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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

"It's A Mistake..."
or spending a sleepless night with Colin Hay

Okay, so the first thought that ran through my mind this morning at 3AM was, "NOOOOoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!?!"

The second thought was, "Coffee! Coffee! I need the caffeine-fueled, life-giving, chemically-inducing rejuvenation properties of coffee! I wonder how badly disfigured my face will be if I just shove my mouth under the coffee maker while the black gold is brewing?"

The alarm clock is a cruel, cruel mistress when one's only been asleep for three hours and has a full day ahead.

You see last night Geo and I spent a lovely evening out...on a school night...specifically, MY school night. Okay, it was Geo's school night, too, but he didn't have to get up at 3AM.

Did..Did I tell you I had to get up at 3AM? I think I did tell you I had to rise at 3AM. No? Well, I had to get up at 3AM!! Yeah. Can you believe it? I know. I'm such a hero. My workplace is planning to erect a statue in honor of my bravery and self-sacrifice.

Anywho...Colin Hay, former lead singer of the 80s Australian band Men At Work was performing at a local, quasi-dive bar touring in support of his latest CD "American Sunshine" which is excellent, by the way. (You can sample it here.) The show started at 8:00PM. Not a good sign, especially when yours truly had to get up for work at 3AM.

Did I tell you I had to... oh, yeah. I did.

This club is standing room only except for a few couches on the outer perimeter of the balcony. So Geo and I placed ourselves in what we perceived as the optimum viewing spot against the railing upstairs, overlooking the left side of the stage.

The opening local act, Aviation Blondes, was good and brief. Still by the time the roadies scrambled to clear their gear from the stage, it was a little after 9PM when Colin and company (including a long, raven-haired chippie wearing tight-fitting clothing) descended the stairway of the staging area to the blare of Scottish bagpipes. Here I always thought he was Australian. Turns out he's a Scott who emigrated to the great southern continent.

They opened with the atmospheric "Down by the Sea" to which the chippie starts to channel her inner Solid Gold/pole dancer. Seriously. She had a lot of space on stage and she was working it--floating her arms up and down, spinning with abandon, kicking and leaping, at times singing bits of back-up. She was actually distracting. She was also the absolute opposite of Mr. Hay's stone-still stature. She was all movement and dramatic interpretive dance. He was completely still except for the bob back of his head when he hit the high notes.

After about three songs:

Geo: She had to have been a stripper.
Me: Oh yeah! She totally needs a pole. I hope he's at least schtuping her.
Colin Hay: I'd like to introduce you to my wife, Cecilia.
Us: Aaaaaaah...

Anyway, she grew on us throughout the evening. Her abandon and complete lack of self consciousness was engaging and made us chuckle in a good way. She helped get the crowd stirred up. Although one dude on the floor kinda turned into creepy, stalker guy by constantly shoving his camera in her face, recording her all evening.

At first Colin was telling stories in between songs, tuning his guitar, chatting, tuning his guitar, and tuning his guitar. We could see the lengthy set list of about 25 songs from our vantage point. With all the talking (which we love) and tuning (not so much with the love)--Ohmigod! I thought we were going to be there until 1AM. But the time flew by.

He was So. Good. His voice all crystal clear and perfect pitch as he effortlessly belted out one song after another. He played about five from his new work--all very good--before launching into the tried and true crowd pleasers. He played every song I wanted to hear over the 2 1/2 hour, no encore set:

Beautiful World
Waiting for my Real Life to Begin
I Just Don't Think I'll Ever Get Over You
Who Can It Be
It's a Mistake
Overkill (my absolute fave, complete with a kick-ass, crowd sing-a-long)

The start of the first three songs was just him and his guitar, before the band joined in. It was beautiful, and made us long for him to come back again as a solo act. Of course, his Peruvian chip of a wife might have trouble doing those high kicks to quiet renditions. :D

All in all an evening well spent and well worth the lack of zzzzz's this morning...despite my bitching.

Did I tell you had to get up at 3AM?

Beautiful World--Hey, check it out! That's his wife, Cecilia on the right.

My all-time fave, OverKill. Live in Belfast. A story up front and you can hear everyone singing along.

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