There was something special about seeing Colin Hay perform a full show with his international band. He was extremely relaxed. Maybe that’s because it was his last show on the tour, maybe the home-town gig is always the best one, maybe he was in good company with wife in the band. The amazing Cecilia Noēl added a totally different feel to the performance.
Colin Hay is an incredible musician and very funny. The stories in his shows are as good as the songs around them. It is hard to tell if he is a singer doing jokes or a comedian doing songs sometimes. He shares a lot about himself, his former band Men At Work and the occasional life experience throughout the show.
This setlist covered his entire career and included many songs played live for the first time in decades. ‘Touching The Untouchables’, a Men At Work song from the first album ‘Business As Usual’ opened the show. He hadn’t touched that song in years until this tour.
Colin also dug deep to give fans of those first two Men At Work albums a chance to hear songs they haven’t heard in a long time like ‘Catch A Star’ and ‘Down By The Sea’ from ‘Business As Usual’ and ‘No Sign Of Yesterday’ from ‘Cargo’. Those two records did over 10 million sales in the USA alone.
This was a 5pm performance at the Melbourne Recital Hall. 5 fucking PM, can you believe it? Colin couldn’t help but quip how it was the old people’s show. However, it was also the second of two sold-out shows in Melbourne so the fan-base is still strong for the 64-year old ex-Scottish, ex-Australian, and since 1989 … California resident.
The band was made up of Cubans and Peruvians (as Colin called them) including his wife Cecilia who brought a rhythm to Colin’s method of performing. They included a Calypso version of AC/DC’s classic ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’, once recorded by Cecilia on her 2014 ‘Havana Rocks’ album.
There were stories about his parents (who are no longer with us). He said that at his mother’s funeral recently someone told him “one day you will be reunited with them forever”. “Forever,” Colin exclaimed. “Can’t it just be every other weekend”. His sister Carol joined him for ‘Melbourne Song’.
As well as the verbal stories, every song is its own story. Colin used the title of ‘Waiting For My Real Life To Begin’ also as the title of his documentary.
Musically Hay gives a bit of all of his career in the setlist and a lot of who he is personally between the songs.
Colin Hay is a fun guy with a good sense of humour. The show is like catching up with an old friend.
Colin Hay, Melbourne Recital Hall, 11 February 2018 at 5 Fucking PM Woo hoo
Touching the Untouchables (from Men At Work, Business As Usual, 1981)
Dr. Heckyll & Mr. Jive (from Men At Work, Cargo, 1983)
Come Tumblin’ Down (from Fierce Mercy, 2017)
Wayfaring Sons (from Wayfaring Sons, 1990)
Can’t Take This Town (from Peaks & Valleys, 1992)
Send Somebody (from Gathering Mercury, 2011)
I Just Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You (from Trancendental Highway, 1998)
Maggie (from Going Somewhere, 2001)
Catch a Star (from Men At Work, Business As Usual, 1981)
Down by the Sea (from Men At Work, Business As Usual, 1981)
The Last to Know (from Fierce Mercy, 2017)
A Thousand Million Reasons (from Fierce Mercy, 2017)
No Sign of Yesterday (from Men At Work, Cargo, 1983)
It’s a Mistake (from Men At Work, Cargo, 1983)
Who Can It Be Now? (from Men At Work, Business As Usual, 1981)
You Shook Me All Night Long (AC/DC cover)
Overkill (from Men At Work, Cargo, 1983)
Down Under (from Men At Work, Business As Usual, 1981)
Be Good Johnny (from Men At Work, Business As Usual, 1981)
Melbourne Song (With Carol Hay) (from Peaks & Valleys, 1992)
Waiting for My Real Life to Begin (from Going Somewhere, 2001)
Next Year People (from Next Year People, 2017)