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 Reviews of the Gibson Shows Anyone???

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badkitty

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PostSubject: Reviews of the Gibson Shows Anyone???   Sun Dec 20, 2009 12:32 pm

I was unable to attend either show this year, & wondered how they were, especially in light of Setzer's recent illness. Who opened for them?
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Andi

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PostSubject: Re: Reviews of the Gibson Shows Anyone???   Sun Dec 20, 2009 12:59 pm

I just got home from LA - I will share stories, photos and videos as soon as I can!! For now, a mini-review:

Royal Crown Revue and the Ventures opened both nights. As a huge RCR fan I was thrilled, though I would've loved more than 6 songs, only two of which were originals! The Ventures were great fun and obviously still know how to rock the surf instrumentals like nobody's business.

The BSO setlist was the same both nights with no changes from previous shows. Even though I knew exactly what songs to expect, those men and women (and children on Friday!!) put on two fantastic performances, and gave us some fun little surprises you just don't pick up unless you see them live and standing front and center at the foot of the stage!! Very Happy More on those details later.

I have seen probably a dozen BSO shows, though these were my first Christmas shows. I was so pleased to see two shows, two nights in a row, back to back. The difference was staggering. The first night was incredible, right up there where you expect the BSO to be in terms of musicianship, showmanship, talent, fun.... but last night blew me away. I am not exaggerating when I say that was the best Brian Setzer Orchestra performance I've ever seen. The band was on fire and somebody must've lit something under Brian. He was playing like a madman, joking, laughing, smiling, running around and jumping and generally rocking out - I haven't seen a performance from him like that in a long, long time. If that fella has been at all under the weather in the last month you could've fooled me based on last night's performance.

More as I have time to put it all together!



PS - Even though I just had open gall bladder surgery 18 days ago, I still look like I was in a car wreck, and in the past two days I stood on my feet for many, many hours more than I should've.... I feel like a million bucks. Music heals.
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Andi

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PostSubject: Re: Reviews of the Gibson Shows Anyone???   Sun Dec 20, 2009 5:59 pm

Both nights, thanks to some fantastic friends (namely Rockabilly Ross, Jan and Gloria) I was front and just left of center in the pit. From this perfect vantage point, we could see every lick, every gesture, every smile, every interaction between band members. There's no better way to see a concert, in my view.

Le Setz was in a very playful mood last night, and had the women in the audience eating out of the palm of his hand. When he strapped on the new white Hot Rod, he said, "so I got a new guitar for Christmas..." I shouted, "it looks hot, baby!" He looked down at me and smiled and said "Do I? Thanks, you're lookin' pretty hot yourself, sweetheart!" If I was feeling any pain after that I certainly didn't notice it, I was grinning like an idiot and shimmyin', shakin', screamin' and shoutin' - within reason - for the rest of the night! Very Happy

At one point between songs a woman shouted, "I love you Brian!!" He laughed, "I love you too! That's why we're all here, right?"

Just before "Angels We Have Heard on High," (with the repeated line "Gloria" throughout), he crouched down low near his amp and stared at Gloria. He blew her a kiss, slowly extending his hand and pointing right at her with a sly grin. I think about four of us screaming girls standing near Gloria all blew kisses back at him.

At times, Setzer would obviously get carried away by the music, and the look on his face was just sheer boyish joy. I specifically remember seeing it during the trio set and during the Nutcracker, and it's priceless. When a performer can go out night after night and perform the same songs over and over and still look like he's hearing this aural wonder for the first time, that's somethin' special.



There was even a reminder that Brian gets to share this joy every night with his closest companion, his wife Julie. At the start of Jump Jive an' Wail, as the band was playing their intro and waiting for him to begin singing, Brian suddenly put down his guitar, ran to the rear riser, kicked over a poinsettia as he jumped up on the bandstand next to Julie, clapping and boogying along with her for a second or two before running back up front, strapping on the Gretsch and launching into "baby, baby, it looks like it's gonna hail!" It was a sweet, personal moment that gave us all warm fuzzies. (Friday night there was another sweet moment - two little girls, one of whom I believe is Brian's daughter, ran across the stage, grabbed a couple presents from Santa's sleigh, then ran back. Brian said indignantly, "they're stealin' my presents!" Later they ran back out and put the presents back. I watched them just behind the curtain afterwards, with ecstatic grins on their faces for their moment in the spotlight, jumping up and down and hugging each other and dancing and singing during Jump Jive an' Wail. It was so dang cute.)

