There are still nights when I have to pinch myself to believe that I get to see much less photograph artists that I never dreamed of seeing live when I grew up. Last night definitely fell into that category. Colin Hay became a household name as the lead singer of Men At Work but has not slowed down since the group called it quits. He released a new album “Fierce Mercy” a few months ago.
Opening the evening was Boston’s Chris Trapper. After assuring the audience that they were at the right show, he went on to capture our ears. It was just Trapper and his guitar (and an Ukulele for one song) but the simple setup worked well for his music. One has to pay attention to his lyrics – the crowd did as proven by frequent chuckles. In between songs he wove in a few stories about his journey. All said an enjoyable set and well suited to the evening.
Colin Hay’s setup was similarly simple. Just the man, a few guitars, oh and a coat rack. He warned fans that he would open with a new song, but the warning was not needed. He had the audience in his grasp very quickly and at the end of “The Last To Know” the other shoe dropped. Hay started to talk about his years growing up in Scotland and his father’s music shop. His tales became part of the evening as much as his music. Hayis a born storyteller and his Scottish accent added even more charm. Frequent laughter filled the Pantages Theatre but there were also bit deeper wisdom “Same God, Different Blazer”, summed up his encounters with boys from the Catholic school.
He also payed homage to his influences with Dylan and Beatles covers, and honored the Purple One with a quiet but brilliant rendition of “Little Red Corvette”. Of course songs from his years in Men At Work were included including the one that Ringo Starr called “That song about the place that you’re not from”. The evening felt very intimate, almost like you were sitting in a cabin and listen to your favorite uncle telling stories and singing some songs. Sometimes it takes stripping way the fancy lights and band to bring out the very essence of an artist and I feel that’s what we got to witness last night.
Set List (Best Effort, did not get a picture) The Last to Know \ Like a Rolling Stone \ Little Red Corvette \ I Just Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You \ Who Can It Be Now? \ Down Under \ Frozen Fields of Snow \ Come Tumblin’ Down \ Beautiful World \ A Thousand Million Reasons \ Overkill \ Here Comes the Sun \ Waiting for My Real Life to Begin \ Next Year People