The Venue, located in the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana, was rocking over the weekend as Chris Isaak once again graced the Chicagoland area complete with his distinctive falsetto, trademark suits, witty humor and of course the well-oiled machine that is his band. Oh, and did I mention his charisma? In a well-paced set that lasted nearly two hours, Chris’ voice never sounded better and his band played with a fire that got hotter by the moment. Refreshing with a Chris Isaak show is how genuine and comfortable the band is with each other. Displayed is a chemistry that cannot be faked. Not only is the band’s easiness with each other fun to watch, but there is plenty of choreographed routines they share along with a good sense of humor.
Chris Isaak looked sharp, taking the stage wearing a westernized black suit with silver sequins, but, with such a strong performance, it wouldn’t have mattered if he were wearing khakis and a knitted sweater. While including his own hits such as “Baby Did A Bad, Bad Thing”, “Big Wide Wonderful World” and “The Best I Ever Had”, he also included a few of his own faves by some of his inspirations. Stepping into the crowd and taking a seat next to a woman in the first couple rows, Chris went into Elvis Presley’s “Love Me Tender” and later again paid homage to “The King” with a beautiful version of “It’s Now or Never”. He also included a James Brown number before going into “Roy Orbisson’s “Pretty Woman” during a four song encore in which Chris switched into his famous mirrored suit. As many great moments that occurred throughout the show, one of the highlights was when guitarist Hershel Yatovitz led the band into a dreamy orchestration of “Wicked Game”, undoubtedly entrancing the entire room with his mesmerizing tones and Chris’ heartfelt singing swimming over the music.At one point Hershel joined Chris center stage along with bassist Rowland Salley and drummer Kenney Dale Johnson where they all took seats to perform a handful of numbers providing a more intimate experience for the audience, joking around with each other in between each song. Chris also gave the crowd a thrill on a couple occasions when he and Rowland danced down the aisles before scurrying back to the stage. And the sound? Fantastic. The Venue’s fine acoustics allowed for the band’s big sound to be heard as intended. With such great sound, amazing songs, a lively and thoroughly entertaining stage show, and Chris’ own, unique stage presence...Well, yes… it was a complete rock show in every facet – one that you won’t want to miss next time around.