Dublin Monday Night

Nessa writes:

This was my first time seeing Don live. I started listening to him ten years ago when I was 14. I was really looking forward to it and it was more than I’d hoped for. It took my breath away from the first song and by the second, And I Love You So, I was almost crying. I couldn’t believe how much it affected me! The whole show just blew me away, all of Oxegen was no-where near as good. I can’t wait till he comes back.


Why Not England 2

Alan Griffey writes:

I agree Why Not England?  About 7 years ago you visited

Torquay, Devon, England (The ERC).  I didn’t go to see you. 
I won’t make that mistake again.  Keep writing great un-
pretentious songs, with sweet melodies…
I wrote a web-site recently:
In ‘another place’ they’re raving about, or
rogering Dylan.  But I suggest Don Mclean’s
‘American Pie’ is a greater folk/rock anthem
than ‘Like A Rolling Stone’, great though the
second one is.  The first is pathos and light,
while the second is pathos and dark.

Three magical concerts-Dublin and Glasgow

carolyn and dave marshall writes:

Don has been my idol since the early seventies.My husband and i have been to  so many concerts over the years and the three we went to in August (one in Glasgow,two in Dublin)were, as usual magical and superb.All the songs were sung with heart and soul,my personal favourites are ballads (don’t they just send a shiver down your spine)especially Empty Chairs Vincent and Crossroads.Please release If You Could Read My Mind i’m sure this would be a massive hit.The band were, as usual, on top form- all are such excellent musicians.I was lucky enough to get a poster which Don signed for me and which now has pride of place on my wall!

Thank you Don for giving us so much pleasure.

Magic in Dublin

Ann Baker writes:

As always, I come away from a Don McLean concert feeling that he was singing to only me…… I have been going to see him since his early days here in Dublin when he was only one of few who visited here due to lack of concert halls and he was always on in the National Stadium. I miss his banjo playing though…. please next time bring it with you….I was also kissed by him when I was 20 years of age as I was getting married and my pals somehow arranged for me to meet him back stage in the Stadium, and, I still have the programme he signed for me then….

Don McLean …..Pure bliss in Dublin August 2005

Annie writes:

Olympia Theatre Dublin [2 nights in a row]Clap

The sheer joy and pleasure of two Don McLean concerts on consecutive nights is something I would recommend to any Don fan, it’s bliss. Just like you’ve stepped off the planet on to another one that is pure Don McLean.

The reason why I say this is because after seeing Don in concert for one night there is an excruciating long and usually unknowing wait till the next one. But it is a fantastic feeling when you sitting enjoying a concert knowing indulgently you can experience it all again tomorrow.

The is always great deal of anticipation and excitement for me that builds from the day I see an announcement of a concert that is tenable for me to get to and after last years magical Dublin concert and my chance to meet Don to present him with the Tribute Book I was not going to miss Don in Dublin.

The Irish people love Don and Don loves them in return, that is obvious the moment he walks out on stage its like the audience can’t get enough of him and he responds by giving his all just like it was his first time. It’s something I have always admired Don for, each show is different as is each audience, he never gives the same concert twice. After talking to Pat Severs he told us that the band only ever know the opening song that Don will sing and then they are on there own, Imagine that and no music on stage either. I noticed this when Don asked Pat to play Dobro and then just stepped forward singing something completely different without the need of the dobro. He actually went straight in to a new song called “When I grow old “ or something similar. It was a very beautiful song likened to Empty Chairs and he sang Solo . I hope very much that it will be on the new studio cd .

Don told us he loves the Olympia Theatre, the intimacy of the theatre and he adores the balconies. It’s not the most comfortable place but what the heck I’d sit, stand or whatever to see Don anywhere.

Don looked remarkably fit and well, he was happy and relaxed, he smiled a great deal and was very funny too. He appeared to be extremely content with his life right now and this was reflected very much in two concerts. Don has such expressive eyes and when he sings its like he passes the emotion of each song on to you in the audience .He sings with great passion and I realised I was crying at the end of “If you could read my mind”, in some ways its as though Don unearths emotions you didn’t know you could feel. He told us during the show that he had nearly quit show business along time ago as he didn’t feel he was good enough, Imagine that!

For the fashion victims the first night he was wearing blue jeans, black cowboy boots and a black shirt embroidered with red roses, my favourite and the second night blue jeans, a black smock type shirt and the same boots and as always he looked gorgeous but that’s just my view.

I never write a set list, there will always be someone else who does that and I am too captivated when Don is on stage to write anything coherent. I do recall him opening with a Marty Robbins number which was good to hear the first night.

As the audience were so responsive to Don we had several “sing a longs” “Travellin Man ‘” by Woody Guthrie which we had been taught earlier in the pub by Bill and Hannah, now old hands, this being their 3rd concert in so many days. We also joined in with Mountains of Mourne and a beautiful song called I think “The Water is Wide” a very beautiful song. You cannot help yourself but to join in when Don encourages you to do so and the more the audience gives the more Don gives. What is so obvious is Dons sheer love of music and performing and I hope he conitnues for very long time.I first saw Don in 1973 and he just gets better every time.