What musicians say about audience feedback affecting their performance has never been more obvious than it was last night. Throughout the night, Setzer would target a particularly excited fan and solo directly in front of them, smiling and playing to them, causing them to freak out even more - it was a continuous positive feedback loop that got both the crowd and the guitarslinger completely amped (no pun intended Wink The same effect was present for all the musicians: the Surfin' Trombones, the slinky, sexy, swaying Vixens, the trio (Tony Pia's spinning tom and all three guys playing on the floor were big hits), for saxophonist Tim Messina's "Jump Jive an' Wail" solo... they played hard to the audience, and we loved it. While the crowd was screaming for an encore, the band was egging us on, clapping and screaming and waving at us just as much as we were at them. Trombonist Michael Briones was jumping and stomping and hooting and hollering so hard I thought he was gonna hurt himself. The excitement in both the band and the audience was palpable, and the stellar quality of last night's show was a perfect reflection of that excitement.

Much of this behavior is present at every show - I saw many of these same things only the night before. But somehow last night's show felt like we shared something personal and special with The Brian Setzer Orchestra - and apparently they felt it too. As the band was standing in a line on the stage, saying goodnight and accepting the raucous standing ovation, Setzer said, "thank you so much. You have become our Christmas family."
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badkitty

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PostSubject: Re: Reviews of the Gibson Shows Anyone???   Sun Dec 20, 2009 7:04 pm

Great post Andi, & thanks also for your photos on the other thread. I'm glad you were finally able to see one of the Christmas shows. They are always something special.
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Rocky Mountain Cat



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PostSubject: Re: Reviews of the Gibson Shows Anyone???   Sun Dec 20, 2009 7:12 pm

Great review, Andi. I'm glad you had such a fantastic time.

Thanks also for your help with the Setlist Archive.

When are you going to tell us the story behind that photo with Spazz?
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Andi

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PostSubject: Re: Reviews of the Gibson Shows Anyone???   Sun Dec 20, 2009 7:34 pm

Haha! Sorry, so much to tell, so little time. Very Happy

I did not get to talk to Brian or Julie at all - which is a shame 'cause I'm really looking forward to thanking Brian in person for the whole Lonely Avenue back cover thing and maybe getting my LP's back cover signed, but with any luck I'll have the opportunity in Vegas!

However, after the Friday night show I did get to meet a couple stars of the HDVDL - that is, Scatman and peeteycat - who were kind enough to introduce me to Johnny "Spaz" Hatton outside the venue. My camera's flash refused to work, so I said "we'll have to move into the light to get the picture." (there was a bright streetlight/spotlight thing on the outside wall of the amphitheatre.) Spaz said we should look into the light to make sure the photo really came out - Scatman got about four photos with my camera, and in all four Spaz is looking into the light! Very Happy



I was also lucky enough to meet and chat with super-friendly, super-hyper trumpeter Ron Blake, and music director/sax player extraordinaire Tim Messina, both of whom treated me like an old pal. (unfortunately I didn't get photos with Ron, Tim, Jan or Gloria.... I kept forgetting! Evil or Very Mad Scatman says he's got another good one on his camera of me and Spaz, and I'm hoping there's one of me and Scatman and peeteycat on there too, but sounds like it might not've come out.)

Anyway, it really was quite a family affair - Ron's dad and a friend were there (the friend asked me if I was one of the backup singers! Very Happy), Tim was there with his wife... very friendly folks, all of them. I also made a point of introducing myself to drummer Tony Pia and trombonist Robbie Hioki, and gushing to them about how incredible the performances were. When I went to similarly introduce myself and gush to saxophonist Eric Morones, before I could say anything he said "hey, you're Andi! You've been a fan for a long time - I remember you from a couple years back!" I was gobsmacked, I have no idea why he would know my name, I don't think we've ever met - but I was flattered, and I still did gush to him about the performance. All of them seemed very appreciative of my compliments and my enjoyment of their work.

