There are fewer things better to me than a singer songwriter alone on stage with their guitar, sharing their stories with the rest of the world. So this past weekend at the Lincoln Theatre in Washington, DC was a treat. Colin Hay, backed only by a full stage black curtain and flanked by four guitars, gave us some truly wonderful stories on Saturday night over the course of two hours.
It was a fantastic show. He is so entertaining even without playing music — I would go see him just tell stories for an hour and a half. A 68 year old Scotsman who spent his teenage years in Australia: tell me all of your stories and I will make popcorn.
His 17 song set covered the majority of his solo career but also included songs from the two albums he released over the course of the pandemic. I Just Don’t Know What to Do with Myself (an album of covers from 2021) and Now and the Evermore (released this past March). Each song was punctuated with comedic tales from his interactions with Ringo, or how he dealt with getting sober 30 years ago, to how he is lucky enough to stand anonymously in line at CVS while hearing one of his Grammy-winning hits coming out of the speakers above him. And while his spoken stories have the comic bite of someone who grew up in Scotland in the 50s and 60s, and migrating to Australia as a teenager, his songs are all deeply introspective and full of passion for life. I am especially fond of his acoustic version of the Men at Work song “Overkill.”
Other highlights (as if there were any lows) of the night included crowd favorites “Maggie,” “I Just Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You,” “Beautiful World,” and “Waiting for My Real Life to Begin.”