I have a new respect for Chris Isaak. The singer/songwriter hit the stage at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington on Wednesday night and, I have to say, he was simply fantastic!

For those who are not longtime Chris Isaak fans, you will probably at least remember his song, Wicked Game, which was a big hit for him in 1989 off of his Heart Shaped World album. I will be honest, when I went into the show, that's all I really knew him for. Well, for the most part anyway. My wife, Marianne, is a huge fan of his, however, so we went to the show. I had no idea what to expect.

I won't lie. Isaak and his band were nothing short of amazing. I was blown away. They have to be one of the tightest and most polished bands I have seen in a very long time. And the experience at the Mahaiwe made the show all the better. There is really not a bad seat there, and the sound was really quite good. Isaak had that place on its feet and rocking, all night!

Isaak, of course, played his "big song" Wicked Game, but he also traversed through many of the songs that people who love him were hoping to hear, including San Francisco Days, Blue Hotel, American Boy, and Baby Did a Bad Thing. The band also played Killing the Blues, which his bass player Rowland Salley actually wrote for Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, and won a grammy for. Isaak also played a number of songs by influential artists such as Roy Orbison's Only the Lonely and Johnny Cash's Ring of Fire.

 

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Now, if I may gush as a musician. And other musicians will certainly appreciate this. The stage was pristine. All the instruments were being played wirelessly, which in layman's terms basically means that there were no guitar or microphone cords anywhere on the stage. And that left plenty of room for synchronized dancing by Isaak and his bandmates. And there was plenty of that going on. Also, the show moved along quite nicely and there were no hiccups at all. Personally, I have played on many a stage like that, and sometimes it can be sort of hectic. So, a clean and neat stage is something I can really appreciate. Thank you for indulging me. I digress.

Here are some pictures from Wednesday's show:

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(Above: Chris Isaak)

 

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(Above: Chris Isaak)

 

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(Above: guitarist, Hershel Yatovits)

 

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(Left to right: bassist, Rowland Salley; Chris Isaak)

 

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(Left to right: Chris Isaak, Rowland Salley, and conga player/percussionist Rafael Padilla)

 

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(Above: Chris Isaak)

 

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(Above: Chris Isaak)

 

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(Above: Chris Isaak)

 

 

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