This band is full of amazingly friendly musicians who are genuinely enthusiastic about the fact that they are members of the Brian Setzer Orchestra. Learning that makes me almost as happy as the shows themselves.

I also must mention I ever-so-briefly got to meet weaser while he was waiting to begin his meet and greet, I believe, but I was suddenly having to pick up my tickets at will call and run back to my spot in line with Jan and Gloria so we didn't get a chance to really chat, and for that I am sorry - Tim, I wish we could've talked more!! Can't wait to hear about YOUR experiences last night!!
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johnnykool327

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PostSubject: Re: Reviews of the Gibson Shows Anyone???   Sun Dec 20, 2009 10:42 pm

Just looked thru the Flickr album and hoooooooeeeeyyyy!!!

A few things
A, that must be a nice camera
B, that must have been some good lighting
C, them must have been some good seats
D, that must have been fun!

Thanks for postin those!

-BK
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donpepe



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PostSubject: Re: Reviews of the Gibson Shows Anyone???   Mon Dec 21, 2009 1:25 am

Great pics & posts! I hope you all have great time at the shows!
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Hot Rod Girl

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PostSubject: Re: Reviews of the Gibson Shows Anyone???   Mon Dec 21, 2009 8:05 am

Wow, Andi! Sounds like you had an incredible adventure. You definitely met some great people, and I'm sure your conversations were very interesting! Cool

Thanks for sharing your story, and have a blast w/ your mom in Vegas, baby!

Merry Christmas!
rendeer
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Andi

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PostSubject: Re: Reviews of the Gibson Shows Anyone???   Mon Dec 21, 2009 9:47 am

johnnykool327 wrote:
Just looked thru the Flickr album and hoooooooeeeeyyyy!!!

A few things
A, that must be a nice camera
B, that must have been some good lighting
C, them must have been some good seats
D, that must have been fun!

Hey thanks BK! As at all Setzer shows, the lighting and stage production in general was top, top notch - they really do make it possible to get some wonderfully lit, wonderfully composed photos, assuming you have proper equipment to take advantage of it.

Unfortunately the camera I had with me is total crap. If you watch my video of Lonely Avenue you'll see it refused to focus through the entire thing. For stills, it's too slow and it blows out people's faces when I try to get "whole stage" shots, so any decent photos I got were simply good luck. Most of what I got was either blurry or had overexposed faces, which is why I only posted 31 pictures. If I had been allowed to go in with my DLSR it would've been more like 300! Very Happy Watching the photos as a slideshow actually makes it a little better though:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/andihazelwood/sets/72157623039540342/show/with/4201821400/

The seats actually weren't seats at all - the pit was standing room only, and we were right at the front with only a couple feet between us and Le Setz. Couldn't have asked for a better spot! And yeah.... fun doesn't even cover it. Twisted Evil


Hot Rod Girl wrote:
Wow, Andi! Sounds like you had an incredible adventure. You definitely met some great people, and I'm sure your conversations were very interesting! Thanks for sharing your story, and have a blast w/ your mom in Vegas, baby!

You know it HRG! Cool I'm really looking forward to Vegas - never been to The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel, but I hear it's a gorgeous venue with great acoustics. We're actually seated for this one - it'll be very interesting to compare the experiences. From what I can tell, our seats are in the area labeled "Tier 2" on this chart:



Definitely too far away for my taste but should be comfortable, and with perfect sound!

It's a very Setzer Christmas! Have a great one everybody!
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PostSubject: Re: Reviews of the Gibson Shows Anyone???   Mon Dec 21, 2009 10:30 am

Glad to see you had a blast Andi! Didn't it taste even better given that 2 weeks ago, you thought you couldn't go?

Thank you for the fantastic review, made me re-live my own experience all over again!

Enjoy Vegas, being a little farther from the stage will allow you to enjoy the stage setting and lighting as a whole, the song Lonely Avenue for instance could benefit from that.

