‘It’s my favourite place to tour’: Chris Isaak comes back to Australia – our love affair to date

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‘It’s my favourite place to tour’: Chris Isaak comes back to Australia – our love affair to date

Words by Tammy Walters

“Nobody loves no one” is the pained refrain to Chris Isaak’s swooning single ‘Wicked Game’. 

It’s a sentiment for the melancholic, an ominous representation of heartache in this heart-shaped world. However, this statement is frankly untrue when it comes to Australia’s long-standing relationship with the now-Nashville-based serenader. Our love runs deep and has been ignited once again with his imminent return.

Our favourite festival programmers, Roundhouse Entertainment, in conjunction with Live Nation, will be unleashing the multi-talented heartthrob on us this April for A Day On The Green, playing six shows across the nation with a first stop into Geelong’s Mt Duneed Estate on Saturday 6 April.

Chris Isaak – A Day on the Green Geelong

  • Mt Duneed Estate, Geelong – Saturday, April 6 2024.
  • Joined by special guests Boy & Bear, Vika & Linda, Ella Hooper and local band The Mojo Corner.
  • Tickets here.

Keep up with the latest music news, festivals, interviews and reviews here.


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Titled the In Concert tour, the A Day On The Green shows are our first Isaak interaction since 2016, an unbearingly lengthy separation period considering our track record. According to Setlist.FM, Isaak has performed over 120 shows in Australia, sitting us atop of the number two podium post for the most-toured country, second only to his home country of the United States. 

What’s even more impressive is the fact that these statistics are heavily framed around the latter half of the 90s and into the 2000s. You see, Australia was late to the touring party, having only first set eyes on rockabilly rebel just shy of 30 years ago, a decade after he broke into the music domain, for his ‘95 tour of Forever Blue.  

Forever Blue was a significant album in our nation’s Isaak timeline. The 1995 album that opens with slow build, guttural ground-crusher ‘Baby Did A Bad Bad Thing’ and the more delicately contrasted ‘Somebody’s Crying’ went three times platinum, charting at number 2 in the Australian album charts, the highest across the country tally board, and moving over 210,000 units in sales. It also appeared in the swansong Stanley Kubrick erotic thriller, Eyes Wide Shut, starring our very own movie star darling, Nicole Kidman. 

It’s not as if we didn’t jump on board the Isaak bandwagon during his early releases either. Isaak’s debut album and homage album to his three-piece band, Silvertone, saw chart success only in Australia, coming in at number 77. His self-titled follow-up went gold and his Heart Shaped World hit single ‘Wicked Game’, which has been immaculately covered and reinvented by both Finnish love metallers HIM and German house producer Parra for Cuva, made it to number 15 in our weekly charts and number 83 in the year’s overall charts. 

Australia has long championed Chris Isaak and his Presley meets Orbison crooning. In later years, we would boost his Best of Chris Isaak 2006 release to number one and sit Beyond The Sun (2011) and First Comes The Night (2015) in the top three ranks. 

Whilst it’s our first time seeing Chris Isaak in a little while, it’s not his first rodeo in Geelong or at A Day On The Green, with 2006 ticking off both live experiences from his checklist, playing a stand-alone show at Geelong Arena and circuiting through Perth, Adelaide, Hobart, Coldstream, and Brisbane. That same 21 Australian tour date year saw the superstar record his first live album Live In Australia, captured at Melbourne’s The Palms At Crown.

Between a busy bachelor life of music, Chris Isaak has also steered a successful screen career. The Grammy-nominated singer and actor has navigated a blinding music discography, 13 critically acclaimed studio albums in total and 12 chart-topping shiny singles in stature, whilst also building an acting resume appearing in Married to the Mob (1988), The Silence of the Lambs (1991), That Thing You Do! (1996), A Dirty Shame (2004), and The Informers (2008). 

He took to the forefront of the credits in his own sitcom The Chris Isaak Show between 2001 and 2004 which offered a fictional insight into the backstage life of rockstar, not too much of a stretch for the legendary musician. In 2009, Isaak jumped across to the talk show variety for The Chris Isaak Hour. The one-hour music interview and performance show saw him interview fellow industry giants Stevie Nicks, Glen Campbell, Michael Bublé, Chicago, The Smashing Pumpkins, Yusuf Islam, and Jewel. 

Back in Australia, Isaak’s face would become a fixture of the weekly television, becoming a judge on the Australian edition of The X-Factor in 2015. Following the departure of Natalie Bassingthwaite, Isaak joined James Blunt, Guy Sebastian and Dannii Minogue on the seventh season of the talent search show. During his down under residency, he would be televised to millions tuning into the important game of the year, performing at the AFL Grand Final alongside ‘Summer of 69’ star Bryan Adams, and British belter, Ellie Goulding. 

Chris Isaak is coming to Geelong for A Day on the Green this April

At this stage, Chris Isaak is basically an honourary Australian and the distance between musical drinks can be forgiven by his sheer enthusiasm to get back to our audiences. 

Of his return, Isaak says, “I am sitting on my front porch in Nashville, Tennessee and smiling. I have been stuck in my house for nine days because of the snow. But I have been in a great mood as I know I’m going back to Australia!

“I think it’s my favourite place to tour … or just hang out. I’m so ready! Bring on the sun! Bring on the beach! I think I’m gonna wax my guitar … I told you I was excited!”

To grow the excitement, joining Isaak on the AAMI-partnered tour is a web of homegrown talent. An additional band to the ‘Wicked Game’ covers catalogue thanks to their 2020 recorded version, Sydney indie folk favourites Boy & Bear join the Geelong affair, alongside vocal acrobats and dynamic duo Vika and Linda Bull, and one-half of Violet Town’s Killing Heidi, the ultimate rock chic, Ella Hooper. Mark Seymour and The Undertow are along for the ride in all other states except for Victoria.

Tickets to witness the wicked game are on sale now. To sweeten the deal, event partners AAMI are also giving five lucky Chris Isaak fans the chance to win the ultimate concert experience at A Day on the Green. Each winner will receive four premium tickets, along with exclusive AAMI on-site benefits including express entry, priority bar service and a picnic hamper. The competition is open now and closes at 11.59 pm AEDT on Monday 12 February 2024. 

If there is one thing we know for sure, for over 40 years we have loved Chris Isaak. This love will last.

Get tickets here.