Chris Isaak: Pretty in pink

Chris Isaak

Chris Isaak
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LINCOLN, CA – Stockton native, Chris Isaak entertained a stellar crowd at Thunder Valley Casino Resort on Friday.

The 57-year-old Isaak took the stage armed with his guitar, boyish good looks and signature pink suit, as he kicked off the show with “Best I Ever Had,” followed by, “Speak of the Devil.” The audience was on their feet for the first couple of songs and settled into their seats as Isaak continued with “Two Hearts.” A number of couples headed to the aisles to dance along to the music.

Rowland Salley (L) and Chris Isaak

Rowland Salley (L) and Chris Isaak

Joking around with the audience on a number of occasions, Isaak picked on one fan who was using an iPad, telling him why would you pay for tickets only to watch the show through the iPad, which is about the time Isaak pointed out that the man may be watching porn, getting quite the laugh from the audience.

He did give a shout out to Stockton, letting everyone know that Stockton is like Fresno, but without the glitter.

Winner of Fretlight Guitar with Chris Isaak

Winner of Fretlight Guitar with Chris Isaak
Credit: Ruth Perryman

Isaak grabbed a Fretlight guitar and went out into the audience, giving it away to one lucky audience member. Chris is giving away a Fretlight guitar at all his shows during his current tour.

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During “We’ve Got Tomorrow” Isaak remained out in the crowd as he shook hands and hugged fans. Not wanting to leave anyone out, he headed up into the bleachers as he worked his way around the entire venue.

Chris Isaak in sea of fans

Chris Isaak in sea of fans

The crowd erupted in cheers as the band struck up the first notes to “Wicked Games,” which remains his biggest hit off of his ‘Heart Shaped World’ album.

The band consisted of Rowland Salley (bass), Hershel Yatovitz (guitar), pianist Scott Plunkett, Rafael Padilla (percussionist) and Terry Pascal (drums). Obviously missing from the line-up was drummer Kenney Dale Johnson who has been with Isaak for over 30 years.

Kenney is currently battling cancer and was unable to tour with the band.

Hershel Yatovitz heading into the audience

Hershel Yatovitz heading into the audience

According to Isaak, Kenney is the funniest guy in the band and makes traveling that much easier on everyone. In a recent email exchange with the Sacramento Bee, Isaak wrote, “I must have written five different sentences here and I keep erasing them …words can’t say how much we miss, need, love Kenney. I have spent more time with Kenney than any other person in my life,” continuing he wrote, “It’s going to be great to have him back making wisecracks on stage again. I think if all goes well he may even come sit in for some shows around the Bay Area. But the No. 1 thing now is he just gets healthy.”

Anybody who is a Chris Isaak fan certainly misses Kenney and his onstage antics and interaction with Isaak.

Rena Garcia (R) and Elisa Herzog onstage with Rowland Salley

Rena Garcia (R) and Elisa Herzog onstage with Rowland Salley

During “Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing,” Isaak asked a number of fans up onto the stage. Several of them had bright pink shirts, each with a letter and when standing in the right order spelled out Chris.

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Elisa Herzog was one of the lucky ones to get on stage with Isaak, along with her roommate Rena Garcia. Herzog said she’s, “been a huge fan of Chris’ for over 20 years & that was my first time on stage!” She only purchases VIP tickets whenever she goes to a Chris Isaak show. Herzog wanted to make certain that people knew that she was “in no way affiliated with those women and their pink shirts…”

Fans get onstage to dance and sing with Chris Isaak

Fans get onstage to dance and sing with Chris Isaak

Isaak had bass player Herschel running through the crowd playing his bass guitar, telling fans that Herschel loves to be touched.

When the Scotty took center stage and started playing “Great Balls of Fire” the piano appeared to catch fire as smoke came pouring out of the top of the piano.

Chris Isaak Credit: Ruth Perryman

Chris Isaak
Credit: Ruth Perryman

Towards the end Isaak came out in his signature mirror suit. The suit weighs a whopping 35 pounds and is covered in small rectangle mirrors.

Ending the evening in style Isaak gave Kenney Dale Johnson a shout out saying he loved him.

Isaak is an all-around entertainer and if you ever get the chance to take in a Chris Isaak show I would urge you to do so. You won’t be disappointed.

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