Don McLean European Tour 2015

euortour2Don McLean toured the UK & Ireland in May/June and returned for Part 2 of his European Tour 2015 with a further 17 dates in September and October:

 

 

15-Oct-15 Uppsala Konsert & Kongress Uppsala, Sweden
13-Oct-15 Oslo Konserthus Oslo, Norway
12-Oct-15 Ole Bull Scene Bergen, Norway
10-Oct-15 Musikhuset Aarhus, Denmark
8-Oct-15 Kulturværftet Helsingør, Denmark
6-Oct-15 Royal Theatre Carré (Koninklijk Theater Carré) Amsterdam, Netherlands
5-Oct-15 Royal Theatre Carré (Koninklijk Theater Carré) Amsterdam, Netherlands
4-Oct-15 De Roma Antwerpen Antwerp, Belgium
2-Oct-15 Fairfield Hall Croydon, UK
30-Sep-15 Waterfront Hall Belfast, UK
29-Sep-15 University Concert Hall Limerick, Ireland
28-Sep-15 Vicar Street Dublin, Ireland
26-Sep-15 Cork Opera House Cork, Ireland
25-Sep-15 Radisson Blu Hotel Galway, Ireland
23-Sep-15 University Concert Hall Limerick, Ireland
22-Sep-15 The Hub Kilkenny, Ireland
21-Sep-15 The Glencam Hotel Castleblayney, Ireland
4-Jun-15 Cork Opera House Cork, Ireland
2-Jun-15 Millennium Forum Londonderry, UK
1-Jun-15 Vicar Street Dublin, Ireland
31-May-15 Vicar Street Dublin, Ireland
29-May-15 The Sage Gateshead Gateshead, UK
27-May-15 Usher Hall Edinburgh, UK
26-May-15 Royal Concert Hall Glasgow, UK
25-May-15 The Bridgewater Hall Manchester, UK
23-May-15 Liverpool Philharmonic Hall Liverpool, UK
21-May-15 De La Warr Pavilion Bexhill-On-Sea, UK
20-May-15 Anvil Arts Centre Basingstoke, UK
19-May-15 Royal Albert Hall London, UK
17-May-15 Colston Hall Bristol, UK
16-May-15 Symphony Hall Birmingham, UK
15-May-15 York Barbican York, UK

86 Comments

Leave a Comment

    1. Difficult to be precise and can vary from night to night. There is a support act so Don will take the stage approx. 45-60 mins after concert start time; Don will perform at least 90 mins, possibly up to 120 mins.

  1. Hi Went to York last night. Show was opened by Chelsea Chambers, lovely Irish singer. How can I find her on facebook?

    1. Hi it was a great concert last night. If you search Chelsey Chambers Music on Facebook you should find her. Hope that helps.

  2. Don McLean – York (15 May 2015) and Birmingham (16 May 2015)

    ‘I’m a lucky guy’ sings Don McLean in one of the songs from the as yet unreleased ‘Botanical Gardens’ album. I certainly felt like a lucky guy to be attending the opening two shows on this 2015 UK and Irish Tour.

    The opener was at the Barbican theatre within sight of the south-eastern walls of the historic city of York. We were lucky enough to arrive just as Don emerged, blinking in the bright sunshine, from the familiar pastel green tour bus. He returned our wave so we knew it would be ok to go across and welcome him back to British soil for the first time in nearly three years.

    Despite the passage of time there were strong feelings of déjà vu. We saw the same tour bus, the same friendly driver (who welcomed us like old friends) and the quietly spoken tour manager John McIvor controlling things and looking after Don in his usual impeccable manner.

    There were differences as we found when we returned to the theatre shortly before the 7.30 start. We spotted Jerry Kroon, Don’s drummer these last 15 years, enjoying a huge cigar beside the bus. When we went over for a chat we were introduced to a smiling (and also cigar smoking) Brad Albin who is sitting in on bass guitar for David Smith (get well soon David!). After chewing the fat with these two gents for 10 minutes, learning that Mike Severs had also been added to the ensemble this time around, we went in to hear the support act, Chelsey (‘with a y’) Chambers.

    Following a long line of female singers supporting Don, Chelsey wanders onto the stage to no fanfare or announcement. I don’t understand why
    the support act is never announced – it must be hard enough to come on stage in large concert halls with just a guitar to face an audience which has
    essentially come to see someone else! After an understandably slightly nervous start, Chelsey delivered her 20 minute set in a clear voice, interspersed with brief explanations in her strong Northern Irish tones of the background to the songs. The songs are best described as ‘teenage angst’ but don’t let that put you off! In delivery she reminded me a bit of Suzanne Vega – her songs don’t necessarily rhyme in conventional ways. Certainly worth a listen.

