Live Review

The Brian Setzer Orchestra – Christmas Rocks! Tour 2017 at The Paramount Theatre

The Brian Setzer Orchestra on December 26, 2017

The Brian Setzer Orchestra in full swing at The Paramount Theatre in Seattle.

Christmas 2017 in Seattle could not have been complete without the annual performance by The Brian Setzer Orchestra at The Paramount Theatre. As I walked up to the venue, there were four tour buses and a couple of semis taking up the street and fans streaming into the venue to celebrate the holiday season.

Opening the evening were the Texas Gentlemen, who kicked off the evening with a fantastic version of The Band’s “The Shape I’m In” and then proceeded to play a mix of originals and covers that had folks dancin’ in their seats. Their original songs featured “ Happie Doobie,” “Pain,” and “Superstition.” Closing out their set was a rousing version of “Shakin’ All Over” that had everyone rising out of their seats in applause.

As the curtain rose after a brief intermission, The Brian Setzer Orchestra swung into action with a rousing intro with Glenn Miller’s “Pennsylvania 6-5000” to set the mood while Brian Setzer strolled on stage with a huge smile to join the festivities for the evening. With one of his classic Gretsch guitars in hand, Setzer blasted into “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” to start things off.

The entire evening featured a mix of Christmas classics like “Boogie Woogie Santa Claus,” “Angels We Have Heard On High,” “Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane),” and “The Christmas Song.” Setzer and orchestra really had a wail on some original tunes and Stray Cats favorites like “Stray Cat Strut,” “Gene and Eddie,” “The Dirty Boogie," and a cover of Louis Prima’s “Jump, Jive an’ Wail.” The surprise of the evening was the wonderful tributes of Glen Campbell's version of “Wichita Lineman” (a Jimmy Webb song) and a rockin’ cover of Tom Petty’s “Runnin’ Down A Dream,” which provided one of the many standing ovations this evening.

The Brian Setzer Orchestra features a talented group of musicians which make up this 20-piece band featuring piano, drums, and standup bass along with a full line of horn players and backup singers to really bring the big band era to the stage. To close out the evening, they performed a jazzy “Nutcracker Suite” and exuberant “Jingle Bells” with an appearance by Santa Claus himself!

The Brian Setzer Orchestra

The Texas Gentlemen

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