By Vicki DiAddezio, Rock At Night Orlando Correspondent
Venue: Hard Rock Live-Orlando- April 26, 2016
From the moment Chris Isaak took the stage, in his electric blue mirrored suit, he charmed and commanded the crowd. For a little more than two hours, Isaak and his band of 30 years thrilled the audience with a variety of songs from his expansive catalogue as well as some amazing covers by a few of his musical influences. Throughout the show, Isaak poked fun at himself and the band, he spoke of how he still gets nervous but finds confidence through his interaction with his band, and he expressed that he makes the music that he wants to make. He makes music because he loves it and he and the band do things their way. It was evident to anyone watching, that he still enjoys what he does after all these years and that he truly appreciates not only his fans but the people he works with
During his performance of “Don’t Leave Me On My Own”, Isaak came off the stage to stand amongst the crowd. From there he immediately went into “Kiss Me Like A Stranger”, all the while making his way through the rows of fans, stopping to pose for photos and to give one arm hugs. After making his way back onto the stage, he joked about how one woman was ”a little handsy” and “got a hand full of sequins”. He didn’t’ seem to mind though and he proceeded to break into his cover of Roy Orbison’s “Pretty Woman”. He made sure to dedicate the song to all the “pretty women” in the audience, which he made a point of saying were all the women there.
After a few more songs the lights on the stage went down. Lit with only soft blue lights, the band began playing “Wicked Game”, the song that in 1991 became his first top 10 hit. The audience was thrilled and being so familiar with this song, sang along to every word. Once the song was over he motioned for those that weren’t already standing to do so because “it was time for the rock n roll part of the show”. The band immediately turned up the energy with “Go Walking Down There”. The show continued on varying between some of Isaak’s softer easy songs and those that made you want to tap your toes or just get up and dance. During his performance of the Elvis classic “Can’t Help Falling In Love”, there were couples slow dancing all along the front row. Towards the end of the night with Scotty Plunkett pounding on the piano that was literally smoking , Isaak hopped around the stage with an enthusiastic rendition of Jerry Lee Lewis’s “Great Balls of Fire”.
Overall the night consisted of an easy, relaxed atmosphere with Chris Isaak performing as though he was there for a group of friends as opposed to fans. There was a perfect mix of beautiful songs and a toe tappin’ good time. Chris Isaak is an artist, an entertainer with an offbeat sense of humor and a sense of sincerity that transports you to another musical era. He takes you back in time to when music was fun, it was pleasant, and it made you feel good. It’s music you can connect with and have a good time with regardless of whether you know every song.
Chris Isaak is touring the country this summer in support of his latest album release. First Comes the Night was released in November 2015 and is his first album of new material in six years. Check for a date near you and try to get out to see the show. You can keep up with Chris Isaak on his website and social media sites.
- Somebody’s Cryin
- Two Hearts
- Don’t Leave Me On My Own
- Kiss Me Like A Stranger
- Pretty Woman (Roy Orbison)
- Down In Flames
- San Francisco Days
- Wicked Game
- Go Walking Down There
- Running Down the Road
- Forever Blue
- First Comes the Night
- Take My Heart
- I’ll Go Crazy
- Can’t Help Falling In Love (Elvis)
- Great Balls of Fire (Jerry Lee Lewis)
- Please Don’t Call
- Perfect Lover
- Blue Hotel
- I Want Your Love
- Baby Did A Bad, Bad Thing
- Big Wide Wonderful World
- Ring of Fire (Jonny Cash)
- The Way Things Really Are
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