By SCOTT CUNNINGHAM // Featuring his 19-piece orchestra
Brian Setzer pulls his sleigh into Portland Tuesday night for his annual Christmas Rocks Tour featuring his amazing 19-piece orchestra.
Think about that 19 for a moment. Most touring musicians agonize over decisions like whether to take a rhythm guitarist on the road. Dedicated backup singers? Forget about it.
Setzer, though, goes all out for his annual holiday tromp across the country. Part of this is related to his innovative side. After all, he helped revive rockabilly and swing, paving the way for bands such as Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.
It also demonstrates his commitment to quality: To successfully pull off his Christmas Rocks Tour requires him to go big. Try to imagine Cab Calloway touring as a jazz quartet. Just not the same is it?
And therein lies his gift to other musicians. Being innovative and having an unwavering commitment to quality goes a long way toward success. The proof will be in the couple thousand people rockin' out to the best Christmas gig around.
ON TOUR: Brian Setzer and his 19-piece orchestra appear in Portland on Tuesday Dec. 27 at 7:30 at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. Tickets are still available.