Singer Chris Isaak plays St. Petersburg

He'll perform holiday favorites and Sun Records classics at the Mahaffey

December 19, 2013 

Singer Chris Isaak scored a huge hit in the 1990s with "Wicked Game." PUBLICITY PHOTO

It's billed as "Chris Isaak's Holiday Tour 2013," but the buzz on this tour is that Isaak devotes at least as much attention to his album "Beyond the Sun" as to seasonal songs.

That's a good thing. "Beyond the Sun," which Isaak released two years ago, is a phenomenal collection of Isaak's favorite songs by the pioneers of rock and country who held court at Sun Records -- Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and others. They're great songs and Isaak's renditions are impeccable.

But Isaak has the kind of smooth, strong voice and pleasing stage demeanor that allow him to turn from rockabilly hits to even the most soul-soothing of Christmas ballads, and that's what he does in the show on this tour.

Isaak's been making records since the mid-1980s, but he hit it really big in the early '90s when MTV started featuring the sensual Herb Ritts-directed video for his song "Wicked Game." He's a favorite of director David Lynch, who has featured Isaak tunes in at least two of his films. Stanley Kubrick also used an Isaak song, "Baby Did a Bad, Bad Thing" his final movie, "Eyes Wide Shut."

Details: 7 p.m. Dec. 22, Mahaffey Theater, 401 First St. S., St. Petersburg. Tickets: $39.50, $49.50, $55.50, $65.50 and $69.50. Information: 727-892-5767, www.themahaffey.com.

-- Marty Clear

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