HomeNewsInterviewsCD ReleasesCD ReviewsConcertsArtistsArchive

Isaak does it right

The Orpheum Theatre, Los Angeles, December 12, 2023

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

With this "It's Almost Christmas Tour 2023" stop, Chris Isaak showed how to do a Christmas show right. About a third of his setlist was comprised of holiday-related songs with the other two thirds made up of hits and favorites. Isaak and his longtime band put on a consistently entertaining show, which certainly made our spirits bright.

Making the night even better, Isaak has a great sense of humor. He could have easily been a stand-up comedian, had he chosen that vocation over becoming a wonderful roots rock crooner. He often introduced songs with 'aw shucks' self-deprecating humor. However, he and the band worked up a sweat – literally - on the rocking "I Want Your Love," which featured his bassist and guitarist doing synchronized dance moves together.

Early in the show, Isaak roamed around the auditorium – even walking up to the upstairs balcony – high-fiving and shaking hands with the audience. All the while, he sang his first holiday song of the night, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," which was done with that Isaak-ian, soulful touch.

Isaak, who dressed in a sparkly black cowboy outfit, is a really fine singer, exemplified by the hit "Wicked Game," which came only seven songs in. That song found Isaak elevating into the higher register of his vocal range, while "Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing" featured the flexible vocalist reaching down for lower notes.

This roots-loving performer was perfectly suited to sing an Elvis-y "Blue Christmas," as well as cry the "Holiday Blues" during a mid-set acoustic section. Sometimes, while singing these holiday songs, a dancing department store robot Santa was wheeled out on stage to work it on out to the music.

Isaak is easily one of today's most entertaining performers. Adding Christmas music to the mix only heightened the fun. Although called an 'almost Christmas' tour, tonight Isaak made us all feel like Christmas was already here.

©Country Standard Time • Jeffrey B. Remz, editor & publisher •
AboutCopyrightNewsletterOur sister publication Standard Time
Subscribe to Country Music News Country News   Subscribe to Country Music CD Reviews CD Reviews   Follow us on Twitter  Instagram  Facebook  YouTube