He said the same during his 2010 Addicted to Black Tour but here he is again, gently entertaining with a selection of well-kent songs.
He is welcomed onstage warmly by a crowd that was first treated to the music of newcomer Mairead Carlin, an Irish singer yet to release her first album but who so impressed McLean with her lilting interpretations of folk music he invited her on tour.
Mairead's beautifully expressed folk segues nicely into McLean's evening of greatest hits. There are no surprises in the selection –Vincent, And I Love You So, Crying – and nothing too overly-stimulating for the laid-back audience.
A refreshing thing is the lack of mobile phones flashing and recording. The audience, of McLean's vintage, are doing what audiences once traditionally did: just watching the show.
After nearly 90 minutes of music the crowd get what they are yearning for: American Pie. Of course they do and of course it is the high point of the night.
This time his tour is touted as the 40th Anniversary Tour. McLean undercuts this somewhat when he says: "I've been doing this for 44 years," but what's a few years among friends, eh?
At the night's close he says he's playing a little extra, just in case it's his last. There are indulgent noises from the audience; McLean seems like a man who'll keep coming back as long as he's willing and able.
And, from the looks of things, he's both.