Concert Review: Chris Isaak @ Longwood Gardens (Philadelphia Area)

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Opening Act: Marc Broussard
Main Event: Chris Isaak
Location: Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, Pa (Philadelphia Area)
Date: Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

[Venue]

I have never been to Longwood Gardens before and wasn’t sure what to expect in regards to a rock and roll show; I discovered Longwood Gardens is a great place to see a concert. The grounds are beautiful, the staff is really nice, and there wasn’t a bad seat in the house (or botanical garden in this case). The concert stage was situated right in front of a big fountain which added a nice backdrop to the show.

[Opening Act]

My friends were very happy that Marc Broussard was listed as the opening act, so that amped up my expectations of this singer. Sadly, instead of the rough and rowdy blues act (that my friends had witnessed a few years ago), Marc focused on generic ballads (yawn).

The last song was a swampy blues number which was absolutely the best of the set. It’s a shame Broussard decided to leave his nuts backstage, because the guy is talented and has a great band, just lame material this time around.

[Chris Isaak]

Chris Isaak put on a fucking show tonight. The weather was hot and sticky, but that didn’t slow down this seasoned performer. Isaak walked on stage with a neon pink sequined jump suit: that’s hell of a statement to make in this heat.

The backing band was fantastic. All of these guys can play well and fill out the sound on the stage. Music aside, they all seem to have a really good time playing to the crowd and goofing around. Chris leaned on the whole band to to dance, shake, act as a 60’s soul back-up singers, and an “olde-time” church revival… let’s just say these cats were versitile.

Isaak immediately won the crowd over with his banter and high energy. He showed no fear in knocking out his trademark high notes several times per song. All of his popular tunes sounded note perfect (“Somebody’s Crying”, “Wicked Game”, “Forever Blue”, “Bad Bad Thing”). My favorite line of the night is when he remarked on the heat by saying “I am sweating more than a whore in church.” Damn right.

For the encore, Isaak decided to take his sweating up a notch by donning a mirrored suit (it had to weigh at least 30-40 lbs). He last few tunes were very high energy including a great rendition of the Roy Orbison classic “Pretty Woman” (he sounded exactly like Orbison). A fantastic show by a great performer; other musicians should go see Isaak and take notes – this is how you do rock and roll baby!

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