The Metal Files

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Posts Tagged ‘benji

Colin Hay – Concert Review – 101409 – Austin, TX

with 3 comments

As noted before, I’m a huge Men At Work fan. I found out the day of this show that Colin was playing at the tiny little Cactus Cafe on the campus of UT.  This place is typically a first come, first served so I got there early.  Being the dork that I am, I brought my CD covers (previously signed by Greg Hamm) for the only 3 Men At Work albums.  I used to have some of Colin’s solo CDs but his solo work never did much for me.

I was one of the first few people there and ended up meeting a guy who had also just found out about the show.  Super nice guy, screenwriter.  We talked for quite a while before they let us in and then sat together.  The cactus only holds about 50 people and this show didn’t sell out.  Criminal!!!

Colin got on stage and instantly just started telling stories, very funny stories.  Intermingled with his storytelling he also played some music.  Truthfully I think he may have only played 8 or 9 songs, but it didn’t matter.  His stories were very engaging and absolutely hilarious, even if a bit embellished here and there.

The only Men At Work songs that he played were Down Under, Who Can It Be Now and the closer Overkill.  I admit to getting a little choked up when he played that song.  It’s always been one of those songs from one of those eras, ya know?  I would like to have heard a few others that I think would have done well acoustically, but hey, it’s not my show.

He played practically flawlessly and his voice was still powerful and stayed crisp the whole night.  He’s a solid player on guitar.  I was impressed.

After the show he said he’d come out and do a quick meet and greet.  Of course I stuck around (groupie!).  Only about 10-15 people stuck around to say hi and I just waited at the end of the line.  When he got to me, he looked at my stack of CD covers and I think it was pretty blatant that I wasn’t a fan of his almost 10 albums of solo works.  He asked who had previously signed them  and I told him about the show in Virginia Beach in 1999.  He recalled the show as “Upstairs venue?  Hot as hell?”  He nailed it.  He was very amiable and I just thanked him and told him how much those 3 albums meant to me as a kid and even now as an adult.  He thanked me, shook my hand and looked at my shirt and said, “Black Sabbath, eh?  Good on ya, mate.”  We snapped a quick foto and I shook his hand one mroe time and left.

It was very special for me.  I’d certainly go see him again.  His comedy routine is worth the price alone.  Add in his music and it’s a double bonus night!

Written by The Metal Files

October 28, 2009 at 7:30 pm

It’s just overkill

with 4 comments

Sorry, this isn’t about the band Overkill.  It’s about Men At Work.   I became a fan on day one when they first hit in America.  It was a combination of Colin Hay’s voice and Jerry Speiser’s drumming.  That guy was a beast!


I can remember riding my bike down to Benji’s house and listening to this every weekend.   It was just good stuff.


Business As Usual – 1982

Other than Helpless Automaton, there’s not another bad song on the album.  people Just Love To Play With Words, Who Can It Be Now, Underground, Catch a Star and I Can See It In Your Eyes are certainly my faves.  Down Under is good but way overplayed.


Cargo – 1983

Their follow-up wasn’t as commercially acceptable but I think I like it more in many ways.  The song Overkill is easily one of my favorite songs by any band in any genre.  The album is filled with really good songs like Blue For You, High Wire and It’s a Mistake.  Dr. Heckyl and Upstairs In My House are great too.  I never cared much for I Like To.  Little too goofy.


Two Hearts – 1985

This album was a bit of a let down.  It’s not bad, but it’s lacking.  Jerry Speiser left the band and they used a drum machine.  ugh.  The Man With 2 Hearts and Maria are the standout tracks.


I did finally see them in Virginia Beach in 1999(?).  It was only Colin Hay and Greg Ham left in the band.  Reggie, Dave and I got there when the opening band had about 2-3 songs left and the show was sold out.  I’m a bit of a fanatic for this band and told them I was going to force my way up front.  They looked at me like I was crazy.  I got up there right before they took the stage and was dead center.  It was a great show.  Sadly most people were there to hear the hits but they played some other non-hits as well as some solo stuff of Colin’s.  All of which I was familiar with.  I was raising so much hell between songs that Colin commented to me from the stage, “You’re nuts mate.  I love it!”  Great show.


Afterwards I got to hang out with Greg Ham and share some wine with him.  Super nice cat.  I didn’t get to meet Colin.  Greg said he’s not much on hanging out and is a bit shy. 


Good times.

Written by The Metal Files

February 20, 2009 at 3:30 pm