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Monday, November 07, 2016

Concert Review: Postmodern Jukebox


The other night, my wife and I went to one of the most fun concerts we've seen in a long time when Postmodern Jukebox stopped at The Peabody in St. Louis.

I was familiar with PMJ thanks to their viral videos, in which Scott Bradlee re-arranges contemporary songs in swing style -- the first to catch my eye was their cover of "It's All About That Bass" -- but didn't know what to expect in person. What we got was a show that blew us away from the coolest cover band I've ever seen.

The set list on Thursday night included Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off," Fountains of Wayne's "Stacey's Mom," Guns and Roses' "Sweet Child Of Mine," Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On," and Oukast's "Hey Ya!" The group included five musicians (piano, bass, drums, trombone, and sax/flute/clarinet), three female singers, two male singers, and tap dancer Sarah Reich -- who did the best work on two feet I've seen since Gregory Hines in "Sophisticated Ladies" over 30 years ago (see for yourself above in PMJ's cover of Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance").

Adding to the fun was a large hipster contingent in the crowd, with swing-era dresses on the women plus facial hair worn ironically on the men (I'm not sure what that means exactly, but it probably indicates that the beard I've had for forty years qualifies as pre-ironic).

I've signed up for PMJ's email list so I'll know the next time they're in town. If they come to a venue near you, go see them. In the meantime, I'm checking out more of the videos on their website.