Last year, I found his website and saw that he was playing at a place called "The Coach House", which is about half way between Los Angeles and San Diego in San Juan Capistrano.
We had such a good time, when he came back last night we decided to go again, but this time we asked the kids if they had any interest. I was kind of surprised when all of our kids wanted to go (youngest to oldest), and two of them wanted to bring friends. So, we went to the concert with seven of us.
At The Coach House, if you make dinner reservations before the show, you get the closest seats. The earlier you call, the better the seats. When I saw he was going to be there, it was days before the tickets went on sale, so I marked the calendar and called the morning they were available to get tickets and make dinner reservations.
There really aren't any bad seats in the place, it's small and everything is reasonably close, so I wasn't really worried about it. When we arrived, I was stunned when they brought us to a table right at the edge of the stage just left of center.
Casey brought her friend Stephanie (11), who had never been to a concert before. She wanted to come with us because "American Pie" is her all time favorite song. So, I suggested that since this was her first time, she should have the closest seat to the stage.
We had a good dinner, at reasonable prices, along with the house red wine.
The opening act was pretty good, but I was really sorry that the crowd didn't seem into him. There was a lot of loud talking over him, and I felt badly for the guy. At the end he didn't look very happy as he was gathering up his equipment.
Don McLean took the stage, and had a hard time with the equipment, giving audible instructions to the board operator during songs. Then he was trying to move things around and spilled his beer onto one of the junction boxes causing it to short out and make noise. He made the best of it, and by the time he sung American Pie, the crowd was on its feet.
During songs like "Vincent" (Starry, Starry Night), I would look over at Stephani, and she had her elbow propped up on the edge of the stage, with her head resting in the palm of her hand, just looking up at McLean, about 8' away from here. I would see him glance down at her and smile once in awhile. This was an all ages event, but Casey and Stephanie were the only two kids in the audience.
At the end of the show they announced that Mclean would be in the back signing autographs, and that CD's would be on sale, so we took the girls back and waited in line.
When we got up there, Don McLean looked at Stephanie and said, "I saw you!", and made small talk with her and Casey for quite some time asking how old they were and wasn't it passed their bedtimes. Then he said, "I guess California kids stay up later!". He signed a personal message to Stephanie on the CD I bought for her. Then he signed the ones that Casey and I had and posed for a picture.
It was a really fun night, and I was really glad to share it with the kids. Here is the photo: