Friday night brought Isakov and his four-piece backing band to Boettcher Concert Hall for a performance with the Colorado Symphony, the latest entry in the Symphony’s successful collaborative series with rock and folk musicians that includes the Lumineers and DeVotchKa. The show certainly felt like a victory lap for Mr. Isakov: a sold-out hometown stand in the midst of nationwide tour, in a year that garnered prominent features from NPR’s Weekend Edition and the New York Times, among many others. Galvanized by this success and surrounded by expertly trained performers, Isakov and his band made a concerted effort on Friday night, sounding notably more forceful than their usual calm yet disciplined delivery in a set leaning on material from The Weatherman.
For those who witnessed Isakov’s band join forces with the Colorado Symphony last Friday, it will likely prove difficult for the time being to un-wed the fantastic classical arrangements from Isakov’s Dylan-esque folk recordings. The alliance proved so natural that it was if we had come to know Isakov’s songs this way all along, yet were still hearing them in this incarnation for the very first time, an attestation to the magic of Mr. Isakov’s craft.