After giving us the “hits” both nights we were indulged with some glorious ballads whilst he sat down on a stool, he caused a laugh when he asked for a stool to sit down on .“Can I have a stool please” says Don I could see from where I was sitting a man off stage trying to adjust a stool, Don casually says “what about the one you’re sitting on !! “On the second night his stool was already ready.

Both nights Don sat down to do several numbers, he loves to experiment with songs and harmonies and we are so lucky to see a performer such as Don who is prepared to experiment with us it leaves me in awe of his talent.

The band themselves deserve their own acknowledgement. The pleasure that that they have supporting Don on stage is so clear. Tony Migliore piano and keyboards, I’m sure he has extra fingers! Jerry Kroon on drums, brilliant, Ralph Childs on his famous green bass and backing vocals, which he says he is very honoured to be able to do, which compliments Don so well and the wonderful Pat Severs on guitar and Dobro, and he never stops smiling it’s infectious. Having the dobro is as near to hearing Don play banjo, so I love it , they are all so talented and I applaud them whole heartedly. Those guys are just so good and as Bill has said in the past reviews they have gelled together to compliment and enhance Dons music so well. I loved the SOLO days but these days its even better.

The emotional high I am left with after seeing Don in concert is just wonderful , I wish I could bottle that feeling right up.

After both shows Don was in good spirits .He was patient and kind with all, signing many autographs and having photographs etc.I don’t think anyone felt rushed in any way and the band in turn chatted to fans.

I will always be proud to be a Don McLean fan and continue to travel to see Don far and wide. As well as being a Don fan I am very happy to have made so many acquaintances through Alan Howard’s web site and to realise that I am not alone in my love of Dons music. So thanks to the ones of you who made the weekend more special and for the ones I made acquaintances with it was great to meet you.

Thank you Don for two brilliant concerts in Dublin, until the next time……………………………………………………..hope the wait isn’t too long!

Glasgow, Isle Of Man and Dublin (twice)

hannah writes:

Well what a way to spend a holiday.  4 Don concerts in 8 days.  There were so many great moments that I’d be here till Christmas if I tried to do justice to them.  The particular highlights for me were “Oh My What A Shame” (Dublin – 1st night) one of my utmost favourites which in 32 years of attending Don concerts I had never heard live, “Birthday Song” (IOM) which sounded wonderful and which Don and the band had presumably  boned up on fairly hastily as Bill and I and others had put in late requests for this one, the IOM concert being the occasion of Bill’s 50th birthday,  “I Was Always Young” (Glasgow, IOM and Dublin 2nd night), Gordon Lightfoot’s “If You Could Read My Mind” (all 4 concerts) and the second “half” of the Glasgow concert. 
At Glasgow Don played American Pie, Vincent and Crying quite early on and a number of other classic songs and then asked for a beer and said he figured us punters had got our moneysworth and now he could play what he liked.  What he liked turned out to be a number of Western Songs, “Woodie Guthrie’s “Hard Travellin'”, “If You Could Read My Mind”  and so much more and for someone like myself who is quite happy to listen to American Pie,  Vincent, etc. however many times (in fact “Vincent” was particularly stunning on this occasion – oh and so was “Crossroads”) these more unusual songs were a real gift and were a  pleasure to hear, particularly as Don seemed to be enjoying himself.  Then there was “Addicted To Black” (Dublin first night)  which really rocked and well..I could go on and on.
Many thanks to Bill H, Drummond, Katherine, Neil, Matthew, Joe, Syl, Annie, Angela, Bill N. and Ross for being such good company between the concerts, to Lenny in the Isle Of Man and last but by no means least to Don Ralph, Pat, Tony and Jerry for being so good to us and for providing us all with such great music and a truly wonderful time.

Oh my, what a shame

Erik writes:

Oh my, what a shame I heard only one concert.

It was great to hear one of my old time favorites on Sunday in Dublin. He didn’t mention its title, but I loved hear him singing “Oh my, what a shame”. It brought tears to my eyes and memories in my heart. This was the fourth concert of Don I visited, and although #3 was almost thirty years ago in Amsterdam, his voice is still formidable. Never heard “Crying” in a live performance before, but it was so very well sung and no faltering whatsoever in the high notes! I loved it! The “River is wild” performance with the audience was another highlight, as intimate as “Babylon” on the Solo album and as I can remember from one of his Amsterdam concerts. It seems almost inevitable that American Pie is part of the concert. I wonder if he ever thinks to skip it for once himself. The audience loved to sing it with him. 

I hope he’ll visit Europes mainland again someday. I’ll go and see Don McLean in concert again. Fot this time, I’ll live with the memory of e great concert and some photographs.