John Waite and Men at Work Rock Ruth Eckerd Hall
John Waite has successfully fronted two rock bands, The Babys and Bad English as well as his own solo career. He is embarking on a tour with Men at Work and Rick Springfield this summer. This show sans Springfield, due to other obligations, gave more time to both Waite and Colin Hay and their fans to enjoy more extended setlists.
John went acoustic with a band of four. He opened with the 1982 hit, “Change” which was on heavy rotation on MTV. Bad English tune “When I See You Smile” had fans out of their seats with applause. John Waite penned, “Bluebird Café” is an amazing ode to Nashville. He keeps in country flavor as much as John Waite can with a cover of Vince Gill’s. “Whenever You Come Around”. 1984’s summer smash “Missing You” is a sing-along because who doesn’t know this song since it blew up on radios and MTV around the world. We get a double dose of The Babys with “Midnight Rendevous” and “Head First”. Closing out his set “with a song that should be played with electric guitars”, Waite rocks it with Zepp’s, “Whole Lotta Love”. At 70, John Waite looks and sounds great. He loves the Clearwater area and Ruth Eckerd Hall so be sure and catch him next time he comes to town if you wanna rock!
Men at Work first played Tampa in 1982 at the Tampa Jai Alai Fronton on the “Business As Usual” tour. The 2022 version of Men At Work has changed since those days. Colin Hay is the original Man at Work and the voice of the Australian band. He has put together a great group of musicians that have been together since 2019 to bring Men at Work back to life.
Opening with “Touching the Untouchables” from “Business As Usual” set the tone for the fan base who came to sing to the number one album on the charts in the US, UK and Australia. Hay and Company played a 19 song setlist in mostly extended versions! “Down By the Sea” and “Dr. Heckyll & Mr.Jive” were standouts. Cecilia Noel brings energy with percussion and vocals. Hay also has a couple of solo songs in the mix that includes “Can’t Take This Town”. Sheila Gonzalez on sax had the audience enamored. San Miguel Perez is on guitar, Yosmel Montejo on bass and Jimmy Branly on drums round it out. They finish the show with all the hits including the Men at Work’s theme song of sorts. “Down Under”, “Overkill” and “Who Can It Be Now?”.
It is the 40th anniversary of “Business As Usual” and along with the tour, MAW are doing some solo dates. Check out Colin Hay for information
Vicky Sullivan Photos