Man at work: Colin Hay gets comedic, confessional on album release day

Colin Hay Photos by Andy Argyrakis

When Colin Hay first sang about the land “Down Under” as leader of Men At Work, he was one of the most visible and commercially viable faces of the 1980s. Jump ahead a few decades, and the Scottish singer/songwriter joins that decade’s somewhat rare likes of Aimee Mann (‘Til Tuesday) and Neil Finn (Crowded House) when it comes to redirecting his career with the utmost indie credibility and cross-generational appeal.

One of the most memorable and meaningful selections was actually the individual “Waiting For My Real Life To Begin” (also the namesake of Hay’s just released documentary DVD) that found this resilient artist more consciously committed to connecting with dedicated appreciators than he was during the first blur of fame.

Colin HayIn fact, a sold out Thalia Hall was filled with everyone from early MTV appreciators to younger faces likely familiar with him from the “Garden State” soundtrack, the TV show “Scrubs” or a prolific solo career that on this show’s very date saw the release of his 13th studio offering, “Fierce Mercy” (Compass Records). It’s been an unusual trajectory to say the least and one the troubadour/comedian regularly referenced in between heady, humorous and occasionally crass musings on family, aging, loss, and ultimately, perseverance.

Though the stand-up side of Hay’s personality was almost as prominent as the musical part, at least there were plenty of unplugged, career-spanning performances along the way. Current album cuts “Come Tumblin’ Down,” “A Thousand Million Reasons,” “Secret Love” and “I’m Going To Get You Stoned” effortlessly crossed paths with a sampling of other introspective notables such as “I Just Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You,” “If I Had Been A Better Man” and “Next Year People.”

Men At Work material wasn’t a prominent part of the program, but “Who Can It Be Now?,” “Down Under” and “Overkill” did appear, transitioning from bubbly pop productions into more serious, insightful acoustic rockers. Yet one of the most memorable and meaningful selections was actually the individual “Waiting For My Real Life To Begin” (also the namesake of Hay’s just released documentary DVD) that found this resilient artist more consciously committed to genuine connection than he was during the first blur of fame.


Click here for more Colin Hay photos from Thalia Hall.

For additional information on Colin Hay, visit ColinHay.com.

For a list of upcoming shows at Thalia Hall, visit ThaliaHallChicago.com.