on the night.

    Interested to know how it differed from his set on Friday night in Brisbane.

    Fifth time I’ve seen Don in concert after ’82, ’88, ’08 & ’11.

    1. I wonder why Don doesn’t include L’Affair D’Amour in the set given that the song was written by an Australian especially for Don.

    2. I wonder why Don doesn’t include L’Affair D’Amour in the set when he’s in Australia, given that the song was especially written for him by an Australian. It’s a great song especially when done solo.

    3. Very different from his Canberra concert last night (August 29( – just a few of the same except of course for AP. Just two encores, Vincent and Castles. But fabulous all the same – as good as he was in Christchurch 40 years ago!

  13. Adelaide, Brisbane and Caloundra

    After the long trek to Perth on Australia`s west coast, Don and the band returned to the main population centres in the south east.
    The venue in Adelaide was an old variety theatre a couple of miles to the east of central Adelaide. A well-filled hall saw another strong show. As usual this included a number of songs not performed at other venues. Of particular note were Buddy Holly`s `True Love Ways`, Fred Astaire`s `Let`s Face the Music` (as a lead-in to `Wonderful Baby`), `Love Hurts`, `The Wrong Thing To Do` (after Don mentioned Drake) and two Josh White songs – firstly the ever popular `Where Were You Baby?` and then a song about discrimination in the American military which I think is called `Uncle Sam Says`. Don`s mind went completely blank at the start of the latter song – “I can`t remember the words!!” but he quickly got back on track.

    From rainy Adelaide it was nice to move to the warm sunshine of Brisbane on the east coast. A lovely concert venue on Brisbane`s equivalent to London`s South Bank was packed for another great show. If I was being really critical I would say that Don`s voice and the general mix here was not as good as at some of the other venues. However we did get some rarely performed songs – a great `Johnny McEldoo`, `If We Try` and `Oh My What A Shame` from the eponymous third album, and the ditty about the risks of interfering with ecology `The People Were Scratching`. Winterwood also had its first airing at shows I have attended.

    Then we moved to Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast about 50 miles north of Brisbane. I thought the show there was the best of the five I have attended on the tour so far and indeed ranked highly amongst the many shows I have attended over the years. It is hard to know exactly what makes certain shows stand out like this – my benchmark is usually based around songs I don`t especially like. Particularly here `Jerusalem` stood out, but the whole show was just perfection for me with Don and the whole band seeming right at the top of their games and nicely balanced sound. I think I can also mention here (as Don announced it rather publicly) that his daughter Jackie and her husband are expecting a child. So congratulations to them and to grandpa Don and grandma Patrisha!

    I didn`t attend the concert on the Gold Coast but their are other reports on that. Don and the band seem delighted with the tour so far (and so they should be) and after a well-earned break at the seaside I expect the final shows in Canberra, Sydney and Penrith will be well worth attending. Most of the shows seem to have been sell-outs so it may be wise to grab tickets quickly, if there are any left

  14. I saw Don last night at Twin Towns. What a great show, it is the 3rd time I have seen Don live in the past ten years and he hasn’t changed a bit. I am 30 years old and grew up listening to Don’s albums and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to witness a living legend in action. Thank you Don for autographing my guitar, you don’t know how much that meant to me!!

  15. I’ve lost count of the number of Don McLean concerts that I’ve attended since 1972, both here in Oz and when I used to live in the U.K. I’ve NEVER been disappointed. Tonight’s in Tweed Heads was no exception – just brilliant! Two hours and 25 songs including my very favourite, Crossroads. I love that guy and his music!

  16. We saw Don Mclean for the first time at Caloundra. Great show, the solo version of Vincent was worth the ticket price alone but to be able to sing American pie with Don Mclean was priceless. Hope he comes back someday, my only complaint would be I would have liked less covers and more Mclean originals. Still a truly enjoyable concert.

