This Saturday we saw Chris Isaak in the scorching heat in Webster, MA. I don't think I've been to a hotter show, 95 degrees in direct sunlight all afternoon. Also, I'm pretty sure Natalie's little sister is just slightly in love with a musician twice her age. I'm sorry parents, couldn't be helped.
This show was absolutely the perfect summer day thing to do, and the Indian Ranch was the perfect place to be. The Indian Ranch is like a campground with a music venue of maybe 2500-3000 seats (ish?). So we were able to get campground food for lunch of hot dogs, burgers, ice cream, and you could dip your toes in the lake to cool off. The place was a real throw back and was really well organized. We'll keep an eye on their concert schedule, but so far this year it looks like we've seen the one show we would go see. (I would love to see Charlie Daniels, but I really fucking hate it when musicians hard-sell me politics and/or religion. Especially if those politics are completely off the fucking deep end and the artist rants endlessly about it as I believe Daniels does. Say your piece, then play your damn music, folks. Exceptions are to be made for bands whose whole /point/ is their politics, and if it matches mine, I don't notice. In other news, I'm a massive fucking hypocrite. This is not to say that preachy liberals aren't super annoying, or that I don't want to push them off the stage into a mosh pit of knives. Here's looking at you Mr. No-Meat-Anywhere-In-The-Venue-Or-I-Walk Morrissey).
The opener was local country singer/songwriter Kiley Evans. She did about a 30 minute set and said she's getting some airplay on Boston country stations, which is good. The best story she had, though, was the story of about the cutest thing I've ever seen at a concert. At the last two Chris Isaak shows we saw, there was a little kid dressed in a matching suit to the one Chris was wearing, once a powder blue suit with darker blue flames, and once Chris's signature mirror suit.
Of course he would be dragged up on stage and dance, and he was great, he looked just like a mini-Isaak. Turns out that was Kiley Evans' little cousin, now 10, and unfortunately absent from Saturday's show.
The Chris Isaak set was great. We don't go to many daytime shows, so it was a whole different experience for the artist to actually be able to see and interact (NICE HAT) with the crowd. A lot of the later music was from the newest Sun Studios themed record, with Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, and Elvis classics from their Sun sessions. If anyone can carry that music forward accurately it's Chris Isaak. He pays good tribute to his heroes and ours without being Lounge Coverband Guy.
As much as I love seeing local bands for cheap money playing music they just wrote about things that are so important to them that they have to tell you about it right fucking now, it's also hard to do much better than a band that has had 25 years to grow as a unit and just gets tighter and tighter, and who still seem to love every second of what they do. I do wish more rockabilly type folks would turn out for Chris Isaak, and I know Boston's got the crowd for it, after seeing the people show up for Imelda May twice in 3 months, Rev. Horton Heat and even our local bar bands.
My photos look like J.J. Abrams directed me. More lens flare than Star Trek what with the sun right in my face, but I got what I got. I also discarded any focusing mainly on Herschel Yatovitz. I don't know if it's schtickey banter or what, but apparently dude doesn't want his picture taken, so who am I to be a prick about it. It's a shame though, some of them were good!
Here are some photos from the Flickr set:
Crooning to his crowd. L.L. Chris Isaak.
Great Balls Of Fire. Scott Plunkett:
We're all in this photo somewhere. Zoom and Enhance, C.S.I. style: