Concert Review: Colin Hay

What a treat: two hours of stories and music from Colin Hay on Tuesday night.

There may have been more stories than music from this singer-songwriter, who was born in Scotland, moved to Australia and now calls California home.  He came to the Rex Theater alone, not only reminding us of his success with Men at Work, but also of his body of music as a solo artist.  Between sipping water and changing guitars were the stories of his father, touring with Ringo Starr, meeting Paul McCartney, Men at Work supporting Fleetwood Mac, writing Men at Work songs, and even goats.  There was some music too, in between the banter.  The title track of his most recent CD Gathering Field began the set. The title track of his 2nd CD Wayfaring Sons and his 5th album Transcendental Highway, with a track from his 3rd CD Into the Cornfields. In the early 1980's we probably would not have appreciated hearing acoustic versions of Down Under, Who Can It Be Now? and Overkill but the songs have aged very well. Another new song Invisible. Also Beautiful World and Waiting For My Real Life To Begin, which he gently reminded us was now 17 years old.  The evening ended with Kool & the Gang's Celebration playing over the speakers. To really appreciate that song, you would have had to be there to hear that story.

Opening was Chris Trapper, out of Boston, MA. You may know him as the leader of The Push Stars.  I came in near the end of his set as he was introducing a song which he had written in Pittsburgh. He ended with a song he wrote for his parent's 50th wedding anniversary.

Barb S. - Sunday Mix Host


I went to see this show as well. It was just like I thought it would be with great stories by Colin accompanied by great music. If you are sensitive about the F word then you may not want to attend his show. I heard an acoustic version of Overkill one day(which was one of my favorite Men at Work songs)and decided to check out what Colin Hay was doing in recent years and found that he has put out some very solid solo records with mainly acoustic instrumentation. I was hoping he would stop by Pgh one day and although I missed him when he was hear the last time a year or so ago, I did not miss him this time. I'm so glad I didn't because it was such a good time. I was surprised how many people were there. He filled up the Rex. My only quibble was they had the volume too high on his vocals and at times it really hurt your ears. The sound was much better for Chris Trappers set. I really enjoyed the Chris Trapper set as well. I think you made a freudian slip above. The name of Colin's new album is Gathering Mercury not our wonderful local band Gathering Field.