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Chasing The American Dream

September 12, 2006


photos courtesy of whiterockgirl.

Chris Isaak certainly plays one. On stage live and in person, that is. On a hot, humid, rainy South Florida night, I got to see Chris and his band mates play. They didn’t disappoint and put on a great show. I emphasize the word ‘show’ because it was truly more than just a band going through the motions. Chris spent a lot of his energetic 90-minute set walking through the crowds during songs, interacting, telling stories, and even inviting crowd members up on stage to dance.

Isaak’s not the most well-known act in show biz, but he’s been around for over 20 years. He even had a TV series on Showtime for a few years. He’s a bit old-school in that his music is reminds us (for those of us who are old enough to remember) of 50s Rockabilly in the mold of Elvis, Roy Orbison, and Carl Perkins. He dresses the part, too. He came out with a turquoise sequined suit. You don’t see much of those these days. He’s got an incredible voice range that can reach the Elvis low register as well as the high Roy Orbison falsetto register. Dreamy, Bluesy, Country, and Rock all rolled into one voice. That’s pretty talented and not bad for a boy who grew up on a Stockton, California farm with little money. He told us a story of how his mother bagged potato chips on the late shift before coming home and singing him a nightly lullaby. Chris also told us that he and band members (bassist) Rowland Salley and (drummer) Kenney Johnson have been together for 20 years and they all came a similar non-wealthy background.

Isaak performed his popular tunes Somebody’s Cryin’, San Francisco Days, Baby Did a Bad Thing, and Wicked Game. He also mixed in a cover version of Cheap Trick’s I Want You To Want Me. He sang with energy, excitement, and angst much to the crowd’s delight. During the middle of the set, the band set up chairs in front of the stage and played a mini-acoustic set before closing with some good old-fashioned rock and roll. And for good measure, Chris returned for an encore. Gone was the turquoise suit, but in it's place was an incredible mirrored black suit. You sure as hell don't see that look these days!

The concert really exceeded my expectations. The boys sounded great and genuinely seemed to have a great time. Chris happened to mention that he’s met countless phony stars in Hollywood. I believe him, and I’m glad that all his success hasn’t gone to his head.


  • I saw CI in concert years ago, he was opening for Tina Turner. He had a mirrored suit then, too, but I think it was white. This was just after his 'cameo' in Silence of the Lambs. I'm glad to hear that he is still rockin' out with the boys after all these years.


    By Anonymous Neska, at 9:24 PM, September 12, 2006  

  • This sounds fantastic, but what about the venue and the crowd? You normally talk about the energy of the people and describe the venue in detail. Just curious.

    By Blogger catsteevens, at 11:22 PM, September 12, 2006  

  • Yay! You got to see Chris! I saw Mr. Isaak on November 1, 1999. That was also the night I met my husband. I went to the concert solo, and he was with a friend. We decided to trade the photos I took with some bootleg Chris Isaak he had and the rest is history. I met Chris that night and had a picture taken with him. If I was more computer literate, I would send you the pic. I'm not though, so I will just say that it was one of the best nights of my life all the way around.

    On a different note, how are things with your new ladyfriend? (Read about that through your post to Greek Tragedy). I hope you are finding happiness.

    By Anonymous Kari, at 12:19 AM, September 13, 2006  

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