Featuring music from their three best-selling holiday albums and Brian’s numerous hits
MINNEAPOLIS—Iconic guitarist, songwriter, vocalist and three-time Grammy-Award winner BRIAN SETZER and his 19-piece ORCHESTRA will tour the country on their 16th annual “Christmas Rocks! Tour,” presented for the fifth consecutive year by SiriusXM and Hennepin Theatre Trust. The annual and critically acclaimed holiday extravaganza will launch at the historic State Theatre (805 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis) on Friday, Nov. 15 at 8 p.m. and visit over 20 cities nationwide.
“People tell me all the time what joy I bring them over the holidays,” says BRIAN SETZER. “I don’t take this for granted. People don’t say something like that unless they mean it. When we get a standing ovation at the end of the Christmas show, it means something just a little extra.”
Tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday, July 26 at 10 a.m. at the State Theatre Box Office (805 Hennepin Ave.), charge-by-phone at (800) 982-2787 and online at HennepinTheatreTrust.org.
|Friday||Nov. 15||8 p.m.||State Theatre||$53.50, $63.50, $89|
All pricing includes a Building Restoration Fee of $4.00.
THE BRIAN SETZER ORCHESTRA’s set list will feature music from the group’s three Christmas albums, Boogie Woogie Christmas, Dig That Crazy Christmas and Rockin’ Rudolph, as well as original material that spans his 40-year career. Setzer’s trademark guitar work and vocal stylings will be matched with his 19-piece orchestra’s rockin’ big-band horn arrangements, making for a reliably unbeatable combination.
Setzer’s legendary career has led him through four critically acclaimed and successful phases from the Stray Cats, to solo albums, the Rockabilly Riot and The Brian Setzer Orchestra. The Brian Setzer Orchestra show seamlessly encompasses music from all these phases. He is a three-time Grammy Award-winner, and in 2014, Setzer received the distinct honor of being asked by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. to donate a replica of his original 1959 Gretsch 6120 “Stray Cat” guitar, joining an elite collection of iconic treasures at the museum.
“The music I play in the big band is rock n’ roll with a jazz influence,” says Setzer. “What keeps it fresh is the quality of the players in the band. Also, a big part of keeping the big band fresh is the arrangements; writing the arrangement for 19 people is like writing a song within a song. It makes the song you might have heard many times sound new again.”
For the past four years (2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018), THE BRIAN SETZER ORCHESTRA has had a strong presence across SiriusXM channels during the holidays and has partnered with the audio entertainment company for subscriber-only concerts in New York City and Los Angeles, which have aired on SiriusXM’s Outlaw Country and Holly channels. This tradition will continue this year.
Catch BSO’s 16th Annual “Christmas Rocks! Tour” in the following cities, with additional dates to be announced soon.
|FRI||11/15||Minneapolis, MN||State Theatre|
|SAT||11/16||Chicago, IL||The Chicago Theatre|
|SUN||11/17||Detroit, MI||Fox Theatre|
|TUE||11/19||Red Bank, NJ||Count Basie Center For The Arts|
|WED||11/20||Englewood, NJ||Bergen Performing Arts Center|
|THU||11/21||Springfield, MA||Symphony Hall|
|*SAT||11/23||Lynchburg, VA||Academy Center of the Arts|
|SUN||11/24||Westbury, NY||Theatre at Westbury|
|WED||11/27||Durham, NC||Durham Performing Arts Center|
|FRI||11/29||Orlando, FL||Hard Rock Live|
|SAT||11/30||Clearwater, FL||Ruth Eckerd Hall|
|MON||12/2||Nashville, TN||The Ryman|
|TUE||12/3||Atlanta, GA||Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre|
|WED||12/4||Augusta, GA||Miller Theatre|
|FRI||12/6||Biloxi, MS||Beau Rivage Resort & Casino|
|TUE||12/10||Salt Lake City, UT||Eccles Theatre|
|THU||12/12||Ridgefield, WA||Ilani Casino|
|FRI||12/13||Seattle, WA||Moore Theatre|
|SAT||12/14||Seattle, WA||Moore Theatre|
|MON||12/16||Oakland, CA||Fox Theater|
|TUE||12/17||Stockton, CA||Bob Hope Theatre|
|THU||12/19||Phoenix, AZ||Celebrity Theatre|
|FRI||12/20||Palm Desert, CA||McCallum Theatre|
LIVE CRITICAL QUOTES FROM LAST YEAR’S “15TH ANNUAL CHRISTMAS ROCKS! TOUR”
“…it was no surprise to see that Setzer’s 15th Anniversary Christmas showcase with a rich 19-piece ensemble at the grand Academy of Music found its crowd with as many families looking for a good, clean night out, as it did many a spikey, grey haired sort. And the fact is, those crowds—and anyone in-between—got a damned good, entertaining time…But, as advertised, they rocked. Hard. And swung. Deep. And from there, propelled the expressive, blues-lick-happy Setzer (and his band membership) into quickly, flickering and imaginative solos. It’s easy to forget this fact until you hear him live and loud: Setzer is one of America’s best guitarists, past and present, hands down. Hearing his brand of six-string slinging in a setting so (now) well-known makes you yearn to hear him in other combinations and with other equally audacious players. With that, this Christmas show of Setzer’s reinvented itself beyond the cheer of the November-December holiday season into something manic, panicked and pulsating in a fashion only the best big bands could do.”
