Sunday evening my husband and I, along with another couple, saw a concert in Nashville, Tenn. For the right show, we’ll drive to Louisville, Ky., Nashville, or Indianapolis — or further. Seeing Chris Isaak is always the right show for me. This was the fourth time I have seen him perform; I’ve been a fan of the retro-cool crooner since my husband introduced me to his music soon after we were married.
Isaak is a 57-year-old singer, songwriter, and actor from the gritty California town of Stockton. He borrowed his brother’s guitar and started writing songs as a teenager, inspired by his parents’ music — Hank Williams, Roy Orbison, and Johnny Cash. He’s also a former boxer.
Isaak is a very prolific artist: he has recorded 13 albums, starred in two short-lived yet acclaimed television shows bearing his name, and has an impressive, eclectic, acting resume.
The MTV generation remembers Isaak for the Herb Ritts’-produced video of his biggest hit, “Wicked Game,” in which Isaak famously nuzzles model Helena Christensen on the beach.
Reviewers describe Isaak as the “incorrigible showman” and note his “matinee-idol good looks.” His voice has amazing strength and he’s an excellent guitar player. His 5-piece band, Silvertone — most members together since Isaak’s early days — are tight and have fun.
Wearing a blue paisley sequined suit (from the famous rodeo sequin suit maker, Nudie, I’ve read), we saw Isaak preserve the legacy of rock and roll at Nashville’s War Memorial Auditorium.
“I want to thank you all for coming out tonight to support live music,” Isaak said early in the show, “because if you didn’t I’d be walking around Nashville in a sequined suit like a sparkly monkey like everyone else.” He asked who in had seen him perform before – nearly ¾ of the crowd raised their hands and cheered. See you again next tour, Chris!