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Beyond a Wicked Game

 

Since coming onto the music scene back in 1984, Chris Isaak has put out a surprising 12 albums. Even more surprising is the fact that none of them ever went to number one on any of the music charts. Another surprise? Out of the thirty seven singles, none of them made it past the chart position of two--one of those being his painfully beautiful and recognizable song “Wicked Game,” whose video was highlighted by cult classic director David Lynch.

Well, in New Orleans we don't always care about number one or any numbers for that matter. We just want music, and Chris Isaak and his big band came through New Orleans and played to a pleasantly packed House of Blues.

The last time he played in town was at the House of Blues, a little under ten years ago in 2006. The evening’s performance was a showcase to say the least, as the band played a whopping twenty-four songs. That covered eight of his twelve albums, focusing on last year’s effort and tour name, First Comes the Night. The band could have easily just gone through the motions, but as a band leader, Isaak wouldn’t let that happen. Chris, in turn, engaged the audience all evening and kept his bandmates entertained as well. He lamented on how New Orleans was the only city he could walk around in his boisterous suit and not even be noticed.

As expected, one of the biggest reactions of the night came from “Wicked Game,” but in comparison to the rest of the evening didn’t feel out of place. The band and audience also enjoyed the handpicked covers that highlighted both Isaak’s vocals as well as the bands instrumentation.

Steven Hatley is a New Orleans-based photographer. You can find more of his photography here.