Rock Publication Logo
{short description of image} 

 ...................Concert Review

blkhldr.gif (43 bytes)
Official Music Publication on The Web 
Representing The Bay Area for over Thirty-Five Years

{short description of image}{short description of image} {short description of image}

{short description of image}{short description of image} {short description of image}

CHRIS ISAAK...Charms us All ...8/28/99 Greek Theater, Berkeley CA.

Chris IsaakChris Isaak, was more mischievous than ever at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley, where he and his purple-suited band, Silvertone, played to a sold-out crowd. Crooner Chris Isaak has come a long way from his San Francisco days, when, in the early '80s, a demo tape of "Blue Hotel" was getting a little airplay on college radio station KUSF. Isaak's band, Silvertone, played the San Francisco and East Bay punk clubs­­Mabuhay Gardens and Berkeley Square in those days. The highly entertaining singer-guitarist, still boyishly handsome at 43, blending stylish, romantic ballads with '50s-influenced rockers, delivering plenty of mirth and silliness in between. It was almost as if he was trying to offset the heartache and longing of many of his songs by emphasizing his goofy side. But his clowning didn't change the haunting effect of some of his more atmospheric songs, like the slow, foreboding "Wicked Game" and the dark-edged, growly "Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing." Both songs figure prominently in films, the former in David Lynch's "Wild At Heart" (1990) and the latter in the current sensation, "Eyes Wide Shut." Both times Isaak remade videos of the songs, using footage from the films. In a generous, two-hour-plus set, Isaak emphasized material from his new album, "Speak of the Devil," including the title cut, "I'm Not Sleepy" and "Please." He also drew from his whole recording career, going back 15 years. The adoring crowd was up and dancing to his livelier tunes, like the neo-rockabilly "Diddley Daddy," and rapt at the more somber ones, like "Forever Blue," "Somebody's Crying" and Roy Orbison's classic "Only the Lonely." He drew from his career-making 1987 "Chris Isaak" album for "Blue Hotel." Among the set's more than two dozen songs were "Can't Do a Thing (To Stop Me)," "Think of Tomorrow," "I Want Your Love," and a tribute to his hometown, "San Francisco Days." Isaak once again showed himself to be a gifted singer, able to reach pure high tones and low, rumbly notes with equal ease. His band was outstanding, especially longtime drummer Kenney Dale Johnson, equally longtime bassist Rowland Salley and guitarist Hershel Yatovitz, Isaak's main comic foil. Isaak wore a glittery purple suit, which resulted in plenty of sequin jokes. For the first of two long encores, he came out in a suit of mirrors, which immediately elicited laughs. The show was opened by singer-songwriter Lisa Loeb which was well received.

..................................................................By Randy Cohen

This is The Official Rock Publication Web Site © 1999
Music Relations Inc.® 
E-mail at
To Rock Publication Editorial Office