Setzer, stray cat struttin'
Though he has made music for decades, Brian Setzer’s own influences extend to the early 20th century. Which is why it only makes sense that one of his guitars now hangs in the Smithsonian Museum of American History.
Setzer casually mentioned the recent honor during the sold-out Temecula stop of his Christmas Rocks Extravaganza tour, a rare understated moment during a two-hour show overflowing with bombast, larger-than-life stage décor, and even a blizzard of fake snow during the finale. Loaded with holiday standards, the concert introduced brand-new arrangements of familiar favorites performed by the guitarist and his 17-piece backing band, the Brian Setzer Orchestra.
For fans of Setzer’s non-Christmas-related work, however, the guitarist left plenty of room for material from his back catalog, including 1990s BSO hits like “Jump Jive an’ Wail.” The evening even included a mid-show segment that saw the orchestra retire while Setzer played a handful of rockabilly songs with only a double bassist and standing drummer, just like the trio he led during the 1980s, the Stray Cats.
Two hours after the show began, Setzer unstrapped his guitar and acknowledged his standing ovation, leaving the stage only after wishing a “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”
- Concert: Brian Setzer Orchestra
- Venue: Pechanga Casino
- Date: December 19
- Seats: Upper level