    Don of course was announced in the usual manner which was necessary because of course nobody had anyidea who he was. 🙂 Huge applause and he went straight into ‘Everyday’. A beautifully paced set followed, perhaps the most pleasing aspect being how the new songs freshened things up and certainly didn’t seem out of place amongst the classics and standards. Most of the new material has a romantic theme, though the interesting ‘Come July’ is much deeper. Definitely not a happy song this one, accompanied by a discordant backing. A hard listen for sure but Don has never gone for safe music. All the big songs were there, perhaps the one exception being ‘Crossroads’ but I am sure that will appear at some, probably several, venues. Don and the band sounded wonderful, looking very happy and relaxed, and the performance was hugely well received.

    Day 2 moved on to Birmingham and a regular venue for Don in recent years in the Symphony Hall, right beside the now gentrified canal network. Although this hall is apparently renowned for its acoustic, I must say I was never happy with the sound there until the show in 2012 when for me it was the standout show of the tour. It sounded just great again this time – I noticed as I was leaving that the sound guy was the same as for the 2012 shows so that bodes well.

    Chelsey seemed to have grown in confidence, no doubt benefitting from the good reception in York. This time she announced her own arrival on stage. Again she drew good and sincere applause for her short set.

    When Don appeared to a deafening ovation the opener was ‘Lotta Loving’ and as usual other different songs were performed compared to the opening show with a solo ‘I Was Always Young’ being a highlight. AP was on this occasion followed by ‘Bull by the Horns’ with a solo version of Vincent starting an encore which ended with some Marty Robbins.

    Do yourself a favournd grab one of the few remaining tickets for the tour which has another couple of weeks to run in the UK before a few dates in Ireland. If the shows are as good as these first two you are in for a treat!

    1. Hi Bill, thoroughly enjoyed your wonderful account of meeting Don and his band, He has been the main inspiration of my life since 1970 when I first saw him and heard him sing, Unfortunately in those days information was impossible to get, I wrote to United Artists without success, then the Benny Bird company in the late 70’s for any help, they kindly sent me a post card with a photo of his house ( not entirely sure it really was! ) which I treasure to this day. Over the years I have searched for any piece written about him, and been to as many of his concerts as I can, the latest one being in Birmingham last Saturday, all fantastic of course. I have never been able to let him go, so when the internet arrived you can imagine my sheer joy! I am constantly amazed how closely his life has matched mine from his earliest days to now, mine obviously on a minor scale. I do sound a dreadful stalker, but I really am not, I promise. All I have ever wanted was his autograph beneath one of my published pieces of poetry, and maybe for him for the merest fleeting moment in time to know I exist, but I have never had the chance to meet him, and his publicity people can’t help either, but hey-ho maybe one day. If you have managed to struggle through this long winded piece, I wonder if you could just answer a question about the tour bus, is it only used over here, and do they have another for overseas? A small thing but it has intrigued me. Respectfully Sue.

      1. Hey Susan , welcome to the family ! From my experiences most people get to meet Don by
        1: Arriving very early for shows or
        2: Hanging around after .
        Don is normally very kind and generous with Autographs . As for Tour Buses I believe they are are UK/Europe thing given the relatively small geograhical distances involved . Certainly here in Australia most transport is by plane and mini bus . And as most gigs in the US are weekends the same applies. I am sure if you send a note to Don via the website he will get to read it , may not reply but will read . Don has a closer relationship with his fan base than probably any other artist – in many ways we are all part of an extended family drawn together with love and admiration for a man who has shapped us into the people we have become – everytime I hear a song I know its Don talking to me . God Bless him and his wonderful family.

        1. Thank you Robert for your kind welcome.
          I tried hanging around after his show but was told he never gives autographs. I have also contacted his website with no luck, plus I contacted Doug from live in Manchester and he said he’d had a word with Don on my behalf but still got a no.Doug’s main explaination was that Don wasn’t comfortable with anything celebrity and didnt like giving autographs. So don’t know where to go from here. If you have any more thoughts I would be grateful. Thank you so much for the reply. Sue.

        2. Hi Susan
          Firstly thanks for your very kind comments on my review. If just one person responds in the way you did it makes writing reviews worthwhile.

          As regards meeting Don and getting autographs this is mostly down to the nature of the venue and persistence. It is nonsense to say Don never signs autographs, though he no longer does the formal after gig signings he did on a few UK tours. I have been to most of the UK venues Don plays more than once and some are very unlikely to afford much opportunity for an autograph. Birmingham is one of the worst places to try in my experience. Bexhill tonight was also difficult because of the secure nature of the stage door area. But Don definitely signed autographs en route to his bus in both York last Friday and at Basingstoke last night and so far as I saw didn’t decline anyone at either place. He also posed for pictures with several fans.

