Colin Hay at Keswick Theater – Memorable Show

Colin Hay performs at The Keswick Theater, Glenside, PA. April 28, 2012.

Buying concert tickets 4 months in advance is not recommended. My fiancé, Cindy, ended up having to go on a business trip and I couldn’t sell the them. As it turns out, I’m glad I didn’t, read on…

I went to the concert with two tickets, expecting to sit next to an empty seat, not worried about recouping the loss for the extra. In my opinion Colin Hay is well worth the $70+. That’s about what I paid for both of them.

Here’s the story. I park by the venue and walk over to Plush, a nice little nightclub near the Keswick Theater, pull up a seat at the bar and order a beer. I introduce myself to a fellow sitting next to me, Dan, and ask if he’s in town for the Colin Hay show. He says he is, and I tell him about my plight with the extra ticket. He laughs and said he has an extra too.

He tells me he bought his tickets way back in December for he and his girlfriend, but they have since split up. I’m happy that my girl was only away on business. 🙂

We chat a bit more then I head over to the show, expecting to maybe see him later a few rows ahead of me or something. I find my seat at the show, in Orchestra Center row D. As seating goes, from that point forward we have C, B, A, then JJ through AA, then CCC through AAA, which is the very first row. There were an additional three rows of folding chairs set up between AAA and the stage for this show as well.

So I’m sitting there and I hear someone call my name. I turn and look toward the aisle and Dan is walking ahead to his seat in row CCC. He’s waving his extra ticket to me and pointing ahead, indicating that I should join him, so I get up and politely make my way out and move up, very cool.

Ryan Montbleau performs at The Keswick Theater, Glenside, PA. April 28, 2012.

So we sit and chat about music and stuff, and watch the opening act, Ryan Montbleau. Amazing guitarist and singer/songwriter, with an unique style that blends soul, roots blues, bluegrass, country and rock, combined with a storyteller lyrical style. Quite enjoyable. After the show I bought a CD, “Live at Life is good,” met Ryan and he autographed it. Nice guy.

I considered getting an autograph or photo with Colin Hay, unfortunately the line was way long, forgive me if that sounds bad, but consider this…

After Ryan’s performance we headed out to the lobby for intermission. I waited on line for the mens’ room, lost Dan in the shuffle, and by the time I got back downstairs, grabbed a drink at the concession stand and headed back to my seat Colin Hay was already starting his set. I found our row, CCC and notice that our seats were taken, and Dan was nowhere in sight.

Colin Hay talks to the audience at The Keswick Theater, Glenside, PA. April 28, 2012.

I was about to raise a stink and demand those people to move, because I had the new ticket in my pocket, then I heard someone call my name again. I look to my right, toward the stage and there is Dan, in the 3rd row, center stage. He waved to me and nonchalantly motioned to the empty seat beside him. No kidding. I headed up there, excused myself passed others in that row, sat down and asked him, “what the hell just happened, how did we get up here?” He looked over at me and shrugged, smiling.

I like a good mystery. Anyway, there we were. I sat on a folding chair, right down in front, thus the great shots I was able to get with my cell phone (no flash!). Colin Hay is a wonderful performer and story teller, really fun to watch and inspiring to listen to. I’ve been a great fan of his style, especially his voice, since my late teens and early twenties, and this rekindled that fondness.

Funny side story: My father met Colin Hay back in the late 1980s while he was in National Guard. My version of this story was completely inaccurate so my father emailed his first hand account, which you can read at the end of this post.

Upon returning home my father asked, “Have you ever heard of a group called Man at Work?” I said, “yeah, they’re awesome,” or something to that effect. He told me the story and my jaw dropped. Then apologized for not getting an autograph for my sister and me. At least we have the story.

Colin Hay performed many songs from his carrier, including a choice few from the Men at Work Days (it was nice to hear “Down by the Sea”), as well as songs from his 2011 release “Gathering Mercury.” Every bit of music and voice delivered beautifully. Hay is a delight to listen to, engaging, humorous and at times touching, whether he’s telling one of his anecdotes or singing one of his great songs.

It was a very entertaining evening and a great show at the Keswick Theater with Colin Hay, and Ryan Montbleau, enjoyed from some of the best seats in the house. Thanks Dan!

Update: My Father’s Chance meeting with Colin Hay and Men at Work.

I met Men at Work at the Syracuse, NY airport. We were there for a forced overnighter while flying up to Ft. Drum. The weather at Ft. Drum was bad so we had to spend the night in Syracuse waiting for the storm to pass. Our helicopters were buttoned up on the apron and the 4 of us who had secured them were waiting for transportation to the hotel, the other crews had gone ahead. We noticed that the chain link fence around the area where we were waiting was wall to wall people. Didn’t think it was for us. 🙂

A four engine Vickers Viscount turboprop landed and taxied up next to us and a group of people came down the ladder. They walked over to us and started to chat, we did not know who they were. I did shake hands with all of them.They wanted to buy flight-suits and wanted to know where to get them. We could not help them but they did invite us to tour their airplane and partake of the cheese and fruit goodie trays they left behind. We watched as they got into some limos and departed. We then climbed aboard the aircraft and had a nice visit with the cute flight attendant who told us who they were and then had a tour and some nice snacks. I also remember a short Japanese photographer running around taking pictures, He stood out in my mind because he only had one hand. He would rest the camera on his stump and then snap pictures.

The guys who had gone ahead were sort of pissed since they missed out. The Viscount was closed up tight when we left the next morning. I read in the local paper that Men at Work had performed a concert at the Civic Center.