A.D. Amarosi, THE KEY, 11/26/18 (Philadelphia, PA show)
“For 15 years, Brian Setzer and his ‘orchestra’ have been tapping the Christmas well with an upbeat extravaganza that gets bigger and better every season…Setzer is undoubtedly a master showman and picker with incredible timing, dexterity and a classical crooner’s voice. He seems to be having the time of his life up there. And it likely helps that everyone on that stage measures up to Setzer’s standards, enriching the chemistry with solos, interaction and other feats of virtuosity.”
Shawn Perry, VINTAGE ROCK, 12/28/18 (Los Angeles show)
“I walked into the State Theater on Friday, November 16th I was expecting a full on holiday show, but what I got was something far more than that…The Orchestra closed the main set with Setzer’s most famous creation “Rock This Town” once the opening notes of that hit the crowd jumped up and rushed the stage. The dancing and singing spread like wild fire, even the balcony was getting in on the action. For the encore Setzer and his Christmas Orchestra covered four parts from ‘The Nutcracker ballet. They ended the night with one of the most recognizable Christmas songs ever ‘Jingle Bells.’As I stood three feet from the stage in the isle (as well as dozens of other fans), a huge grin came over my face as we all watched a man in a Santa suit run out on the stage and toss candy canes into the audience. It was the perfect was to end this Holiday show.”
Cameron Campbell, TWIN CITIES MEDIA, 11/18/18 (Minneapolis, MN show)
“Now in its 15th year, Brian Setzer’s annual holiday tour has become a legendary extravaganza. The rockabilly guitarslinger loves Christmas and really gets into the spirit. The powerful set provided the middle-aged crowd with a feel-good evening of Setzer’s special brand showmanship and roots-influenced and surf-drenched rockabilly-inspired Christmas music…As always, Setzer adhered to the “leave on a high note” and “always leave them wanting more” showbiz credo when he and his band brought the entire audience to its feet with the evening’s closing number ‘Jingle Bells.’ This energetic and fun version of the holiday tune had members of the audience, ushers, roadies and musicians all grinning from ear to ear.”
Mike Perciaccante, ALL ABOUT JAZZ, 12/2/18 (Los Angeles show)
“It’s been 15 years since Brian Setzer and his orchestra started bringing his rockin’ Christmas show to audiences during the holiday tour season. It is one of the most popular Christmas shows around the country. A fun, upbeat time where fans dress up in their yuletide best which means everything from lights, to tinsel and crazy Christmas sweaters! There were many of those at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater on Wednesday night!”
Vicky Sullivan, THE SARASOTA POST, 12/6/18 (Clearwater, FL show)
“I can’t think of a better way to kick off the holiday season, than by checking out the Brian Setzer Orchestra on their ‘Christmas Rocks!’ tour…Setzer described the sound of his orchestra as a “Cadillac that just run perfect.” He showcased that power by taking the audience to the next level with his cover of the Louis Prima classic ‘Jump, Jive and Wail.’ Setzer would also perform others covers that night, including The Beatles’ ‘Hey Bulldog’ and the Johnny Cash classic ‘Ring Of Fire.’ The youthful side of Brian Setzer came pouring out as the rockabilly trio of Setzer’s longtime bassist Johnny Hatton and drummer Noah Levy came together for an explosion of energy performing the Stray Cats’ ‘Fishnet Stockings.’…Setzer closed out the set with another Stray Cats classic, “Rock This Town,” as everyone was swinging to the rockabilly sound.
Jim Pasinski, MY RECORD JOURNAL, 11/26/18 (Mashantucket, CT show)
ABOUT BRIAN SETZER
Iconic guitarist, songwriter, vocalist and three-time Grammy award-winner BRIAN SETZER is a “Musician’s Musician” credited with continually taking chances with innovative and daring musical styles. Setzer is widely credited for taking two forgotten genres, rockabilly and swing, adding his own blend of gunpowder and rockin style, and completely reinventing and single-handedly resurrecting them in the process. Along the way, he has scored chart-topping hits, sold 13 million records and received the Orville H. Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award throughout his decorated career as founder/leader of the Stray Cats, his 19-piece Brian Setzer Orchestra, and as a solo artist. He is consistently cited as one of the world’s greatest living guitarists, and has a best-selling, extensive line of elite Gretsch signature model guitars bearing his name. Setzer appeared in the 1987 film, La Bamba, portraying rockabilly pioneer Eddie Cochran. In 2002, He also earned the privilege of being one of the few musicians to be animated in an episode of “The Simpsons.” That same year, Setzer was personally requested to induct Chet Atkins into the 17th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Setzer had the honor of being invited in 2006 to perform at the White House for the President of the United States. In 2014, he received the distinct honor of being asked by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. to donate a replica of his original 1959 Gretsch 6120 “Stray Cat” guitar, joining an elite collection of iconic treasures at the museum.
HENNEPIN THEATRE TRUST drives cultural and economic vitality in Minnesota through leadership of the dynamic Hennepin Theatre District in downtown Minneapolis and educational programming that reaches every area of the state. Its historic theatres — Orpheum, State and Pantages — and new event center at 900 Hennepin light up Hennepin Avenue with top-tier entertainment, including the best of Broadway and a wide variety of arts programming. Hennepin Theatre Trust is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. Learn more at HennepinTheatreTrust.org.
Sirius XM HOLDINGS INC. (NASDAQ: SIRI) is the world’s largest audio entertainment company, and the premier programmer and platform for subscription- and advertising-supported audio products. With the recent addition of Pandora, the largest streaming music provider in the U.S., SiriusXM reaches more than 100 million people with its audio products. For more about the new SiriusXM, please go to: www.siriusxm.com.
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