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Brian Setzer Orchestra


Dec 7, 2018 – 8:00 PM

6050 Universal Boulevard
Orlando, FL 32819 Map

  • The Brian Setzer Orchestra

More Info

GA Standing $41.00
Upper Balcony $51.00
Lower Balcony & Main Floor $61.00
First Two Rows & Tables $76.00

SiriusXM Presents







Iconic guitarist, songwriter, vocalist and three-time Grammy-Award winner BRIAN SETZER and his 19-piece ORCHESTRA have announced the details for their 15th anniversary “Christmas Rocks! Tour,” presented for the fourth consecutive year by SiriusXM. Hitting 25 cities, the annual holiday extravaganza will launch November 16 at the State Theatre in SETZER’s adopted hometown of Minneapolis and wrap December 22 in Los Angeles at the Microsoft Theater (full itinerary below). Supporting the tour will be Lara Hope and the Ark-Tones. The public on sale date is Friday, July 20 at 10am local time, with the following presales:“People tell me all the time what joy I bring them over the holidays,” says 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.” See full Q&A below.

The group’s set list will feature music off their latest Christmas album ROCKIN' RUDOLPH (available now as a limited-edition box set, CD, vinyl or download), plus music off their three previous best-selling holiday albums and original material from BRIAN SETZER. 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. View the Christmas sizzle reel here: https://youtu.be/6NXEa29BMqk

BRIAN SETZER belongs to an elite group of artists who has had four super successful phases of his career from the Stray Cats, to solo albums, the Rockabilly Riot and BSO. The BSO show seamlessly encompasses music from all these phases. “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 18-19 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 three years (2015, 2016 and 2017), THE BRIAN SETZER ORCHESTRA has had a strong presence on SiriusXM during the holidays. They’ve performed exclusive invitation-only concerts for SiriusXM listeners in New York City and Los Angeles which aired on SiriusXM’s Outlaw Country and Holly channels, a tradition that will continue this year (date and location TBA).


Congratulations on the 15th anniversary of the Christmas Rocks! Tour (on the heels of last year’s BSO 25th anniversary). It’s one of the longest running and biggest holiday tours. Why do you feel it is so successful?

Brian: “I realized when I started playing shows around Southern California, people wanted a rock-n-roll based holiday show. Being that Christmas music, in general, is more orchestral, a three or four-piece rock-n-roll band wouldn't cut it. This is where my Big Band fit in perfectly. The mixture of my take on rock-n-roll and my new Big Band arrangements seemed to work magic on the audiences.”

What is the challenge of keeping it fresh, particularly for your fans who return year after year?

Brian: “Part of the reason people keep coming back year after year is that they know they will get a new show. They can expect new outfits, new props, and new arrangements of practically any song in any genre. The Christmas Rocks Tour has become such a tradition for people and their families that they come every year. Classic Christmas songs are very well written gems. It’s a real challenge to deconstruct some of these and make them my own. I can tell you it’s never boring playing them!”

Looking back, when did you realize the tour had real legs as an annual tour that could just keep on going?

Brian: “Once I realized the tour could make money taking 37 people, four coaches, two semi rigs, a full crew and two dogs on the road, I knew I was on to something!”

Sometimes it feels the world is so increasingly bleak, and then comes the return of the Christmas Rocks! tour which makes everything feel, if only for one night, like maybe we’re all gonna be OK. How does it feel to provide such joy for those two hours onstage?

Brian: “People tell me all the time what joy I bring them over the holidays. 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.” Visit www.briansetzer.com for more information.
GA Standing $41.00 Upper Balcony $51.00 Lower Balcony & Main Floor $61.00 First Two Rows & Tables $76.00
The Brian Setzer Orchestra: BRIAN SETZER “13”

There’s more than one way to rock, and Brian Setzer proves it on 13.

