Chris Isaak at the Pikes Peak Center show preview 

click to enlarge Chris Isaak, Monday, Nov. 26, 8 p.m., 190 S. Cascade Ave., $39.50-$79.50, 520-7469, pikespeakcenter.com. - SHERRI R. CAMP / SHUTTERSTOCK
  • Sherri R. Camp / Shutterstock
  • Chris Isaak, Monday, Nov. 26, 8 p.m., 190 S. Cascade Ave., $39.50-$79.50, 520-7469, pikespeakcenter.com.

Shortly after landing their first major-label contract — and just before going out on their first national tour — Chris Isaak and his band Silvertone played a five-night residency in San Francisco at a packed hole-in-the-wall bar on Haight Street called Nightbreak. The idea was to hone the band's sound in a live setting, and also to gather his Bay Area friends and fans together for a handful of last hurrahs before hitting the road. That was back in the mid-'80s, but the Stockton, California, native has maintained his earnest sense of purpose, one that dates back to his college days as an amateur boxer. (Isaak claims to have broken his nose seven times, although that apparently had little impact on his matinée-idol looks.) Isaak's dedication would later pay off with his commercial breakthrough "Wicked Game," a haunting single that didn't become a hit until David Lynch featured it in his film Wild at Heart. Since then, the pop-rock crooner has starred in his own Showtime series, picked up a couple of Grammy nominations, and jammed with Paul McCartney at a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame event. And while he's no longer accompanied by original guitarist James Wilsey — who helped forge the Silvertone sound in much the same way that Johnny Marr had with The Smiths — Isaak and his current bandmates still create a mesmerizing pop sound that echoes the authenticity of Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash and other early influences whose songs frequently find their way into his live sets.


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