          Of the venues still to come on this tour, Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh are all places I have seen offer possibilities for meeting/autographs. Nothing is ever guaranteed however. Like everyone else there are times when Don is happy to be approached and others when he isn’t. This is usually obvious from body language and it is important to respect his right to privacy.
          I see my good Aussie friend Bob Gregg has correctly answered your questions about the tour bus. The bus and driver, a lovely guy called Carl, are the same one as was used on the last tour in 2012. Don and the band use the bus in the UK and Ireland and also on the near continent (Holland/Belgium etc.) but not for Scandinavia – I assume due to distance.

        3. Hello Bill, I read your very kind reply to me at 3am, during another sleepless night, and it was very welcome not only as a much needed diversion but because it gave me an insight into where I have been going wrong, unfortunately I do not have the means at my disposal to rectify it. The only way I have been able to get to any of Don’s concerts over a great many years is by begging lifts from relatives as I have never had the opportunity to learn to drive, and certainly never to own a car. As these were favours and not genuine enjoyment on their part it was only concert, home, no waiting to see him ever. This last time at Birmingham my lovely son-in-law took me and he is the kindest person alive so he was prepared to wait as long as needed also I spoke to a helpful fan who to took us to the stage door area so I was full to the brim with hope, which as you know was dashed by the venue staff. I wish I was more able bodied ( family inheritance of arthritis threw itself at me at 35, my constant companions now are pain and a stick, or two if I am really lucky! ) If I could I would travel the country independently to see him. I have always wondered how Don travelled about as he covers such great distances, it’s comforting to know he has good company and a safe mode of transport, as I have always worried when I know he is touring. Thank you so much for taking the time and trouble to answer my questions, it is much appreciated. Sue.

  3. So looking forward to seeing Don in Glasgow, so much so we turned up last night, only a week before the concert. OK we read the tickets wrongly but we wanted to get there early!

  4. Royal Albert Hall concert last night was absolutely incredible. As someone who was also there as a callow youth in 1972, Don gets better and better. Keep coming back please!

  5. Don McLean live at the Royal Albert Hall was another wonderful display of musicianship from troubadour and his excellent set of touring musicians. It was this mans music that I loved as a young man that inspired me with a love of music and production that remains to this day.
    Thank you Don.

  6. I fell in love with his voice when I was a kid, particularly the song Vincent. I was at the RAH and he was fantastic, the band were excellent too. When you come back please play Fools Paradise, it’s so cool, and please give us a dance floor because we all wanted to dance

  7. Fantastic show at York….singing better than ever too! DM always has time for his loyal fans and always stops for a chat/autograph….His music has been with me all my adult life and is tremendous support in hard times (and happy ones too!)

    1. Hi David, could you tell me how you managed to get some time with Don, plus an autograph. I have tried so many times to get an autograph, or see him even at a distance after a show, but have never been lucky enough.

      1. Hi Susan,
        I just hung around the stage door after the show, Don came out on his own and strolled over to the tour bus (no airs or graces from this artist!!!). I and a few others chatted for a few minutes and got autographs easily! I have various posters and album covers that I have had signed over the years too. Have been a lifelong fan! His music really is the soundtrack to my life!

        1. Hi David, I shall make sure I am able to do that next time, for as long as it takes ( have never had the chance to wait before) but finally did at Birmingham but as you know no luck. I envy you all those meetings over the years. I too have been a life long fan right from his earliest years, he’s been my main inspiration throughout my life, now I am finally making a bit of a name for myself in poetry circles and have been lucky enough to have poetry chosen and published I would love to complete my dream and have Don sign one of my books. although I would hesitate to ask as I wouldn’t want to offend him by handing my own work over for his signature and not something of his. Thank you for your uplifting and very helpful letter. Sue.

  8. I get the impression that if I had tried to get an autograph that I would have, I am so upset! I asked the staff at the RAH if he was signing autographs and I was told no. Please, someone from Don’s website tell me how to get an autograph. I am a huge fan. I have many original LP covers that I could send for him to sign, is that possible?

    1. Hi, I feel that I could have written your letter as it mirrors my own. I asked if I could get Don’s autograph at The Symphony Hall in Birmingham last Saturday I too was told he would not be signing any autographes and had probably already left, even though we got to the stage door in good time. I have also written to people involved with his work and still got nowhere. It’s very disappointing and disheartening, I have been a devoted fan since 1972 and been trying get his autograph in all that time!
      If ever you have any luck please let me know how you did it. When I read on here that others have managed it plus had a chat too I could cry! And just wish I knew how they managed it.

      1. Susan and Jacqueline, Maybe you should have waved? If you didn’t get an autograph, you might have got a song! 😉

        1. Oh that would have been a lottery win 🙂 but an autograph would be a dream come true.

      2. Dear Susan, I think what might be the problem is that you want him to sign your poetry book. I have worked with many famous people and they would be discouraged from doing anything like that. You could give him a copy of your poetry as a present or send a link to a website with your poetry. Put the link in this comments page and we can all read it.
        I’ve decided not to look for an autograph, it would be brilliant to have, but not really necessary. The thrill was hearing him sing live; he is so talented! I took my 17 year old daughter along and she loved the concert. When he sang, ‘And I Love You So,’ I realised that the song perfectly explains how I felt when I gave birth to her. I told her during the song and it was the first time we were close in years, I almost cried! That probably would not have happened if I had been listening to his CD in the car.
        Don Maclean talked about how people should get out and have fun instead of staying at home with their computers, he’s right!
        Good luck with the autograph.
        Best Wishes, Jackie.

