It's probably impossible to write about Chris Isaak without making at least one Elvis Presley reference, but based on his show at The Backyard on Saturday he doesn't do anything to discourage them either. I mean, look at the guy. He looks like Elvis, he sounds like Elvis, and he works his audience like Elvis. An accomplished performer in his own right, it must be both a curse and a blessing.
I've liked Chris Isaak since seeing his breakout video for "Wicked Game" on MTV. That was back when MTV could make or break an artist's career and was still a real force to be reckoned with in the music world. Almost 18 years later' Chris doesn't seem to have aged a bit, and his music still sounds as fresh as when I first heard it.
A little bit rock and roll, a little bit country, Chris can whip out a high energy rock song and effortlessly follow it with that slow smoldering balladeering he is famous for. Wireless mic in hand, he had no qualms about jumping into the audience to wander about serenading various women and inviting them, loudly, with a wink and sly grin' back to the tour bus. At one point he switched places with his drummer and did a decent job on the kit while the drummer covered the vocals.
With a set comprising all his hits plus some, and totaling 20 songs at just over an hour and a half, this was a great show. My favorites were the songs form Heart Shaped World, but he and the band did lots of songs from his whole career. To check out the Austin set list click here.
Opening for Chris was Austin's own Patrice Pike. I wish I had gotten there early enough to shoot her set. Unfortunately, I was late, and only got to see half of her last song, and then only from a vantage point marginally better than peeking over the back fence. I did bump into her after her set, but not long enough to introduce myself. I look forward to a chance to see her do a full set.
Thanks to Emily and Trevin for hooking me up with another great Direct Events show!