David
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PostSubject: Re: Reviews of the Gibson Shows Anyone???   Mon Dec 21, 2009 12:08 pm

While in Vegas, be sure to check out Dueling Pianos at either New York New York or Treasure Island. Don't know for sure if they play on Wednesday nights, but as it is right before a holiday, it's a good chance. Perhaps you can even request a Stray Cats or BSO song (or more than one).
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PostSubject: Re: Reviews of the Gibson Shows Anyone???   Mon Dec 21, 2009 12:38 pm

Hi to all.

Andi,
said hello to you behind the will call window Saturday night, your review summed up for Saturday night. I too have seen the orchestra many times, and Brian was on fire that night.

I have been a Stray Cat/Brian Setzer fan for 30 years, so I put down the money for the meet and greet and it was worth every penny. We went by the sound and light board and was given a great description of how everything worked with some demonstration. Then off to the back stage and Brian's rack of rods!! Took many pictures with the guitar tech holding them up and heard a great story by Dave Kaplan about Brian's 59 will tell that another time. Then back to the Tour manager and what a presentation he gave describing his job and setting up the tour from the beginning to end. Then the big moment, meeting Brian in his dressing room. What a genuine human being, I brought a Stray Cat Chronicle magazine circa 1979 from Switzerland. He never saw that, and was kind of blown away. There is a picture of him getting a tatoo when there was a lot of room on his arm unlike now. He made a comment about how young he looked back then, it was great. Also a couple brought Brian and Julie a present, it was very cool, it was made out of I think titanium, it was like a name plate kindof like a motorcycle name plate, it said Brian and Julie Setzer. It was unique and cool, so Julie came in and chatted awhile. UNBELEIVABLE, will share more later.

Happy Holidays to all!!!

Tim
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PostSubject: Re: Reviews of the Gibson Shows Anyone???   Mon Dec 21, 2009 1:20 pm

hey Tim...I am doing the meet & greet in Vegas...curious...how many were back there?
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PostSubject: Re: Reviews of the Gibson Shows Anyone???   Mon Dec 21, 2009 1:33 pm

Scatman,
you look great in that pic with Andi and Joe!
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Andi

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PostSubject: Re: Reviews of the Gibson Shows Anyone???   Mon Dec 21, 2009 2:20 pm

Live Review: Brian Setzer Orchestra at the Gibson Amphitheatre



"This next one used to play a lot on MTV," Brian Setzer announced from the stage of the Gibson Amphitheatre on Friday night. "Back when they used to play music on MTV." The song was "Stray Cat Strut," by Setzer's old neo-rockabilly outfit the Stray Cats, and the singer-guitarist wasn't overselling its prominence during the music-video network's younger years: Along with Devo, the Buggles and Duran Duran, the Stray Cats found a natural berth at MTV, which showcased the group's visual flair in a way that radio simply couldn't. As much as you listened to Setzer and his bandmates, you watched them too, admiring their wide-collared suits and precarious hairdos.

Nearly three decades later, the Stray Cats -- like Lou Bega, the Squirrel Nut Zippers and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones after them -- no longer have much purchase on the pop mainstream. Yet Setzer still commands a loyal audience, thanks in large part to his annual big-band holiday show, optimistically dubbed the "Christmas Rocks! Extravaganza" and now in its seventh year of touring business. Stray Cats fans crowded the Gibson on Friday for the first of two concerts there, but so did grandmothers and grandchildren, many of whom would probably be surprised to learn that music videos once had a home beyond YouTube.

As in years past, Setzer's 90-minute set interspersed well-worn seasonal material with Stray Cats tunes and songs he's crafted with the Brian Setzer Orchestra, his durable 17-piece backing band. Showbiz cynicism had no place in the proceedings, which presented Christmas less as a religious or retail experience than as an annual opportunity for specialized wardrobe and jargon. Setzer isn't a man who needs an excuse to say things like, "Dig that crazy Santa Claus," but you could tell he was happy to have one.

