Colin Hay brought his “I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself” tour to Ocean City, NJ. It was a perfect venue to appreciate the musicianship of the Songwriter/lead vocalist/guitarist for the Australian Chart toppers Men at Work. I JUST DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH MYSELF was just released on Compass Records days before, and the audience loved the blend of old favorites and new music.
The album is a group of songs Colin remembered while working at his parents record store where he heard all the hits of the day, from The Kinks’ “Waterloo Sunset” to the Faces’ “Ooh La La” to Dusty Springfield’s “I Just Don’t Know What to Do With Myself.” At home during quarantine in early 2021, he read that Gerry Marsden had died and found himself strumming the Gerry and the Pacemakers’ Merseybeat hit, “Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying.”
The show had a false start of sorts as right before the opener, Paula Cole was to take the stage, the venue’s fire alarm went off. The crowd safely regrouped back on the board walk. After the fire department showed up and declared the Music Pier safe again (evidently it was possibly a circuit breaker issue), the crowd returned to their seats.
The musicianship throughout the evening was on point as the band played through selections spanning Colin’s successful career. A major stand out for me was Sheila Gonzales who played numerous instruments. She was note for note on all of Greg Ham’s Brass and Woodwind parts.
He didn’t just barrel through songs, but you felt a closeness with Colin and the band throughout the evening (Gator). Colin’s musical ability is equally matched with his humor as Colin told stories and one-liners between songs, providing funny backstories. The mixture of great music and belly laughs set in the historic Music Hall set above the ocean must have made the tourists walking the boardwalk questioning what was going on inside the building.
By the end of the evening, the crowd was thoroughly entertained. The musical journey and comedic storytelling by everyone’s new favorite Uncle left us with a much-needed escape from the current world concerns. It refueled parts of our minds which have been empty for quite some time.
The “I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself” tour continues across The United States ending in California on September 11th.
Click HERE for ticket information.
Click HERE to purchase Colin’s new release I JUST DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH MYSELF
Click HERE to explore everything Colin Hay
Article and Photographs by: Bob Linneman