The Brian Setzer Orchestra 12.15.16 With Beat Root Revival

Brian Setzer

The Brian Setzer Orchestra

Brian Setzer

Just in time for Christmas, The Brian Setzer Orchestra to come to the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona on Thursday December 15th.  It was a night of Big Band, Rockabilly and Christmas music.  Brian made a name for himself as part of the rock band Stray Cats in the 1980s playing an updated style of 50s rockabilly music.  After leaving the Stray Cats, Brain moved onto a Big Band Swing sound in the 1990s with his new band, The Brian Setzer Orchestra.  For a number of years, I have seen Brian bring his band to the Phoenix area during the Christmas season.  This year was the first time I saw Brian with his orchestra.  I saw him back in the 1980s with the Stray Cats and it was a up tempo high energy performance that had everyone on their feet dancing and singing.  For this show they removed the first three rows of seats at the Celebrity Theatre so people could come up front to dance and sing during the show.  Brian and the orchestra still have the high-energy level I remember and really got the crowd going from the very first song, “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”.  They then moved on to “Hoodoo Voodoo Doll” followed by one of the Stray Cats hits, “Stray Cat Strut” where Brian played his signature GreTsch hollow body guitar and strutted around on the stage much to the delight of the crowd.  The show consisted of a number of Christmas favorites done in a Big Band Swing or Rockabilly style along with a few Stray Cats songs.  The first half of the show, Brian had the full Orchestra on stage, but about the middle of the show, everyone left the stage except Brian, and he did a solo performance of “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”.  The next 3 songs, “Mystery Train”, “Put Your Cat Clothes ON” an “Fishnet Stockings”, Brian was joined by the bassist, drummer and guitarist/keyboard player.  The full orchestra returned for “Rockabilly Rudolph” and the rest of the show.  The show ended with their version of a classic Christmas song, “Jingle Bells” where almost everyone in the audience was singing along.

This was a great concert filled with outstanding performances by the different members of the orchestra.  The orchestra consisted of 5 sax players, 4 trumpet players, 4 trombone players. 2 ladies singing, a bassist, drummer, piano player/guitarist and the amazing Brian Setzer on lead vocals and lead guitar.  Brian and the orchestra will be touring the west coast through the end of the year.

Review and photos by Fred Kuhlman
Promoter: Danny Zelisko Presents
Venue: Celebrity Theatre

Photos © Fred Kuhlman 2016

Beat Root Revival

The opening act for concert was Beat Root Revival, a duo from the UK that played folk, roots and classic pop songs.  The duo is made up of Ben Jones on guitar and Andrea Magee on flute, guitar and hand drum with both singing.  They played a number of songs including covers from Fleetwood Mac and The Beatles along with some of their own original works.  They reminded me a lot of a duo that you would see at a pub or small bar.  They are extremely talented and Andrea’s voice reminds me a lot of a young Stevie Nicks.

Photos © Fred Kuhlman 2016


The Brian Setzer Orchestra Setlist:          (Album/Cover)
Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree           (Brenda Lee cover)
Hoodoo Voodoo Doll
Stray Cat Strut                                                   (Stray Cats cover)
Boogie Woogie Santa Claus                           (Mabel Scott cover)
Gene and Eddie                                                 (Stray Cats cover)
Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane)                  (Gene Autry cover)
Sleep Walk                                                          (Santo & Johnny cover)
Angels We Have Heard On High
The Dirty Boogie
Jump, Jive an’ Wail                                           (Louis Prima cover)
Let There Be Rock                                             (AC/DC cover)
The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)             (Mel Tormé cover)
Mystery Train                                                     (Little Junior’s Blue Flames cover)
Put Your Cat Clothes On                                 (Carl Perkins cover)
Fishnet Stockings                                             (Stray Cats cover)
Rockabilly Rudolph
Rock This Town                                                 (Stray Cats cover)
Nutcracker Suite
Jingle Bells


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here