  17. We went to the show at QPAC Brisbane on Friday 23rd, Thank you so much for a wonderful time, I’d had “Empty Chairs” and “Crying” swirling around in my brain all the previous week and was clapping at the first chords of “Empty Chairs”. The band was so tight and all were fantastic.
    We also enjoyed Catherine Britt’s set, had heard of her but had never seen her play before, what a great voice she has.
    Thanks again for a wonderful concert and I hope you come again soon

  18. Caloundra show. Fantastic. We last saw Don in Hobart in 1982 and were keen to see him again. Wow. Delivered all the greats. 2 hours of non stop entertainment. The man still knows how to sing. Thanks for a great night.

  19. Great night at QPAC thanks Don 2011 2008 and this one will all live on

    Castles in rhe Air winterwood empty chair If we try and the rest Catherine wonderful as well

    But please next trip vanya do Everybody Loves me baby? anticipated at all 3 but never played!

    Thamks again Don

  20. Well, me and my wife went to see don on 21 in adelaide, what great night we both had , cant wait till u come back next time, thank you don mclean and band

  21. The third show on the current Australian tour took place at the Hamer Hall, a prestigious venue seating 2,500 plus in the heart of Melbourne beside the Yara River. The hall looks unprepossessing from outside and two of its three levels seem to be below ground level. It seemed pretty full from where I was seated at the stalls level.

    Don and the band produced a superb and near faultless performance to what was clearly an adoring crowd. Right from the off Don`s voice seemed in perfect shape, a signal to relax sit back and enjoy. The acoustic in the hall was amongst the best I have heard and it would certainly be a venue I would go back to, though this means a rather long plane journey for me! Tony Migliore`s majestic piano playing stood out in particular.

    As usual, Don varied the repertoire and so we heard songs like Everyday, Superman`s Ghost, Bronco Bill`s Lament, Homeless Brother and Castles in the Air which were not played in Wollongong whilst Vincent was sung in the middle of the set rather than as an encore. Again the feature points were the combinations of Empty Chairs with I Was Always Young and then later in the set Crying leading on to some song about a Pie of all things. 🙂

    The show ended appropriately with a singalong of Woody Guthrie`s Hard Travelling. You certainly need to get through some travelling to tour this country and I know the band were looking forward to a night off as they made their way to Perth. I will take the more direct route to Adelaide with renewed admiration for the stamina of these guys!

    In support, Catherine Britt turned in another fine performance and as someone attending multiple shows I was delighted to see her also varying the content of her set. Sometimes support acts stick to content (including chat) with such consistency it becomes painful to watch. However, it is clear that Ms Britt is a seasoned professional with depth to her performances and provides a very worthwhile addition to the show, reflected in the warm reception she received here.

  22. We really enjoyed Don’s Melbourne concert, and it was exactly what we expected. Don appears to be a humble, sensible man with a beautiful voice and a calm delivery of often melancholic messages. We bought these tickets because our recent trip to Vegas was highlighted by the American Pie tribute in Fremont Street, where we stood singing along to one of the greatest hits ever, whilst watching a display on the world’s biggest LED screen. At the show, Don delivered most of his biggest hits, with the obvious highlights being Vincent and American Pie, to which many of us sang along. The venue of Hamer Hall somewhat dictates a more sedate (and older) crowd that isn’t used to becoming part of the show, so I felt a little held back in my desire to sing along, but nevertheless, it was completely enjoyable. Despite Don’s grey hair, wrinkles, and slow movement, his voice has not aged and is no different to how it was 40 years ago. His band were also excellent, and despite the fact that I felt like I was watching a bunch of grandpas on stage, they evoked emotion that arose from the beautiful lyrics and wonderful music, and it was a truly special night.

