Reviews of shows from the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts and other local venues published by the Los Cerritos Community News. The writer and paper are in their twentieth year of covering these events.

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Location: Fear City, Ca., United States

"My name is Addison DeWitt. My native habitat is the theater. In it I toil not, neither do I spin. I am a critic and commentator. I am essential to the theatre - as ants to a picnic, as the boll weevil to a cotton field." George Sanders in "All About Eve"

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Chris Isaak November 30, 2013

Chris Isaak at Cerritos: A Full Measure of Music and Charm
                        By Glen Creason

     A packed, multi-generational house greeted Chris Isaak on Saturday night at the Performing Arts Center and the energy in the big hall was almost as electric as the great sounds that rocked from the stage for a long, happy time. The evening was opened by big brother Nick who was pert near good enough to headline anywhere but when Chris brought out his superb five man “Silvertones” band the voltage surged to a sweet and joyful level that continued for two extraordinary hours of sounds that encompassed musical decades and several genres without a performer's seam showing.
     Isaak is a master entertainer who can make his Gibson guitar work miracles within the structure of the band and an encyclopedic knowledge of country, pop and blues music that comprises this high-voltage show. He is capable of singing a ballad to make your tear ducts moisten, then demonstrates his impeccable taste in country roots with Roy Orbison strength notes that reach the back row of the balcony. Yet, what makes Chris Isaak unique in pop music is his incredibly quick wit that connects the obviously joyful musicians to the audience in a self-effacing but hilarious way. The man is an absolute grand master of between songs patter. This band is so good that any of the tall tales Isaak tells on them are taken with honest laughter that spreads throughout the hall. The platform that guitarist Hershel Yatovitz, bassist Rowly Salley, keyboardist Scott Plunkett, drummers Kenny Dale Johnson and Rafael Padilla provide for the front man lifts him and the music up very high. Fortunately for the big crowd Chris Isaak likes the rarified air up there and sings and plays at the highest level through a couple of dozen songs that cross many a musical style and pay tribute to some of the greats of American Pop.  These would include Isaak's own smashes like “Speak of the Devil,” “San Francisco Days, “ “Somebody’s Crying,” “Wicked Game,” “Two Hearts,” “Big Wide Wonderful World,” the bittersweet “Washington Square” and the delicious “Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing.” All of this was mixed in with the classics from the heroes of his youth “Only the Lonely,” “Ring of Fire,” “Fools Rush In,” “Pretty Woman,” and “Great Balls of Fire” that would make Orbison, Cash, Elvis, and the Killer proud.

     Just to place an ornament on top of this early holiday show Chris Isaak spread presents from his Christmas album including “Blue Christmas,” “Rudolph…,” “Christmas on TV” and the delicately perfect “Pretty Paper.” Truthfully, the only people having more fun than the utterly delighted sold-out house were the guys up on stage who bounced around like kids on Christmas morning. 


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