    2. Wait at the stage door after the show. It may be a long wait before Don emerges and you may be lucky or unlucky depending on the situation but that’s how most fans have met Don and got his autograph. Don has announced a new England date in Croydon on October 2nd this year and plans to tour for years to come. Messages sent to Don via the website are read by Don and sometimes he shocks the sender by replying personally. However a lot of people write very nice letters but neglect to include an address! Don also reads all the comments on the website.

      1. Dear Oscar, I saw that you gave me a thumbs up, thanks for that, I then accidentally did the same and it looks so bad! I can’t undo it. I promise, it was an accident. oops!

  9. Over the last few weeks, viewers of the veteran latenight host’s “Late Show” on CBS have been treated to a series of once-in-a-lifetime musical moments: John Mayer crooning Don McLean’s “American Pie”; etc.

  10. I agree that the Royal Albert Hall show on Tuesday the 19th was very good. The joy that “American Pie” elicited was stunning. I will never forget that experience.
    .
    A long, long time ago…. American Pie caused me to defect from AM radio to FM where they played the full song. This was before my first cassette recorder, so I had a notepad at the ready and spent a few weeks capturing all the lyrics. What a fantastic song. The excitement of interesting lyrics opened my mind to other songwriters and styles of music as well as rekindled my interest in reading.
    .
    Don and his music have magic! Thanks Don!

  11. Jacqueline, it is difficult to get an autograph but I was chuffed to get a photo with Don and autograph on the back of my ‘Addicted to Black’ cd when in Bourmouth a few years ago. Keep trying.

  12. ad to put mention about the ‘Anvil’ concert in Basingstoke. The evening was a classic Don McLean event with a fantastic wide range of songs some new from the forthcoming new album and some further back in time with a wonderful surprise in Bronco Bills Lament. Crying was awesome. The band brilliant and Don in great humour. Thanks Don and Band.

  13. Right I have purchased two tickets for Dons concert in Croydon on his birthday, can’t miss that. Have no idea how I will get there, I need a lift but can’t ask family (again! ) at least I have a few months to go round begging!

  14. Susan, Croydon is a great venue used to live only 2 miles from the place and saw my first Don Mclean concert there back in 1972. Managed to get the billboard poster on ebay for the same event some years later ‘I am a lucky guy’. Whatever happens get to the concert.

    1. Hi Glenn, I will beg borrow or steal someone to get me there, my main concern is it’s closer to London than I realised and I am worried the area may be too difficult to navigate or park in ( I am coming from Oxfordshire) and everyone will be put off.

      1. Susan I will be going through London , maybe we can meet I’m coming from North Wales by train on the day .Annie

        1. Hi Annie, that would be good I’d love to meet another fan. I am hoping to travel down with my ex son-in-law! either by taxi ( lot of hard saving for that! ) or maybe hire car, so maybe we could meet up at venue or close by? Sue.

  15. The best way would be to get a train into London and then from Victoria Stn to East Croydon and Fairfield Halls is only 2 min walk from station, hope that helps.

  16. Don’t give up on the autograph, just turn up early. He does know you exist because you’re on his web site. I read your poem, it’s very good, very moving, well done.

    1. You are very kind Jacqueline, it would be nice to think he knows ( honestly I am a pretty strong, independant person, and certainly not as needy as I sound! ) I am hoping I can arrive early at the Croydon event so I may be lucky 🙂 if the poem you read was ‘ He looked at me! ‘ it has been nominated for this years anthology. Out of the 200 or so I have written the vast majority are not ‘fan’tasizing about him, I am too old to be writing silly love poems lol. The few that are for him are cryptic and only I know who they are about. Thank you for your very kind comments on the one you read. Sue.x

  17. I was at the Birmingham concert and it was superb! The sound was absolutely fantastic. It was as though we were in a small room right beside Don. It was a truly magical night and Don’s voice was as beautiful and nearly as strong as ever! He and the band seemed to be enjoying themselves – the audience certainly were! I have been to more Don McLean concerts than I can count but that was the very best – well, perhaps tying with the one – long ago – when he sang ‘Stardust’ without accompaniment! The Liverpool concert was great too – Don stayed on stage slightly longer – but the sound wasn’t quite as good – possibly because we were right in front of a speaker.
    Two wonderful nights – despite a long drive home! Thank you so much, Don. See you in September!