  23. Superb Wollongong concert. Band much better than last time. Keyboarder excellent. Lead guitar had an Elvis Costello quality , pose and appearance. Don talked about ” getting to the end of the trail “. Catch him while you can. There has never been a more engaging folk-rock lyricist. I have written to Leigh Sales imploring her to interview him on the 7.30 Report if he will leave his right to privacy , just once. Ken Barnes

  24. We travelled from Ballarat to attend the concert in Melbourne. It was fantastic. American Pie was the first album I bought as a kid and for the last 40 plus years I have been a fan of Don’s music. He can still deliver on the favourite songs as well as introduce his audience to new material. Wow! Please keep coming back Don

  25. Loved the concert in Melbourne last night. I have been a fan of don’s since I was 16 years old and I am turning 56 years old on Tuesday 20th August. I was in the 6th row from the stage and had an excellent view of the concert. I think the last time I went was maybe 20 years ago.

  26. Went to the concert last night in Melbourne, what a great night! One of the best concerts I have been to in a long time.
    It was great to just listen to Don’s vocals his guitar and of course the “band”. Excellent. I did not just listen all night though, but did launch into singing “American Pie” as did everyone else in the auditorium, even my partner was singing along next to me.
    Thankyou so much for such a lovely evening.

    P.s. My partner says the keyboard player was outstanding!

  27. Alan are you going to keep this section of the website up and running after the tour? I hope so. I like to hear reviews of all the shows including ones here in the US as well as us being able to communicate and posts things on a regular basis. Like the Grand Rapids video of “American Pie” done here in Michigan I was able to post last year.

  28. The Melbourne concert was something special. I first saw Don in Sydney back in the early 70’s (40 years ago !!) and last night was a trip down memory lane. I’ve seldom enjoyed a concert more, thanks Don, it was brilliant ans those others above have rightly said.

  29. Also loved Don in Melbourne tonight, he still has it! Joining in the choruses of “American Pie” was marvellous and he did a repeat of the first verse for us. He didn’t do “And I Love You So”, but there was a good mixture of songs. A great evening.

  30. Great line up of songs and what talented musicians.
    Would loved to have heard an overall more accoustic / less over-amplified sound. The heavy percussion and bass and volume in Hamer Hall was a little too modern and pub rock band-esque for my expectations and some lyrics were lost.
    Don’s playing and vocals are classic and his amazing Jazz pianist, just wow! Scrap the electric keyboard, (keep the grand piano), swap the electric bass for an acoustic upright bass and mellow the drums a little and folk-rock it out! That said the chance to hear an all time favourite perform was a truly great amazing experience!
    Thanks especially for “Castles in the Air”, “crying” and “Vincent” and of course “American Pie”!

  31. Just home from a concert in Melbourne, tickets a birthday present from son Andrew. What a great concert and a great gift. Not sure that he is old enough to appreciate the lineage of the songs but his mum and dad do, and it is our self-appointed task to induct him into the world of “Mr American Pie”.
    On trips to Vegas we have been swept up in the Fremont Street light show that is driven by American Pie, it is great to see the oldies, and not so oldies there, bopping along like teeners. That said, the opportunity to hear him live, performing a range of his works, was even better.

    Thanks and well done!

  32. What a wonderful concert in Wollongong. Fantastic night. Brilliant singing. Lovely spirit. Band was tight. Just loved the concert. Great choice of songs.

