Watching the MAN at Work!


Saturday night in Chicago was terrific! Denielle and I met up with some close friends in the Lincoln Park area to catch an intimate show at Park West. It’s a small auditorium that is host to many top act performances. I didn’t mind standing outside along the sidewalk waiting for the doors to open. Good people and good conversations to distract us from what we were about to experience. Ever hear of the 1980’s band, Men at Work? Well a very special man named Colin Hay, who was the lead singer, guitarist and principle song writer of that group was the performer of the evening.

You have to hear him play, in order to understand why I think he’s so incredible. Sure you might be familiar with songs like “Who Can It Be Now?” or “Down Under.” But he has really matured as a fine solo artist after his record label let him go back in 1991. He figured it was a good thing they did, because if he’s not welcomed anymore than why would he want to hang around with them. He has written and performed wonderful songs accompanying himself on acoustic guitar.

That is what he did at Park West. He stood there on stage holding his guitar, playing, singing and talking. He even told a lot of jokes at times. Colin Hay is really funny. The audience was just rip roaring at his anecdotes, his old tales from back in the day and just telling us about some funny run ins with some of his oddball fans. Mistaken identities in restaurants and people thinking he wrote some song about a goat. I was just surprised how many times I was laughing.

All joking aside, he had like 5 guitars on stage which he tuned himself, live in front of us. It’s just so special to be in a place this small with this living legend on stage jamming away for us. It’s like storytellers from way back when tv stations like VH1 used to air these precious live shows with little tales about the songs being performed. Colin is a regular guy from Scotland and Australia. He tells it like it is but he’s just so damn good playing the guitar. It is fascinating to watch him strum, tune, his wincing facial expressions and the beauty of his vocals.

I’m glad we went. Here is a sample from the show. It happens to be “our song” when we were planning our wedding and beyond. Thank you Colin Hay for an awesome experience!


Colin Hay-Beautiful World (Why I love this song!)

579106409So back in the 80’s there was the popular band called Men at Work. They were known for songs such as “Who Can It Be Now?” and “The Land Down Under.” The group was led by Mr Hay. My girlfriend at the time; Denielle, now my wife, were at a Chicago White Sox ballgame in the summer of 2007. Pre-game entertainment was provided by Colin Hay. He played about 4 or 5 songs so it was kind of like a mini concert for us. I was trying to figure out why his voice sounded familiar that day. Then I remembered the movie Garden State and what a great soundtrack that was. One of his songs was on it and it was this stripped down acoustic guitar ballad. His voice was weathered but soothing and quite beautiful. That night confirmed the fact that Colin Hay is not an 80’s has-been, but a truly underrated artist who continues to record beautiful and thought-provoking music. Then during the summer of 2010 I picked up several of his recordings on cd. The song “Beautiful World” came on and it really touched me. It was one that he played that night at Comiskey Park a couple of years sooner. I had it playing on my stereo the morning I got married to Denielle. It brought tears to my eyes because, “perhaps this is as good as it gets.” So why not just live every day like it’s my last. After we got married, I put together a dvd of our marriage and I made sure to insert that song into it in a perfectly fit spot with people cheering and bubbles floating all over. Ahhh this is living. Thank you Colin Hay for entering into our life and blessing us with happiness.

Signing off,