Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Concert report: Colin Hay
Last night I saw Colin Hay in concert, and it was a really remarkable show. I nearly always enjoy the music at every concert that I go to- I mean, you wouldn’t drop the cash on a ticket unless you had a reasonable assumption that you will like the music. This show was different- not only did I enjoy the acoustic music, I also alternated between laughing until it hurt and surprisingly, having tears run down my face in response to songs that I had never even heard before that moment. The show was at the Largo Cultural Center, a very small venue, and my seats were three rows from the stage. From the start, Colin Hay told stories that were genuinely hilarious. He was cursing a blue streak, (actually not so much a streak, it was just one word, over and over, used in every part of speech), and he finally said (in that beautiful Scottish accent of his) “I’m sorry for my language if there are any children here. But, the fact is that I’m simply a very bad man.” He sang many of his 80’s hits with Men At Work, such as “Who Can It Be Now”, “Down Under” and (my fave 80’s song of his) “Overkill”. He also did a great selection of his solo music, with highlights being “Beautiful World” (one of the top 5 songs on my iPod), “Waiting For My Real Life to Begin”, “I Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You” and “Are You Looking At Me?”
He sang two songs that had me very unexpectedly weeping, the first was “Maggie” The second is from his upcoming album “American Sunshine”. He told a story about his parents, both in their late 80’s. They live in Melbourne, Australia and he lives in Los Angeles. He spoke about having had a blissfully happy life as a child and even today, then said that he wrote this new song in response to himself being “terribly unprepared for tragedy”- essentially, the song is him practicing mourning for his parents while they are still alive. I spoke with him after the show, mentioning that it is so powerful, particularly in context of the stories about his childhood that he tells before he sings it. I told him that the song absolutely destroyed me, I had tears running down my face and didn't recover for another song after it- he said “that’s what it’s supposed to do!” I **think** that he said the song is called “You Love Me Across the Water”. It is amazing, and if it’s any indication of the quality of songs on his upcoming album, it’s not to be missed. As you can see from the picture above, I'm still sporting some wounds from my fall at the Todd Rundgren show, and Colin Hay really is looking at the camera, despite appearances. His independently wandering right eye is a bit of a trademark, hence the name of his record company, "Lazy Eye Records". He was very sweet, staying after the show for pictures and autographs and thanking each person who spoke with him. I already had two of his CD's, but I picked up a third that I hadn't seen before and he signed it to me (even taking the time to spell my name right, that's an oddity!) This was a small concert, but I enjoyed it immensely and I'll make sure to take John along when Colin Hay comes back to town next year. My next concert is a whole month away, but it's James Taylor (swoon...that man just knocks me off my feet) so JT is most assuredly worth the wait.