Not everything sounded as joyous on Friday as it might have: Though he bounded onstage with the energy required to pull off his outfit (red knee-length topcoat over leather pants tucked into leather boots), Setzer seemed to operate at a lower-than-usual wattage for the first half-hour or so -- the aftereffect, perhaps, of a medical issue that caused him to cut short a show in Albuquerque last week. "Boogie Woogie Santa Claus," for instance, never quite boogied all its blues away.

Yet by the time he led his trombone section in a cute oom-pah version of the Ventures' "Pipeline," Setzer had found his footing. He peppered "Angels We Have Heard on High" with tasty jazz chords and sang a lovely rendition of "Lonely Avenue," the title track from his new studio disc. Near the end of the concert he gave the Orchestra a break and performed a stripped-down mini-set with his drummer and bassist; they injected "Run Rudolph Run" and "Jingle Bell Rock" with a jolt of early-rock electricity.

For an encore the ensemble raced through a condensed version of the Nutcracker Suite, honoring the eclectic movements of Tchaikovsky's score with a series of stylistic quick changes: lush '30s-style swing into double-time parade-band march into sultry Latin jazz. The music was pleased with itself, but Setzer's fans were pleased with it too -- and not because MTV had hammered it into their heads.

--Mikael Wood

Photo: Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times
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Andi

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PostSubject: Re: Reviews of the Gibson Shows Anyone???   Mon Dec 21, 2009 2:47 pm

weaser wrote:
Andi,
said hello to you behind the will call window Saturday night

I'm so sorry I didn't stick around so we could chat more, Tim! Hopefully there will be a next time! Very Happy

weaser wrote:
I have been a Stray Cat/Brian Setzer fan for 30 years, so I put down the money for the meet and greet and it was worth every penny. We went by the sound and light board and was given a great description of how everything worked with some demonstration. Then off to the back stage and Brian's rack of rods!! Took many pictures with the guitar tech holding them up and heard a great story by Dave Kaplan about Brian's 59 will tell that another time.... will share more later.

Sounds SO cool, thank you for the details! Can't wait to hear what else you care to share, and see photos too I hope!!

talldave wrote:
Didn't it taste even better given that 2 weeks ago, you thought you couldn't go?

Yep, based on how I was feeling then I would never have believed I'd have been capable of doing what I'm doing. Setzer worked his magic on me, that's for sure - I feel MUCH better now!!!

sunny
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PostSubject: Re: Reviews of the Gibson Shows Anyone???   Sat Dec 26, 2009 5:46 am

Howdy folks!

Very new at this, but I've been a Brian Setzer fan since the 80"s. I've been to every BSO show execpt for one. That was the year of the 68 comback special and the only reason I didn't slit my wrist was because I just saw him a month prior in Del Mar, Ca with the 68 comeback special. I was at his very first show at the Roxy Theatre in Los Angeles a show that was sold out, but luckily I ran into Brian in the Alley between the Roxy and the Rainbow room, he was chatting it up with some folkes when my buddy excused himself and had the balls to ask Brian if any more seats would be released. Brian asked for how many my buddy said 3. Brian told us to go to the box office and he sent word to release 3 tickets. Have a story as to how that came about, I'll save it for another time but the teaser is that involves a popular L.A. radio dj at the time and Adam Ant.

Anyway, I was at the show Saturday Night 12/19 as well and it was probably the best BSO show that I've seen. Brian was definately in a zone. Didn't have the pleasure of being in the pit, however my seats were about 6 rows up just outsice the pit. My only complaint was that Brian has such an eclectic fan base young and old but if you are sitting by the old, they get really pissed when you stand and get into the show...the Pit from now on. I remember a couple of summers ago at the JackFM tour, when I went to see the Stray Cats. Some guy got in my face because I was beating the hell out of the seat infront of me while listening to the set (Slim Jim does that to Me). The guy told me that If I did't stop he would knock me out. First of all he was too old to be making threats, I responded to him....Sir, I don't give a shit about the Pretenders or Stevie Nicks, I came to see the Stray Cats...You let me enjoy this set and I will leave or we get into it and I make the rest of your night miserable. Needless to say, I enjoyed the set left like I promised....But only because those weren't my seats anyway. Returned later in the evening to catch ZZTop in my assigned seats.
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