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Chris Isaak Brings ‘Happy Show’ to GSR


Chris Isaak brought his ‘happy show’ to the Grand Sierra Resort again, after a two year absence. I call it a ‘happy show’ because you can’t help but get happy when he’s on stage. His personal attitude and sense of humor are infectious.

Their 90-minute set comprised mainly original songs written by Chris, including some his biggest hits — Wicked Games, San Francisco Days, Somebody’s Crying, and Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing. Cover songs included Only The Lonely, Pretty Woman, and Ring of Fire.

Chris’ band has been together for a long time. According to bassist Roly Salley, they have been together for 34 years, 2 months, 2 weeks, 2 days, 19 hours, 27 minutes, and 12 seconds. I’m going out on a limb and saying that I don’t think that’s exact, but maybe it’s close.

“Let me remind you: This is not a church, or a library. This is a rock and roll show! You’ve come to a casino to see a rock and roll show!”

They wasted no time in bringing the fun. After a couple songs Chris picked out an audience member taking cell phone pictures, and Roly and he struck a rock and roll pose for them. Shortly after that Chris took a walk through the audience singing Take My Heart, while security accompanied him to make sure he wasn’t too badly handled by the adoring crowd. There were a few very affectionate women out there.

All in all, it was a great show complete with rock and roll choreography between all three guitarists. Classic fun moves.

Even audience members were invited up on stage to dance. You had to be there. Maybe you were! If not, I hope you had a good reason, because there were some good seats still available.

This is important on a local level too. Live music isn’t automatic, or a right. It’s a blessing that needs to be supported. It all starts out as local music.

With no support it could go away, then what would our children go to see? Music feeds the soul. Get out there, support local live music, and get fed. You’ll feel better for it.


  • Chris Isaak – Lead Vocals, Guitar
  • Kenny Dale Johnson – Drums, Vocals
  • Rowland Salley – Bass, Vocals
  • Hershel Yatovitz – Guitar
  • Scott Plunkett – Keys, Piano, Organ
  • Rafael Padilla – Percussion
Nick McCabe
Nick McCabe
Nick McCabe is a Reno-based photojournalist and musician. He’s been shooting concerts in the Reno-Tahoe area since 2006 and writing articles and reviews since 2012, as well as doing interviews on occasion. His musical education and playing experience goes back to 1967. He is a founding member of the Reno Tahoe Forte’ Awards, and he still plays music locally for enjoyment. First concert: Jimi Hendrix. Last concert: we’ll see.




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