As you might guess, this is the 13th album (of original material) to feature the three-time Grammy winner’s blazing guitar and swaggering vocals. Whether fronting a big-band extravaganza or leading the legendary Stray Cats to superstardom, he’s earned his place in pop history. Consider:

Two great guitar companies have honored him: Gretsch, by creating a series of signature guitars in his name, Gibson by giving him their Orville H. Gibson Lifetime Achievement Awards. The Rock and Roll Hall of fame tapped him to induct Chet Atkins. He’s co-starred with the Stones and Tom Petty on The Simpsons. Hell, he’s even got an honorary poker chip at Atlantic City’s House of Blues Casino.

But with 13, Setzer does something he never did before: Rather than single-handedly revive an entire musical genre – he’s already been there/done that, with rockabilly in the ‘80s and swing in the ‘90s – he covers these bases and many more: You’ll hear Delta blues, jump blues, hard rock, metal, Texas boogie, a smidgen of Les Paul, a hint of Japanese pop, and even some British music hall, complete with ukulele and tuba, throughout this tour de force.

“The thing is,” Setzer says, “I’ve always thought that you have to have one focus on each album; that just made sense to me. But with this one, I’d written a bunch of songs, and when I played them for people, they’d say, ‘Why don’t you put them all on one record?’ My argument was, ‘Well, records should have one focus or sound.’ Their answer was … ‘Why?’”

For once, the normally loquacious superstar could think of nothing to say.

“Instead, I started thinking about the Beatles,” he remembers. “Their records were pretty much all over the place. And all of my songs are based on guitar riffs, so that ties them together. They’re all rock & roll in one way or another. So, I thought, what the hell, let’s do it.”

That’s all it took for Setzer to book time at a studio in Cannon Falls, not far from his current home in Minneapolis, summon drummer Bernie Dresel and bassist Ronnie “Crusher” Crutcher as his rhythm section, plug in his Gretsch, crank up his Fender Bassman and Supro amps, and unleash a set of performances – 13, of course – that hold up against even the hottest tracks in his catalog.

“I picked this studio because it’s got a big, open, wooden room, like a gym, that let’s me get that live sound I like. I turned my Bassman to seven for the rhythm and ten for the lead parts, and ran my guitar through the Supro too, for that solid bottom end. There’s nothing fancy about it; I didn’t even use my Space Echo on this record, even though I’m normally glued to it. In this case, it was all about getting loud and playing hard.”

This was what you’d expect from the flashiest, raunchiest, and most irresistible guitar monster on the planet. What’s surprising is how this approach works on each of these songs, even with all their variety. You get the point in just the first few seconds of the opening cut, “Drugs & Alcohol (Bullet Holes),” where the spirits of Merle Travis and raw, roadhouse rock somehow find common ground.

To Setzer, though, this performance makes an even more important point. “To me, this is how modern rockabilly should sound,” he insists. “Instead, everybody’s trying to be this straight-out-of-the-book, ‘50s character, like they want to be an exact replica of Johnny Cash. Well, there was only one Johnny, so why not do something new?”

So there is a theme to 13 after all. Whether you’re savoring the vocal harmonies of Brian and Julie Setzer – sorry, guys, she’s married –on the country stomper “Don’t Say You Love Me” or gaping at the blizzard of licks as Japanese guitar giant Tomoyasu Hotei goes toe-to-toe with Setzer throughout “Back Streets of Tokyo,” the mission of 13 eventually becomes clear:

“Basically,” Setzer explains, “I’m just trying to piss people off.”

“People,” in this case, means anyone who settles for music that’s more about hubris than heart. As a kid, Setzer wasn’t immune to the appeal of looking cool, but it was the soul rather than the look of music that drew him to jazz, Delta blues, punk, vintage rock – anything, really, that comes from the gut and pumps out a beat. Whether updating rockabilly with the Stray Cats or yanking swing into the space age with the Brian Setzer Orchestra, he kept his priorities straight: Play what’s real and let others worry about turning it into a fashion statement.

