Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Setzer's Tempe Riot

Dr Desert Flower and I went to dinner and then the Tempe Marquee theater with out friends Alan and Tory to see Brian Setzer's Rockabilly Riot last night.  The show was indeed a riot!   Dinner & Happy Hour at Z Tejas Tempe was delicious, and then we waited in the cold rain for the geniuses who manage the Marquee to open their doors 20 minutes late, long enough for most of the audience who got there at 730pm (opening act, Sedan De Ville) to be nicely soaked and chilled.

But once inside, there were about 100 chairs set out for those who didn't want to stand for the hour before the show started to sit up, and the bathrooms were clean and not crowded, the theater hall not too warm (at first).  Open act was "ok", but everyone came to Setzer.  He did not disappoint.  For a man in his 50s, he puts on a show that would shame younger, less talented, lethargic, low energy rockers in their 20s and 30s.  He played in 3 and 4 piece band and put an awesome hour in with pianist Kevin McKendree - who's playing  reminded me alot of a young Jerry Lee Lewis - maniacally intense drummer Noah Levy, and Jim Carey-expression-esque bassist Johnny Spazz Hatton.  Then Brian brought on Slim Jim Phantom and the fastest double bassist I've ever had the pleasure of seeing & hearing play, Chris D'Rozario.  That young man can PLAY.  Towards the end, Brian brought both groups on stage and they jammed intensely to Stray Cats songs together.
From our general-admission standing area 20 feet in front of stage left, you could tell Setzer and his orchestras were having tremendous fun, and the audience's energy was feeding back on stage to make a beautiful elixir.   it was a great concert, ending after 11pm.  We were back home on the West side by midnight, and I got on my 5am call with a great deal of organic black tea provided caffeine.  If Brian Setzer is coming to your town, don't miss your chance to see an awesome show.  Even if you're not a big rockabilly fan, but you are a musician, you Will Be impressed by the superb talent and enthusiastic show these gentlemen give their audiences.  If you liked them in the 80s (as DDF did) you'll love them even more now.

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