Folk artists Gregory Alan Isakov and Blind Pilot teamed up Tuesday to serenade a small but packed Capitol Theater. Although both artists showed what they were capable of with soft yet powerful acoustic sound, I was most impressed by the incredible talent that Gregory Alan Isakov brought to the stage.
I’ve been a fan of the Colorado singer’s music for quite some time, and have always wanted to see him perform live. Isakov released a live album accompanied by the Colorado Symphony in 2016, which gave a taste of his in-concert sound. However, I still managed to be surprised by the sheer, unedited beauty of his voice and the mystifying way it filled the room. Accompanied by a violinist, a banjo player and a cellist, Isakov’s voice was reminiscent of the classic folk genre but maintained a uniquely soulful and sombre tone.
I was also delighted to hear new music intermixed with his older songs. The new songs he played remained true to his sound and showed the same powerful songwriting skills he’s always had. Though there was no word on when a new album would be coming, I’ll be looking forward to adding the entirety of the album to my somewhat cringe-worthy fall Spotify playlists.
The performance as a whole was filled with sweet moments. Looking out at the crowd at any given moment, you were likely to see lots of smiles, some whistling and a whole bunch of mesmerized eyes. During “Saint Valentine,” a standout track from his 2013 album The Weatherman, a couple got up to dance along together. During “Big Black Car,” the gentle banjo strumming paired with the deep tone of the cello nearly brought a tear to my eye.
Over and over again throughout his set, I was reminded of why I’ve always been so attached to his music and why I love music of his genre to begin with. There’s something easy about listening to singer/songwriter music. In its own back-to-basics way, music like Gregory Alan Isakov’s plant roots in your mind. It allows for the artist to take a seemingly basic way of songwriting and make it their own in whichever way they choose. In Gregory Alan Isakov’s case, in every song he performs, he makes it dynamic and rich, haunting and gorgeous.