In Review: Postmodern Jukebox @ Seapoint Ballroom

In Review: Postmodern Jukebox @ Seapoint Ballroom

by James Fleming

SHARE

It started with a beat, a beat that said, “shit’s about to go down”. Sexy and dangerous, like the intro to Sympathy for the Devil, or, more appropriately, Benny Goodman’s Sing Sing Sing. The second those sticks hit the skins you knew it was gonna be a wild night.

The crowd was dressed to kill, bow-ties and blazers as the weapons of choice, and the music was the original type of dangerous – all jazzed-up and ready to go…

Sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself. It’s an honour and a pleasure to introduce you all to Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox, the coolest, classiest, covers band currently doing the rounds over the Western hemisphere. A revolving cast of extraordinarily talented musicians scouring the world bringing the golden age of music to a younger audience. So’s they can learn to dig the old breed.

The magic of Youtube has brought fame to this eleven-strong team of rag-tag individuals and virtuosos, including among their roster: pianist and musical director, Todd Schroeder, the fabulous Casey Abrams, stunning vocalists Aubrey Logan and Cristina Gatti, and tap dancer Sarah Reich.

PMJ’s re-workings of modern day pop songs into jazzed up party pieces have got audiences here and on their own home shores up and swinging. They’ve gone viral more times than you can count with their tackling of such pop-stars’ hits as Call Me Maybe, a bluegrass version of Blurred Lines, and a rockin’ New Orleans-style Seven Nation Army. Now, back to the show…

The rhythm section swings, horns honk and singers have enough soul and grit to make Janis Joplin green with envy. As musicians, these guys are untouchable, each bringing a certain subtlety to the way they play in order to benefit the song as a whole. These may be drastic reinterpretations, but it’s the musicians’ skill and chemistry that prevents the gimmick growing old.

Renditions of Bad Blood, and All about that Bass, astound. There’s a drum battle (of sorts) between Miss Reich and their drummer extraordinaire, with him beating out his rhythms on the tap dancing floor. PMJ’s phenomenal double bassist Adam was joined by the aforementioned Casey Abrams for a bass solo, on the same double bass! I told ya, these guys brought the house down.

Salthill’s Seapoint Ballroom has never seen a show like this. This is classic Saturday night entertainment: a kick-ass band, great tunes and a packed house. Let’s hope they come around again.