Live Review: Gregory Alan Isakov – 26th November 2016 – Eventim Apollo, London, UK
Taking to the stage as a support artist much be a fairly mixed-feeling type of experience. On one hand you are providing a usually unfamiliar warm-up set to a crowd who, for the most part, will have flocked to the venue to see the evenings headline act. On the other hand, it can also be an extremely rewarding and exciting moment in the career of any rising musician to share the stage with an established and acclaimed artist; an opportunity to share your music and win over an existing fan-base with similar tunes, and to experiment, to a certain extend, with your performance in front of a new audience or to a crowd on unfamiliar ground.
The support slot honors for this past weekends shows by popular UK singer-songwriter, Passenger at Hammersmith’s Eventim Apollo went to emerging act, Gregory Alan Isakov. With several studio albums already firmly under Isakov’s belt; his latest release being given a gorgeous orchestral backbone thanks to the Colorado Symphony, Isavok has become a favourite on the live circuit, having already solidified his position as a seasoned inclusion to many venues and festivals throughout the U.S and Canada.
Leaning on exceptional live renditions of hits from throughout his 10+ year career, Isavok quickly won over the London audience for the second of two sold out performances at the Hammersmith venue on Saturday night. The crowd responded well to Isakov’s set; most of who were already positioned inside the venue by the mid-point of his performance. Whether strumming away for a delightful performance of Let’s Put All These Words Away or perking his otherwise sombre set up with the use of a harmonica, giving his songs a bit of additional flavourng, Isakov quickly found himself at home on the Eventim stage.
With both shows being sold out well ahead of time, there was ample opportunity for the musician to flex his showmanship and introduce his growing catalogue to the largest audience available. Despite the chit-chat amongst many shows attendees during his performance, and while the mic he was using didnt allow for his song introductions to be clearly heard, he was granted a reassuring applause following the performance of each track from his brief set.
As far as support artists go – many of who are all too often outshone by their headline counterparts – Isakov is certainly one that this weekend’s London crowd will remember. Going from his performance on Saturday night here in the capital, Isakov will no doubt be captivating fans for many years to come as he continues to win over the British folk afficiandos.