BY HEATHER CURNETT
Colin Hay came through Denver April 4th to promote his newly released Next Year People. This time around, he played to a sold out crowd at the Gothic. I’m going to go ahead and divulge here and now, that I’ve been a pretty big Colin Hay fan for over 30 years. His unique voice and style caught my attention as early as age 10, and has held it ever since. I’ve seen Colin Hay many times, so yes, I’m kind of a fan-girl. That said, there are plenty of more objective folks who can corroborate my story when I say that Colin Hay puts on one hell of an entertaining show.
For this tour, Hay incorporated a visual aspect to his show that I haven’t seen before. He had images projected onto a huge screen behind him. These included family pictures from his youth and images from nature. A highlight of the evening was when he played his acoustic version of Down Under as the music video from the 80s played behind him. During the bridge, he turned around and watched as his 20 something year old self boogied down. Then he just smiled at the audience and shook his head.
How best to describe a Colin Hay show? Music and stories. Stories and music. He’s quite generous with both. His perspective is a most unique one. Many people forget (or never knew) that Men at Work were a big stinking deal in the 80s. They won Grammies, sold out stadiums, topped the charts, mingled with the most famous of the famous. They enjoyed 3 albums of pretty solid success and recognition, and then it left as quickly as it came. Colin Hay is very open about what this type of ride entails. What if felt like. How it can break you if you let it. He regards it all with humor. While tuning his guitar during the show he told the crowd that he used to have people whose only job was to tune his guitars. “That’s the first thing to go.”, he quipped.
In addition to sharing many stories from his career, he is also very open with audiences about the loved ones in his life. As I’ve attended shows over the years, I’ve listened as Colin Hay celebrated the lives and shared the loss of those he loves very much. He is most generous with these stories. I appreciate the memories of his dad, Greg Ham (fellow MAW bandmate & dear friend), then, most recently, his mom. I believe it’s these stories that inspire such a fiercely loyal fan base. For example, he shared a story about his mom coming on tour with him to Tasmania while in her eighties, a year before she passed. He told us about how their boat hit some very rough seas coming home and his mom laughed through the entire ordeal. Later, days before her death, she said to him “We had a good time, didn’t we son?”.
Colin Hay gets the brief, precious, fleeting, and ridiculous nature of life. As I listen to him sing and talk, I kind of get it too.
In addition to wonderful stories, Colin Hay’s voice is still as strong and unique as ever. No one else sounds quite like him. As the decades go by, he can still hit all the notes that fans have come to love. I always anticipate that final chorus in Overkill, and am never disappointed…”I can’t GET TO SLEEP!”
Colin Hay appreciates the loyalty of his fans. He makes the time to come out after each show and meet, chat, take pictures, and sign autographs. I can promise you this, you’ll never regret attending a Colin Hay show. If you do, please give me a call, let me take you out for some coffee, and tell you all the reasons you’re mistaken.
Set List April 4, 2015 Gothic Theater, Denver
Who Can It Be Now?
Did You Just Take The Long Way Home?
If I Had Been a Better Man
Waiting In The Rain
Scattered In The Sand
I Just Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You
Waiting For My Real Life To Begin
Next Year People