  18. The Bridgewater Hall concert in Manchester was wonderful! I last saw Don at Birmingham Town Hall 41 years ago – and both times were as memorable as each other. ‘I knew if I had the chance that I could make those people dance..’ You certainly made the Manchester audience dance Don – me included! Thank you,
    Tricia xxx

  19. At the last minute I decided to go to the Glasgow show to see Don live for the first time. Somehow I ended up in the front row. I only really knew the hits but this show was a revelation. With a mix old and new, well-known and rare, original compositions and interpretations Don Mclean held me entranced and entertained for nearly 2 hours. His easy manner on stage and wonderful band made this gig one of the most memorable I’ve been to in over 40 years of concert going.
    The best reception was obviously reserved for American Pie however to me this was just the icing on the cake. I heard lesser known album tracks which were absolutely brilliant and brand new songs which fitted nicely in the varied set.
    Don also chooses great songs written by other folk which pepper his set.
    A storming version of “Little Sister” brought the curtain down on a great show.
    If you are in two minds about seeing Don McLean live don’t be…..just go and see a true legend whose musical and political integrity are sadly lacking from many, but not all, of today’s artists.

  20. York concert a brief review .
    Don came on to stage to rapturous applause which continued throughout the show .thank you Don for coming back to the UK .He clearly loved the applause and so deserved .
    The sound was great , his voice strong and Don was looking great . Bill H and I had managed to say hi to Don before the show and he was pleased to be back in the UK , we are so so lucky as fans that he continues to tour here bringing with him a great band , Tony , Mike , new guy Brad , Jerry and Vip ,love them all! Sorry that David Smith not with them but Brad doing a great job as a stand in as Don said . Lots of great new songs from the new album ,can’t wait for the release . The concert was interspersed with all that we would expect as old time fans ,plenty for first time attendees at at Don concert too just a fantastic first concert .
    We were lucky too after the show to be able to tell Don in person what a great concert it was.Lovely to meet like minded fans too .looking forward to a great tour .

  21. Birmingham a brief review by Annie
    Another fabulous show with great sound , Don was amused by requests,being called for and told us he wasn’t a juke box what you get is what you see, I’m live, he told us , I know what you want but you’ll get what I want first ! We got them all but we got so much more too , he gives us his all every night and I thank Don for that . The new songs were well received along with such a variety of his songs . It amazes me ever time I see him the vast vast array of songs he sings ,the depths of emotion he can take you too with a song. After 43 yeast of listening to and following Don he still takes me to places with his song that no other performer can do .
    I’m not a list writer of what he sings , couldn’t concentrate to write anything at a concert ,I’m just enthralled at every show.
    Another night another red rose and beaming smile Don can’t thank you enough to for your music .
    Again great to meet with like minded fans you know who are you are and to share a meal before the concert and have a trip down memory lane of Don concerts we have been to whose read what article etc.

  22. Liverpool review by Annie
    Don is always well received in Liverpool and the fans and audiences there never fail to let Don know just how good he is .The sound was great again so thank to Hugh and his guys , us fans do notice you know !.The band Tony, Mike Jerry Brad and Vip , them selves so talented in their own right just are the icing on the cake with their music so intuitive with Don , love them all .
    Another red rose through the railings prior to the show thanks Don I get a high just from that , he was patient courteous with all the waiting fans both before and after the show he made our day when he asked Hannah and I girls how are you ?not been called a girl for a while Don , but when you’ve been to Don concert the years fall away.He also spoke with a 90 year old brought by her daughter when she told him she had 20 years on him he laughed wondering whether he’ll get that far . We hope so Don!
    At Liverpool a whole group of us met prior to the show to eat and we were very thrilled to share our meal with Jordon who had come from the USA to see the concert . After the show Jordon breathless with excitement , having heard “Oh my what a shame ” one of his favourites and the BANJO ! Don we love the Banjo so we felt very honoured that he played it in Liverpool .
    Again the concert was a mix of new and old loving the new ones particularly Botanical Gardens.
    It’s hard to sleep after attending a Don concert , the music is like a wonderful drug, wish I could bottle up that feeling .

    1. Hi Annie, I do love your reviews, I may not be lucky enough to get to see Don as often as I wish to but your writing allows me to borrow your memories, Thank you so much. You mentioned meeting up for his Croydon concert and as I said I would love that, I am able to come down earlier in the day than I thought so anytime is fine with me. Sue.

  23. I can’t remember the place, David but I can still remember how spell binding the experience was. You could have heard a pin drop!

    I can’t remember what I did yesterday but some things you just don’t forget – and the Birmingham show of this tour is another one for the archives!

  24. Fantastic night at the Sage Gateshead with singing and dancing to American Pie and a quiet tear to Vincent. Happy memories old and new, great entertainment, fantastic musicians and Don was superb xx

  25. First saw Don more than 40 years ago at the Glasgow Apollo. Delighted to go to the Sage last night with my kids and their friend (20,20 and17) at their suggestion. We all had the most fantastic night and Don and the band were brilliant. A big shout too for Chelsey Chambers, James and Joey are now confirmed fans.

  26. Sage, Gateshead. Well, another magnificent performance by the legend, Don McLean! Having seen Don perform many times over the last 40 odd years, (discovering his music around age 12) I always look forward to his return to these shores. Last night I was not disappointed (although never thought I would be!) I was sat in row B (where I sat last time, and the time before that etc!- don’t like the front row) and from the word go was mesmerized by this man – if that sounds ‘soppy’ then so be it, I can not think of any other words. Don is such an ‘unassuming’ man, he is not a ‘showman’ as many are, he doesn’t need to be, his music does the talking – just ask anyone who was there last night. If I have one criticism, it was the fact that on occasions, the music was a little ‘loud’ and I struggled to hear Don’s voice – although that could be because I was so close to the stage. His band are brilliant musicians, I remember the times when it was just Don on stage, sometimes accompanied by one guitarist, but these guys are just brilliant. All the old favourites were there, along with the not so well known (well, apart from those of us who have just about every song Don has ever recorded!) and some new tunes, which the audience really enjoyed hearing and Don obviously enjoyed performing. Don was on stage just shy of 2 hours, (which went too quickly) and for those of you yet to see him in Ireland, you are in for a treat – although you obviously know that as his shows have sold out! I also agree with other comments, well done Chelsey Chambers, terrific songwriter and great guitarist who shows such promise, glad Don gave her the opportunity to let her sing for us. Hope to see you again soon Don Mclean

  27. Was at the Sage on Friday where we were entertained by the fantastic Don McLean and his great band. The music was as expected great, Don’s voice has not changed unlike many of his contemporaries of the same age group.
    Don is such a humble man who really appreciates his audience and the fine building that is the Sage. He says he doesnt know when he will be back but I for one cannot wait.

  28. Don in Gateshead

    A lovely place, a wonderful concert hall and a perfect Don McLean performance! We got up really early to catch a flight to Newcastle and arrived in Gateshead in the early afternoon. Just as we were about to ask for directions to the hotel, we saw the big green tour bus stopped at the traffic lights we were about to cross. Five minutes later, the bus drove past us again, seemingly a bit lost just like us with all the steps, bridges and one way streets there. And when we finally located the hotel, which was right beside the concert hall, we spotted the tour bus pulling in at the stage door. Of course, we took that as a good sign for an amazing night ahead and that was exactly how it turned out.

    The Sage Gateshead is probably one of the nicest concert halls I have ever been to. Described by the locals as a ‘silver peanut’ it overlooks the river Tyne and all the wonderful old and new bridges that connect Gateshead and Newcastle. The architectural design of this music venue is stunning and definitely worth a visit – even more so when Don McLean is playing!

    On the way in we met some of the other old time fans which was lovely. The show started with Chelsey Chambers who was a good support act and
    then finally Don came on. He opened the show with a Marty Robbins/Buddy Holly combination to warm up. Don looks great and the minute he started singing we knew we were in for a treat – his voice is absolutely perfect! Don clearly liked the sound in the Sage, commented on it and also praised the beautiful venue. He said he was going to sing many songs for us and that is exactly what he did. Besides the obligatory American Pie, Vincent, And I Love You So and Crying he also sang some of his new songs. We got to hear The Lucky One, Ain’t She a Honey, The Waving Man, King of Fools and When July Comes. The latter two, King of Fools and When July Comes are very deep, nearly too close to reality – how does Don know about all of those things?? He also sang a real upbeat version of Tulsa Time and El Paso. We got Homeless Brother, Castles in the Air, Empty Chairs and the beautiful Crossroads with Tony making it even more special with his wonderful piano playing. On Backwater Blues the band got a chance to show off their talent and what amazing musicians they are. They work really
    well together and every song was just so perfect. Don had the audience
    completely captivated – no surprise there – with a standing ovation for
    American Pie. What really struck me was the look on peoples’ faces, the expressions of pure happiness. I won’t go into any detail but I couldn’t help but notice a person with health problems and with Don’s singing I saw
    the face of that person change into such joy and delight. I nearly cried every
    time I looked at the person because Don is able to make life so much better for so many people with his music. I wonder does he realise just how much power he has with his voice and I hope he continues singing for a long long time. I’d say he is better than 100 sessions with the physiotherapist – American Pie will get anyone on their feet! Don pretty much played all my own favourite songs in a single concert and we left very happy after waving him off to ‘Waving Man’.

    After the concert, some of the fans came back to the hotel and we had a few drinks. Bill, Hannah, Annie – it was great to meet you again! Thanks for the laughs and conversations and I hope to see you again soon. We left Gateshead early the following morning looking forward to two more shows in Dublin. Don and band, thank you so much for your music!!!

