Chris Isaak and Lyle Lovett team up for a dream concert in Las Vegas

What a wicked game to play, to book a summertime tour featuring Chris Isaak and Lyle Lovett this way. Lovett and His Large Band open the Las Vegas concert at The Theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, but obviously they can’t both headline. tour itself is a double-bill, with the two music mavericks alternating top billing and parting ways occasionally to play single-billed dates along the way. For longtime fans of both acts, this is must-see dream concert—and you kinda have to wonder why it took this long to happen.

If you liked Isaak, chances are you were partial to Lovett while they were both in the early stages of their careers. Isaak had Elvis Presley-like photogenic good looks, while Lovett’s distinct profile made him impossible to forget. Isaak appealed to listeners who appreciated. rockabilly and surf music. Lovett’s idiosyncratic music style was—and is—a country music soup stock flavored with Western swing, big band, gospel, blues and folk.

Together they are the surf-and-turf option of this summer’s live music menu. Isaak, who last played Vegas in 2019, expressed his desire to get out and perform via his 2021 single “Pandemic Blues: I Can’t Take It!” He indulged his love of seasonal music by playing holiday concerts leading into last Christmas, but he’s back to playing marathon shows that on any date can include Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis and Roy Orbison covers mixed into his extensive back catalog of classics like “Baby Did” a Bad Bad Thing. ”

While there’s little news of Isaak’s recording plans at the moment, his discography finds ways to remain top of mind. (Late guitarist James Calvin Wilsey, most renowned for creating the haunting riffs in “Wicked Game,” is the subject of a forthcoming biography four years after his 2018 passing.) Lovett, meanwhile, is promoting album 12th of JuneHe performs the gently strummed title track deep in a set in which he leads his band through chestnuts such an “Bears,” “Here I Am,” “Cowboy Man” and “Church.”

Lovett has a way with covers, always ready to perform a Townes Van Zandt or Burt Bacharach tune if he’s feeling it. Aside from being an iconoclast in his choice of material, Lovett is an inimitable vocal stylist with a knack for grace notes and a delivery It’s impossible not to be stirred while hearing him perform live.

With Isaak, it’s more about being taken along for a ride in a classic car to a secret surf spot where the waves break perfectly, and it’s just cool enough after sunset to light a romantic fire. Isaak’s croon is ideally complemented by the trebly, twangy Wilsey’s presence is palpable whenever the songs from Isaak’s first few albums are played, but Isaak himself prefers a one-off, hollow-bodied Gibson guitar that goes well with his combed coif and cool. couture.

There will be an abundance of musical authenticity to absorb in one evening after Isaak and Lovett load into the theater. It’s awesome to see them both in one place, but almost overwhelming. Wicked in a good way.

Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, 8 pm June 18, starting at $ 35 plus tax and fee. Axs.com

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