Monday, December 3, 2012

Concert Review: The Brian Setzer Orchestra Brings The Spirit Of Christmas To Foxwoods

Brian Setzer has become the torch bearer for the Rockabilly music community. He hit the big time in the mid-eighties with his three-piece band, the Stray Cats. Then in the late-nineties, he single handedly brought back the “swing revival” with his top 10 cover of Louis Prima’s “Jump, Jive An’ Wail.” Now, Setzer is one of the few artists that perform a Christmas show year in and year out. This year’s Brian Setzer Orchestra Christmas Extravaganza made a stop at the MGM Grand Theater At Foxwoods on December 2nd to spread some holiday cheer.

The evening began with a thirty-minute warm-up from new band, Totsy. Their sound dates back to the early days of jazz as they describe their music as “Burlesque Pop.” Lead singer, Beth Curry was very talkative with the crowd, giving insight to their songs. The show was also a “homecoming” for drummer Ric “Rocc” Roccapriore who is a native from Meriden, CT as he keep the band on pace throughout their ten-song set. The band mixed in playful songs like “Fickle Feet” and “Ball And Chain” with the darker, more seductive music of “Little White Secrets” and “Red Balloon.” Since it was a Christmas show, Totsy performed their self-penned original “Santa Likes Naughty Girls Too,” before closing their set with the highly energetic “Boom Boom Room.”

After a short break, the red curtain rose to reveal the Brian Setzer Orchestra as they kicked-in to the Brian Setzer original, “Dig That Crazy Santa Claus.” As Setzer walked on stage, with his guitar in hand, he received a standing ovation. He took every opportunity to show off his guitar prowess as he jammed during the solos of “This Cat’s On A Hot Tin Roof” and “Sexy & 17.” Setzer’s 14-piece orchestra also took their share of solos during the extended version of “Boogie Woogie Santa Claus.”

The energy in the room began to pick up as Setzer and his orchestra performed the up-tempo hit “Jump, Jive An’ Wail,” before cutting his band down to just a trio. He brought in his signature rockabilly sound with “Run Rudolph Run” and “Fishnet Stockings,” much to the audience’s delight. With the crowd on their feet, he closed his set with the very popular “Rock This Town” as people were dancing wherever space provided.

The two-song encore started off with Setzer’s Christmas remake of the Glenn Miller standard “In The Mood.” The audience was not ready to leave as Setzer singled for “one more.” The orchestra, led by Setzer guitar closed the evening with a roaring rendition of “Jingle Bells,” complete with snow and Santa throwing out gifts to the audience.

Once again, Brian Setzer continues to entertain like no other by keeping the Christmas spirit alive and rocking.

Setlist: Dig That Crazy Santa Claus, Sleigh Ride, ’49 Mercury Blues, This Cat’s On A Hot Tin Roof, Boogie Woogie Santa Claus, (She’s) Sexy & 17, Stray Cat Strut/You’re A Mean One Mr. Grinch, Drive Like Lightning (Crash Like Thunder), Honey Man, Angels We Have Heard On High, Jump Jive An’ Wail, Run Rudolph Run, Jingle Bell Rock, Blue Christmas, Fishnet Stockings, Rock This Town
Encore: Gettin’ In The Mood (For Christmas), Jingle Bells

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