Friday, March 29, 2024

I don't go to a lot of concerts, but the one I'm attending tonight is special for reasons beyond music

By Derek Russell -, CC BY-SA 2.0,

If all goes according to plan, this evening I'll be joining The Marks (my brother and my nephew, who share that first name) at the Kent Stage in Kent, Ohio, for a night of music and storytelling offered up by one Mr. Colin Hay.

If you know Colin at all, it's likely as the lead singer of the highly successful early-80s pop group Men at Work. In the years since, he has forged a nice solo career, having released more than a dozen albums.

Colin has always meant a lot to me, in part because Men at Work was the first musical act that really caught my interest. I bought their single "Down Under" on 45 in 1982, the first record purchase I made using my own money (from my paper route, of course).

I never got to see the group perform live before they broke up, but I've seen Colin in concert several times over the past 20 years. Nephew Mark is better at keeping track of this than I am  he has been there with me for every one of these shows  but I think tonight might be the seventh time I've been there in person to watch Colin work his magic.

And "magic" is actually a pretty apt word. Not only is he a wonderfully talented songwriter and musician, he's also a master of between-song banter. He tells stories and jokes in an understated Scottish way that holds audiences captive.

(Colin is known the world over for being from Australia, but he is Scottish by birth and lived there until he turned 14 and his family moved Down Under.)

Anyway, while I'm looking forward to the show, I'm more looking forward to spending some time with my brother and nephew. We probably don't get together as much as we should, but when we do, it never fails to be memorable.

Your takeaways today, then, are these:

(1) Make the effort to spend time with people you love.

(2) Colin Hay is still making music and is worth checking out if you've lost track of him.


  1. Have a great time! Great venue to see a show! Not a bad seat in the house. There’s so much about live music that make it a great experience. One aspect that sticks out is spontaneity. No two nights are the same and great things on stage can happen in an instant.

    1. I agree all around, Gary! I've seen a few shows at the Kent Stage and really enjoy the venue. No matter where you see it, though, live music is always a new experience. I'm looking forward to it.