Thursday, July 16, 2009

Concert Review: Chris Isaak

Since the last time I wrote I've been really sick, so I sadly missed seeing Elvis Costello on July 4th. (Because nothing says July 4th like quirky British singer/songwriters, right??) But, I was well enough to attend the Chris Isaak concert on July 11th. It was fantastic! Chris really puts on a great show, his band is fantastic, and he has enough charisma and charm to make anyone like him. I had heard that Chris is really good in concert, but that didn't quite prepare me for how good he would be. He really puts all he has into performing. It's one thing to listen to his records and hear how amazing his voice is, but it's another to see him live in front of you, hitting all those notes perfectly. Wow!

Isaak's primary influences are Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison, and Isaak has inherited their gifts. He has Elvis's charisma and showmanship, (and good looks) and he has Orbison's otherworldly voice and songwriting ability. He does a thrilling version of "Only the Lonely" that is a beautiful tribute to Roy.

After about 3 songs, Isaak had the band play "Return to Me," and said he was going to walk into the crowd. I figured he would walk out a few rows and return to the stage. Wrong. He walked through the whole audience, even coming up to see those of us in the cheap seats! After that, he had the whole audience on his side.

All in all, it was a great show, Chris sang some of my favorite songs of his, and it was just so much fun to see a performer who clearly loves performing. At the end of the show, Chris said, after introducing the band, "I'm Chris Isaak, and you just made my day." And you just made mine, Chris.

Here's what he played, in not-quite-perfect order:

American Boy
Mr. Lonely Man
Let Me Down Easy
Somebody's Crying
Return To Me/Love Me Tender
Speak of the Devil
Wicked Game
Beautiful Homes
I Want You To Want Me
Don't Make Me Dream About You-re-arranged as a gospel harmony song
Can't Do a Thing (To Stop Me)
I'll Go Crazy
Only the Lonely
Take My Heart
Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing
We Let Her Down
You Don't Cry Like I Do
Summer Holiday
Best I Ever Had
We Lost Our Way
San Francisco Days
Blue Hotel
Big Wide Wonderful World
Western Stars

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