  33. Don opened his 2013 11-date Australian tour with a well-paced set of almost 2 hours in the seaside city of Wollongong 50 miles south of Sydney. The venue is modern, strong on function but short on character. It is similar to the Brighton Conference Centre in England where Don played a few years ago. Also similar to Brighton is the fact that it is yards from the beach and ocean, though a nice sandy one here compared to Brighton`s pebbles. It is unseasonably hot and hard to believe it is mid-winter. Apparently last week it hit 28C in Wollongong, a respectable summer temperature for the area and it is still well into the 20s.
    Promptly at 8 pm the support act for most of the tour took to the stage, bare footed like Sandie Shaw. Catherine Witt is an Australian singer songwriter, though you could easily mistake her for a Texan. Her voice is loud and deep, no shrinking violet this one, and her vocals were clear. She performed her 30 minute country rock set with confidence and was well-received. Personally I would have preferred to hear a little more Australian in her sound but clearly that is not what she is trying to project.
    There was a short interval and sharp at the advertised 8.50 start I could see the band waiting backstage. They made their entrance swiftly followed by Don wearing a nice red (or possibly orange) and black patterned shirt and dark trousers. He didn`t hang around before launching into the Buddy Holly medley, closely followed by Jerusalem and It`s Just the Sun.
    An almost 2 hour set followed with Don largely in music mode – very little chat between songs tonight. Quite a bluesy feel in general with a long rendition of Backwater Blues being a highlight with Vip and Tony providing some nice breaks. Another clear high point was Empty Chairs closely followed I Was Always Young, Don making both powerfully moving. Plenty work for the band too with a nicely delivered Dreidel and several upbeat covers – not sure on the titles but not songs I have heard Don do much before.
    The big four songs were left until late in the set, with And I Love You So coming about an hour in. Don made a rare mistake in the lyric here, starting to sing loveless and recovering to change it into lovely, a somewhat different meaning to lonely! He covered it so well that probably few noticed, but given the volume of material I am amazed that he doesn`t trip up more often!
    A powerfully delivered Crying had many on their feet and Don took the opportunity to launch straight into AP, reprise and all (sorry, still don`t like that reprise Don). Returning for an encore Don asked if the audience wanted fast or slow. Succumbing to the many cries of Vincent, Don said he would get his `contractual commitment` out of the way which he did. He then completed a good nights work with two Marty Robbins songs – first Story of My Life and then finishing with El Paso.
    A strong start that bodes well for a successful tour with Don looking well and in good voice and the band fit and ready for action. Today Don and the band make their way over the water to Hobart on the island of Tasmania whilst I head directly to Melbourne to catch up with them for Saturday`s show. Looking forward to that already!

  34. Just home from Wollongong concert. Loved the evening and teary when you suggested that it could be your last visit. No way! More of your songs to hear live

    1. Just got home from seeing don at the enmore and I am feeling extremely disappointed . Don has a throat problem and could bearly sing.
      I felt sorry for him and feel I have missed an opportunity of a life time to see my life long idol. Although it happens , I can’t help but feel ripped off.

      1. Was also at Enmore on Friday night as you say this can happen to a performer but the show should have been cancelled. Have been reading such rave reviews of Dons previous concerts and am now feeling even more ripped off than before. Instead of feeing like I was in the presence of a truly great performer it was more like suffering through a night at some outback club with a disinterested band and a struggling performer. Sadly American Pie will never be the same again for me. a valiant effort does not make a good concert let alone a great memory!,

        1. I was at the Enmore Friday night and thought Don was brilliant. Although he couldn’t hit the high notes, because of his hay fever, for me it was magical seeing him perform live and dancing to American Pie I could not have asked for more, I am still smiling. Thanks Don I had a blast and will treasure the memories! You are a true musical legend!

      2. My wife and I were at the Enmore also on the 30th August and we knew there was a problem with Don’s voice from the opening song. I have seen Don live 4 times and have listened to his music since 1970 and what happened to Don can happen to any performer. He told us he had a alergic reaction to ‘our yellow flower’ which I presume i.s Wattle and it really did affect his ability to sing that night. The audience was fantastic in it’s support and Don said as much when he told everone he was ‘up here singing like shit ‘ however all true fans understood and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. Whether it should have been cancelled or not is a difficult question as some people would have travelled long distances and paid hotel bills as well so they would have been dissapointed. I would like to know if the show at Panthers the next night went ahead as Don could hardly sing when he finished at the Enmore. Don has brought me many great memories and much enjoyment over the years so I am not going to ‘bag him out ‘ for being sick and I would ask others to show a little understanding here.The show must go on and Thats Show Biz. With in a couple of weeks his voice will be back to new. Come back Don Australia thinks your great.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.