Chris Isaak at Hammersmith Eventim Apollo in London: A captivating blend of music and showmanship
- Published on Sunday, 02 July 2023 15:47
- Last Updated on 02 July 2023
- Monica Costa
- 0 Comments
Last Thursday – 29 June 2023 – was a memorable hot summer evening. At the Hammersmith Eventim Apollo in London, Californian rock crooner Chris Isaak – who for me is Elvis‘ heir, delivered a performance that showcased his exceptional musical talent and innate ability to entertain. The concert was an amalgamation of Isaak’s own hits, covers of rock and roll classics, and his signature slapstick routine, making for a captivating experience. With a genuine love for the pioneers of rock and roll, Isaak successfully captured the spirit of the era, delighting the audience with his authentic renditions and original creations.
Musical Brilliance and Captivating Showmanship
From the moment Chris Isaak stepped onto the stage, it was evident that he is not only a great singer, songwriter, and musician but also one of the greatest entertainers of all time. The show was infused with fantastic energy and the musicianship of the band was top-notch. Isaak’s engaging personality and infectious sense of humor added an extra layer of enjoyment to the performance. The audience was treated to an array of Isaak’s greatest hits, carefully chosen to ensure a memorable experience for everyone in attendance.
Isaak’s Setlist: A Journey Through Time and Emotion
The setlist for the evening was well-plotted, taking the audience on a journey through Isaak’s extensive discography and paying homage to the rock and roll legends who inspired him. Opening with the lively “American Boy,” Isaak immediately set the tone for an evening filled with nostalgia and heartfelt emotion. The crowd was enthralled as he effortlessly transitioned from the energetic “Somebody’s Crying” to the soulful “Waiting,” even venturing into the audience to connect with his fans on a personal level.
The performance of his 1989 hit, “Wicked Game,” was undoubtedly a standout moment. Isaak’s soulful and plaintive vocals combined with the famous atmospheric guitar riffs transported the audience to a place of deep longing and desire. The bluesy and bass-driven “Baby Did a Bad Thing” from 1995 showcased Isaak’s ability to infuse his music with raw sensuality, captivating the audience with every note.
Authenticity and Tribute to the Legends
One of the most remarkable aspects of Chris Isaak’s performance was his genuine love and respect for the music of the 1950s rock and roll era. With authenticity and reverence, Isaak paid tribute to the giants of that era, including Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash. His covers of their songs were executed with finesse and without leaning into parody, a pitfall that many artists face when interpreting iconic tracks.
The rendition of Elvis’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” seamlessly transitioning into “Blue Hotel,” was a testament to Isaak’s ability to create a suitably gushing and romantic atmosphere. The beautifully arranged backing vocal harmonies by bass player Rowland Salley added an enchanting touch to the performance. Isaak’s rendition of James Brown’s “I’ll go crazy” was electrifying, capturing the showmanship and energy of the original without descending into imitation. It was a tribute to the artist who played at the Apollo 50 years earlier.
The Concert Experience
Beyond the exceptional musicality and tribute to rock and roll pioneers, Chris Isaak’s performance and two sparkly outfits’ changes were a visual spectacle. The synchronised guitar swinging and grape-vining country footwork added an extra layer of showmanship to the evening. Isaak’s slapstick routine and stage tricks were executed with impeccable timing, further cementing his reputation as a consummate entertainer. These elements contributed to a concert experience that was both musically satisfying and visually captivating.
Monica Costa founded London Mums in September 2006 after her son Diego’s birth together with a group of mothers who felt the need of meeting up regularly to share the challenges and joys of motherhood in metropolitan and multicultural London. London Mums is the FREE and independent peer support group for mums and mumpreneurs based in London https://londonmumsmagazine.com and you can connect on Twitter @londonmums