"Don’t wait up…cause she won’t be coming home..."
The voice is comfortable, warm, and confident. Chances are if you are under the age of thirty, you know it as the throaty voice that lingers over the words "Just don’t think I’ll ever get over you…’ on the Garden State soundtrack. If you are over thirty you might be a fan of his work as the front man of the hit band Men at Work.
Colin Hay had me scrambling to get my ipod stocked with his voice the moment I heard it in the indie movie. I couldn’t wait to hear that song live. My husband came for the 80’s hits. A musician is in a tough spot with one show to play representing essentially two different careers. One can throw a show of hit songs sans backup band and fog lights, cementing the reputation of a has-been. Or one can pretend their hits don’t exist and play a singer-songwriter show that is only half the story.
Hay does neither. Or he does both. Somehow he manages to blend both old and new in a phenomenal show that would live up to any ticket holder’s expectations, no matter what side of thirty they’re on.
Colin Hay knows his crowd, and knows he’s singing to a mixed bag. "I do have some hits…5 of them. 5 in the top 5. I won a Grammy 25 years ago and I’m waiting to see what comes next," he quips. He lightly peppers his set with the Men at Work hits that he fondly calls his 17¢ songs.
With his wry sense of humor and his Australian accent that makes everything he says entertaining, he describes the anticipation he feels from the stage of people who come just for his hits. He describes their disappointment when he plays a song they don’t know. As he speaks, he tempts us with the riff of “Who Can It Be Now?,” a song he claims he wrote in the bush stoned on marijuana. Even though I’m one of those there for his current music, I find myself craving the hits as well.