Brian Setzer and his Orchestra brought their annual Christmas show to Los Angeles for a stop at the Microsoft Theater. Shortly after 9pm, the curtain came up to a festive display of oversized candy canes, Christmas trees, and Nutcrackers. The band opened with an upbeat version of “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree,” before tearing into fan favorites “This Cat’s on a Hot Tin Roof,” “Stray Cat Strut,” and “(She’s) Sexy + 17.” Some notable favorites of the night were “Here Comes Santa Claus,” “Great Balls of Fire,” and “Rockabilly Rudolph.”
Throughout his performance, Setzer used a number of drool worthy Gretsch guitars including his original and updated Hot Rod series and his familiar orange 6120. His Fender Bassman amps and Roland RE-301 Chorus Echo provided that signature tone that can be described as the classic Setzer sound. Before playing the Santo and Johnny cover of “Sleepwalk,” he added a little more echo before delighting the crowd with the timeless song.
Brian Setzer is a fantastic performer and the talented groups of musicians who make up his orchestra make glorious music together. The crowd was signing and dancing along with the music; some in ugly holiday sweaters and others with their young children whose faces were filled with joy and wonderment. This was my first time seeing one of his Christmas shows and it was a definite treat to experience his 12th Annual “Christmas Rocks” show.