The Brian Setzer Orchestra opens their Christmas Rocks Tour in Minneapolis, Minnesota at the State Theater on November 17, 2017. This is the first time I have seen this show and have been wanting to for the last few years. I always seem to be out of town when it happens for one reason or another. So this was really exciting this year.
The Brian Setzer Orchestra has done a Christmas tour for quite a long time and it is always a really fun show. If I could only describe it in one adjective, it would certainly be fun. The show is a great mix of the Christmas music, but also Brian Setzer Orchestra and Stray Cats tunes to keep it from being a full blown holiday show.
I know it’s November and Thanksgiving hasn’t even hit yet, but there was something really comforting about going into the State Theater and seeing it all covered in Christmas decor for this show. Holly and decorative lights adorned the lobby with their beautiful historic look. When the show began, I was in no way prepared for how elaborate their stage was. There had to be at least twenty people onstage with a pinstriped Brian Setzer, his backup singers, an enormous horn section decked out in sparkly green jackets, and more. The piano player had a leopard spotted piano (which I just wanted to take home), Brian played a number of guitars throughout the night, they had a stand up bass, and a great drummer.
There were a number of highlights from this show. One of my personal favorites was their rendition of “Angels We Have Heard on High”. It was incredibly well done and a real standout among the Christmas songs. Besides the solo of “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”, this one stood out the best for me. One number that got everyone standing up and incredibly excited was the cover of Tom Petty’s “Running Down a Dream”. That was amazing.
The set also included songs like, “Stray Cat Strut”, “Rock This Town”, “Jump, Jive an’ Wail”, as well as a number of Christmas songs. There was a portion of sheer rockabily songs closer to the end of the night, in which the majority of the band left the stage and only Brian, the drummer, pianist, and bassist remained. It was a really great addition to the show.
I would go to this show every holiday season. Like I said at the beginning, it’s just really fun. Plus, it’s tough to find really great rockabilly live from what I have seen. This show not only has rockabilly music, the whole theme is like a rockabilly time period. The fashion, music, style, instruments, decor, everything matches up so well. I’ll be there again next year.