Live Review: Gregory Alan Isakov – Brooklyn Steel, NYC

Last Friday night, Gregory Alan Isakov took the stage with his incredible band in Brooklyn NYC and performed a powerful set to the sold-out Brooklyn Steel audience. He began the night with “Southern Star”, from the latest album Evening Machines, which featured some succinct and aggressive rhythmic guitar strumming. Sticking with songs from the latest record, next came the fan favorite sing along “San Luis” which features some poetic lyrics with vivid imagery.

“Master & A Hound”, from his second full-length release This Empty Northern Hemisphere, is always special to hear live as the song is a chance for Greg to display his powerhouse vocal range and volume. Up next came the title track from the same album, which kept the mood intimate while kicking up the tempo and our audience dancing movement to a higher gear. Then Greg turned in a gorgeous rendition of “Liars” another gem from Evening Machines. The repetitive “Now we’re just liars” part of the song is truly a concert-going experience that you have to experience live to feel the chills. I wish words could put this feeling into your mind but you have to experience it to fully soak that in.

Greg dug back into the discography of another early album Weatherman to perform a fan favorite from that album, “Amsterdam.” Moments of this song also feature extreme vocal energy that stay with you for the rest of the night. Greg’s vocals can be so powerful at times that you won’t want the song to end. Next Greg whipped out “Stable Song” from his debut album That Sea The Gambler which definitely caught a lot of attention as one of the first songs that hooked us on Greg.

He announced that his new record will be coming out later this year, and said maybe he’ll get to show us one. Well, he did just that by playing “Apaloosa Bones” featuring Steve Varney (vocals, piano, banjo) on beautiful harmonies and keys accompaniment. After hearing this one, I am definitely more excited for the new record and can’t wait to keep hearing more teases and clips of the new music. The fans sang along to “Big Black Car” another hit from This Empty Northern Hemisphere, as the set wound down towards a close.

Next he performed a strong version of “Second Chances” from The Weatherman and then they closed the set with an eerie and energized version of “Caves”. The band came back for an a capella encore and sang and played acoustically around 1 microphone. First, they played “Dandelion Wine” from This Empty Northern Hemisphere and then “Saint Valentine” from The Weatherman. Isakov and the band thanked everyone and walked off stage but the house lights didn’t turn off yet…they came back on for a double encore!

The final song of the night was “All Shades of Blue”. This concert may have been the only concert I’ve ever seen live where the artist performed a double encore. That was really a special moment to see. Make sure you have a ticket for this tour. The band is hot and they have a new record out this year. Be on the lookout for more of those announcements!