    1. Thanks a lot for your long review Kerstin, It was great to catch up with you and Paul again. I think you captured the mood of the Sage perfectly. As you say, the acoustic there is great and Don used it to best effect. This show had a slightly western feel to it with El Paso and The Ballad of Billy the Kid both of which benefitted from some lovely delicate acoustic guitar work by Mike Severs.

      There is no doubt this tour has been a huge success and I saw many of the happy faces you mention (including my own). Thanks to Don, Tony, Vip, Jerry, Brad and Mike for the wonderful music and for being so generous in taking time to speak to fans both before and after shows. We really appreciate it. Also, many thanks to the sound guys for providing excellent sound at every venue I went to and to Carl (Karl?) the ever smiling bus driver and CD salesman extraordinaire! Looking forward to September/October already!

      1. Hey Bill, Thanks for mentioning the Ballad of Billy the Kid. I hit the post button and then realised that I really should have mentioned that one. So many songs and so much good music… Happy days!!! 🙂

  29. Cork Opera house Ireland last night Don and the band were brilliant…he’s back again on September 26th just booked my tickets.

  30. Special prayers go out for Catherine Britt the very talented support act from Don’s most recent Australian Tour . Catherine is undergoing treatment for Breast Cancer in Newcastle Australia right now . She was a great support act and please pray for her – her new album is out now on iTunes .

  31. When I was in my late teens, I sent away to CHUM FM for the words to American Pie. I think I still have it – over 40 years later. For the first time in our lives, we watched Don McLean sing his heartfelt song on youtube. It was a thrill. Thanks, Don, and we are glad you are still going strong!

  32. Don at Vicar Street in Dublin

    I went to both of Don McLean’s Dublin performances. More is more when it comes to Don! He was amazing! The venue, Vicar Street is small and dark, there was a good bit of drink involved and the music was loud – quite different to the usual concert hall settings. Don was in great form, smiling
    and chatting and he put everything into his songs. His voice was absolutely perfect. He sang a mixture of old and new songs and the audience went mad for him. Ireland loves Don! So many people knew every word to every song and sang along. The band is brilliant and they are all so nice. They are probably some of the world’s best musicians and we were lucky to experience them in this small setting.

    Don played all the songs and more. I can’t remember exactly which songs he sang on which night, I’m mixing them up at this stage, but we got American Pie, Vincent, Crying, And I Love You So, Mountains of Mourne, Crossroads, Castles in the Air, Cocaine Blues and Jerusalem on both nights. Empty Chairs on the first night and a good few of his new songs on both nights.

    Some of the more unusual songs that stood out on the first night were Oh my what a Shame, I’m gonna Live the Live I Sing About, Greenback Dollar and Have you Seen me. Also on stage was the banjo but unfortunately we did not get to hear it. Maybe next time!
    On the second night, Don really rocked it! He was full of energy, smiles and chat. Don belted out song after song and hardly sat on the stool he had on stage. Just to mention a few more songs we got to hear on the second night: Headroom, Fashion Victim, Botanical Gardens, Beautiful Eyes,
    Slow and Easy (? ) Waving Man, Food on the Table, Homeless Brother etc, etc… We were also treated to one of the best American Pie performances I have ever experienced. It is hard to describe but there was just something very special, energetic and uplifting about it – the sort of moment where music, venue and audience work together and everybody is in this bubble of energy and singing and dancing along. Wish I could make it last!

    I was very lucky to be able to attend both concerts but as always I was hoping that the music would never end. Experiencing Don McLean live is
    something words can’t describe. Two fantastic shows and I’m already looking forward to Don’s return in the autumn. Thank you so much Don!

    1. Great review K …well done on remembering so many songs! Looks like I am headed over in September…any rooms left?? 🙂

  33. Congratulations Don! The New Judy Collins CD of Duets of which Don and Judy’s Send in the Clowns is the standout is No 1 Folk , N0 2 Country , No 7 All Songs on Amazon – the Album is getting race reviews and Judy has spoken warmly about the duet with Don .

  34. Cork Opera House, 26 September 2015

    I wasn’t sure about making the three hour drive south from Galway to attend this show, but I am very glad I did. I rarely bother recording views on shows these days as I have done so many it is difficult to find new things to say. However, every now and again a show comes along that demands attention and this was one of those.

    Having booked my ticket very much at the last minute I found myself in the unusual position of being right at the top of the theatre in the back row of the upper circle – Row M, a place so remote it didn’t exist according to the sign on the entrance stair, which stopped at L. A mere seven seats at the
    top of the world and, in their way, heavenly.

    I was worried that I would feel disconnected from the show up there. But in fact it was quite the opposite as my view included pretty much the entire audience as well as a bird’s eye view of the stage. This allowed in particular a perspective on Tony’s piano and keyboard playing and Jerry’s drumming that showed just how much work goes into the apparently effortless quality both consistently produce. Although I was high, I was right opposite the middle of the stage and the sound was great. I could hear every note from the piano and all the guitars, which is not always so especially with the piano. Don’s voice was clear and strong which always helps!!

