Photos & Review: Brian Setzer Orchestra w/ the Texas Gentlemen @ The Paramount

Brian Setzer Orchestra w/The Texas Gentlemen @ the Paramount, 12/26/17
Show Review & Photos by John Rudolph

Brian Setzer Orchestra

Sometimes you wait a long time to see an artist and you wish you had kept waiting, but Brian Setzer is one of those artists that you wait for, hoping they’ll be as good as you imagine, and they blow your mind. This show was 90 minutes of pure, musical joy.

Setzer’s stage was an explosion of Christmas cheer with trombones stage left, trumpets stage right, a beautiful piano towards the center and an incredible gold stand up bass holding up the rear.

Setzer started the show with “Pennsylvania 6-5000,” moving into “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” and then into “Hoodoo Voodoo Doll.” Of course, he sprinkled the setlist with Stray Cats songs; however right when I thought I knew where the journey was leading us, Setzer broke out with Glenn Campbell’s “Wichita Lineman.” Brian sounded so great, and “Wichita Lineman” showcased how beautiful his voice really is. It was so amazing that I had to sit down.

I thought it was a nice touch when he played “Runnin’ Down A Dream” by Tom Petty. Yes, it’s a great song and given Petty’s death, it just seemed like the right thing to do. Later in the show, the orchestra and backup singers left the stage, leaving Brian Setzer on vocal and lead guitar, Janick Lafreniere on piano, John Hatton on bass, and Daniel Glass on drums. That’s when all hell broke loose, with fast-paced, hard-hitting Rockabilly filling the air.

There was so much Rockabilly, I expected the strings and keys to spontaneously combust!

Thankfully Setzer slowed the pace with the “Nutcracker Suite” in the encore so that we could catch our breath and drive home.

The Texas Gentleman


Photos: Lindsey Stirling @ Paramount Theatre

Lindsey Stirling brought her holiday-themed Warmer in the Winter Christmas Tour to the Paramount Theatre. The family-oriented, sold-out show featured Lindsey playing the violin, dancing and singing – flanked by four dancers and backed by her band. They played primarily Christmas songs and sprinkled in a few of Lindsey’s. Alexander Jean – married couple Mark Ballas and BC Jean – opened.

Lindsey Stirling

Alexander Jean


Photos: Celebrational Muppetational! @ MoPop

Celebrational Muppetational @ MoPop, 5/19/17
Photos by Dagmar
Memory Lane Series, part 24

Celebrational Muppetational!

Details: MoPop hosted Muppetational Celebrational!, a very fun opening night party for the The Jim Henson Exhibition. The exhibit, extended through February 28, 2018, features actual Jim Henson puppets and puppet-related activities. The spring kick-off included a costume and fashion parade along with a great version of the Kermit classic “The Rainbow Connection” by Jon Pontrello (the Moondoggies) and Jason Dodson (the Maldives). Thanks to MoPop and Museum of the Moving Image for putting this all together.

Celebrational Muppetational!


Photos: Yasmine Hamdan @ Crocodile Café

Lebanese singer-songwriter Yasmine Hamdan recently headlined at the Crocodile Café. The Paris-based electropop performer – and actress – is on the road in support of Al Jamilat, released earlier this year. Her sensual moves were the perfect backdrop to her music.

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Show Review & Photos: Steel Panther @ Showbox SoDo

Steel Panther

Steel Panther is one of those bands that I wait for all year. So, who is Steel Panther? They are this wild LA band that spoofs all of the excesses of the hair metal scene of the ’80s. They are so funny and witty that the uninitiated might not realize how musically talented they are.

Steel Panther is like that dumb blond actress that everyone dismisses as stupid until she shows up in Scientific American and you discover she has an IQ of 160. Steel Panther can’t be this funny without being super talented at the same time.

When you go to a Steel Panther show, you can’t be shy or too politically correct. They are raunchy and in some cases, over the top. When they sing “Asian Hooker” to an Asian American fan everything inside cringes until you see that she is in on the joke. You feel a little better about yourself however that “I shouldn’t be liking this” feeling never really goes away.

Steel Panther is an event that people plan for months in advance. They go to the shows dress like their favorite character and the band fully acknowledges that and there is a fun symbiotic relationship between fans and the band.

Find their latest release, Lower The Bar and get ready to laugh hysterically!