The original 90s crooner with a cowboy swagger and sexy rockabilly sensibility, Chris Isaak, will perform on Friday, December 11 at the Golden State Theatre in Monterey. While not technically local, the show is too near and promises to be too good to be missed.
The multi-talented singer/songwriter, actor and soon-to-be reality television judge on Australia’s version of the X Factor when he replaces Redfoo (yes, the guy from LMFAO) next year, rose to prominence with his sexy single “Wicked Game” back in 1990. The music video for the track, shot by fine arts photographer, Herb Ritts, featured a shirtless Chris Isaak and supermodel Helena Christensen rolling lustily around in the sand on a secluded beach. The video created a minor sensation at the time, with its lush, black and white cinematography and, of course, gorgeous couple.
In 1999, Isaak collaborated again with Herb Ritts and another supermodel, this time France’s Laetitia Casta in the video for “Baby Did a Bad, Bad Thing” a track off his 1995 album, Forever Blue. The song was featured in Stanley Kubrick’s final film, and the swan song for Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman’s marriage, Eye’s Wide Shut.
Over the course of his decades-long career, the rock and roll musician has released 12 albums; his latest, First Comes the Night, came out earlier this month and has already hit #66 on the Billboard 200 chart. According to Matt Collar at AllMusic, the album is classic, Chris Isaak, “with ’50s and ’60s-style pop tunes driven by Isaak’s smoky vocal and devil-eyed lyrics,” but with some surprising twists thrown in, like the “Gypsy jazz-style “Baby What You Want Me to Do” and the circusy “Don’t Break My Heart.”
While making music, Isaak has done a bit of acting. Most notably, he fronted his own television show, The Chris Isaak Show, a pleasant situation comedy featuring members of his band that ran from 2001 to 2004 and made several cameo appearances in film and on TV, including a Friends episode, “The One After the Superbowl, Part One.”
No stranger to the area, Isaak last played the Monterey Bay in 2014, headlining what would be the final Santa Cruz Blues Festival in Aptos. If you did not make it the last time, don’t make the same mistake. Tickets are on sale now.
Chris Isaak. 8 p.m. Friday, December 11. Golden State Theatre, 417 Alvarado, Monterey. 649-1070. Tickets: $49-$104.