    Befitting the great acoustic , this was a much quieter set than on the previous night in Galway and I much prefer this sort of show. The wildly enthusiastic audience inspired Don to give one of his outstanding performances. Everything sounded flawless, or as flawless as live music should be. All the big songs deservedly due great responses and it was great to hear a couple of things I have never heard him do before – an apparently spur of the moment version of the Everly Brothers ‘Walk Right Back’ and a bluesy Josh White ditty ostensibly about hugging and kissing, but alluding to much more a la Where Were You Baby.

    Although there was no encore, the crowd had already had full value with Don carrying straight on after AP with about 5 or 6 songs, ending with a crowd pleasing Mountains of Mourne. ‘Fabulous’ and ‘brilliant’ were words I heard as the crowd made its way out into the Cork night, and it was all of that. Caught up briefly with Don as he left and let him know how much I had enjoyed it. He seemed pleased and said they had been working on the sound.
    The tour moves on to Dublin (28th) , another show in Limerick (29th), Belfast (30th) and the 70th birthday bash in Croydon on 2nd October before moving on to 8 dates on mainland Europe. Get out and catch a great show while you can!

    1. Hi Bill, I was chatting to you on here earlier in the year about Don. I was wondering if you will be coming to his concert in Croydon this Friday? As it’s a special birthday for him and he is giving the evening to us to share with him I was wondering if, as a thank you we could all stand as he first walks on and sing to him ( happy birthday, of course ). I would be glad of your opinion as you have a greater insight to him than I. Sue.

        1. Hi Bill, thank you for your reply, glad to hear something is being arranged, do you know if anyone from this discussion group will be in the Terrace buffet restaurant for the 5.45 meal? would be great to meet up with other fans. Sue.

        2. That’s a shame. I will have a wander in there around that time, it would be great to finally be able to chat to others who appreciate him as much as I do. Many thanks for the info 🙂

  35. Happy birthday to Don!
    Really looking forward to this evening’s concert. Does anyone know who will be the support act? The Fairfield Hall were keeping it a secret yesterday…

    1. Hi Gill, may see you there. I rang Fairfield Halls to ask but I was told they didn’t have anyone planned and may not know if there will be anyone untill the last minute. So maybe things may be a little different today, as its such a special one, anyway I cannot wait 🙂

  36. It was Texan singer songwriter Jarrod Dickenson on the Irish shows and he was excellent, but his Instagram feed suggests this was only for Ireland. Maybe Madonna will turn up for a duet on American Pie! 🙂

    1. I have been chatting online with Jarrod, really nice guy, just before the Ireland tour, and at that time he didn’t know who would be support act today either. Ooh secrets 🙂

  37. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DON!!!! Thank you for sharing your beautiful words and music for so long and continuing to do so. Have a wonderful birthday and a great time in Croydon.

  38. Had a wonderful evening at Don’s concert, it was being filmed, no idea what for, need to find out so I can see it all again, Don had a support act a very good jazz singer/piano player, whom Don met on The Richard Madeley radio show a few months ago, I can see why Don chose him, very much the sort of music Don would listen to growing up. Unfortunately I was so excited waiting for Don I have forgotten his name! I had a seat in the middle right in front of Don just three rows back, great songs, opened with Marty Robbins, then Everyday, And I Love You So, Vincent. Crossroads, Homeless Brother, and Empty Chairs plus Johnny Cash, and Elvis, a great mix of new and old, ( cannot recall all of them, hurry up recording company and get it published! ) We had American Pie, just before he and the band went out, Don came back to a birthday cake carried by a member of staff and we all sang Happy Birthday to him, while he scooped up some icing and was busy licking his finger, I think he hoped to get away with not blowing out the candles but didn’t, there were only a couple actually lit and out they went, to applause. We had another fast paced mix of songs before it was very sadly time for Don to finish. He was given his usual single rose, thanked us all, and blew us a kiss. Thank you Don, I love all the stories of your life you tell us about in between all the terrific songs, makes me feel I know the ‘real person’ as well as the wonderful singer / songwriter that you are. Please come back over here very soon. Xxxx

    1. The support act was Joe Stilgoe, and I really liked him too. The concert was wonderful! I feel very privileged to have been there. Thank you Don! And yes, please come back soon.

  39. Don, a dream come true for me to see and hear you sing in Uppsala, Sweden on 15th October. Thanks for the extra songs. And I dream of being the carnation in the botanical gardens and your pick up truck just to hear you sing and be present in your beautiful aura ! Only someone beautiful on the inside can write what you wrote. Love from Sweden!

  40. The excellent concert at the Fairfield Hall in Croydon (Oct 2) was recorded ..also 70th birthday ..was a DVD ever issued? Thanks

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