Yet even Setzer can put up with this silliness only for so long: “I remember being 16 years old and even then there were poseurs on the corner, looking too cool for school. I mean, when you’re more worried about your look than your music, that just kills it for me."

This explains “Really Rockabilly,” a tongue-in-cheek commentary on the tyranny of trendiness, with former Stray Cat Slim Jim Phantom driving the beat. “Jim and I used to laugh about these guys who live in this ‘50s world,” Setzer says, “so I had to get his old-buddy rockabilly energy on this one.” Ditto for “We Are the Marauders,” a fist-pumping anthem that Setzer actually wrote for a young band whose story gives him hope even in this era of focus groups and fix-it studio technology.

“The Marauders are these guys in western Pennsylvania who are trying to play their own version of rockabilly in a sea of Eminem wannabes,” he says. “Bands don’t do that kind of thing anymore, where you live in a crummy basement, fight with each other, love each other, and make your own kind of music. Instead, you’re taught that you only need to put on a cool outfit and warble something. You don’t need to play an instrument. You certainly don’t need to read or write music; someone will write it for you. But that’s not how it’s supposed to be. You’re supposed to be like these guys, who live their music every day.”

Each of these songs is concise. There’s no excessive doodling. There are killer solos – being a Setzer product, there would have to be, no? But every note he plays or sings – the skin-tight lick that kicks off “Everybody’s Up to Somethin’,” the exotic whole-tone riff that he lays out on banjo at the top of “Bad Bad Girl (In A Bad Bad World),” the Django jive of “When Hepcat Gets the Blues” – serves one purpose: to rock as hard as a multi-tattooed, pompadour-topped, former Long Island street kid can.

And if … when … it pisses people off? Setzer shrugs: “I’m not trying to prove anything. I mean, Bob Dylan told me once, ‘You’ll never be pure enough for the purists. And you’ll never be experimental enough for the critics.’”

On the other hand, if all you want is passionate vocals, state-of-the-art guitar, or just to be pummeled into ecstasy by an unstoppable beat and scorched by some of the hottest guitar lines on record, 13 is your lucky number.

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  • A Minnesota man was arrested last week after DNA from a used napkin he threw away at his daughter’s hockey game matched DNA left at the scene of the brutal 1993 stabbing death of a Minneapolis woman. Jerry Arnold Westrom, 52, of Isanti, is charged with second-degree murder in the slaying of Jeanne Ann Childs, according to the Minneapolis Police Department. The arrest was made Feb. 11 following a years-long renewed investigation by Minneapolis detectives, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension’s forensic lab, Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office investigators and Minneapolis-based FBI agents.  “Our efforts to increase public safety and ensure justice has no timeline. This case is an excellent example of great collaboration between our law enforcement partners,” Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said in a news release.  Jill Sanborn, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Minneapolis field office, said the case “underscores law enforcement’s ability to use every tool at its disposal” to solve crimes.  “We all hope Jeanne’s family can finally find peace as a result of this tenacious effort by officers and agents,” Sanborn said. >> Read more trending news Members of Childs’ family were in the courtroom Friday as Westrom made his first court appearance, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Westrom’s wife, son and daughter were also there, along with about 20 other supporters.  They watched as the well-known businessman’s defense attorney, Steven Meshbesher, successfully argued that his client’s bail should be reduced from $1 million to $500,000.  Meshbesher argued that Westrom, a lifelong resident of Minnesota, was not a flight risk. According to the Star Tribune, he manages an organic farm just outside of Isanti.   “What we’ve got is a very unsolved case and it was charged, in my opinion, prematurely,” Meshbesher said, according to the Star Tribune.  Westrom was released on bond Friday night, according to Hennepin County Jail records.  A violent death The criminal complaint against Westrom, which was obtained by the Star Tribune, outlines Childs’ violent June 13, 1993, death: Minneapolis police officers were called to an apartment Childs allegedly used for prostitution because another tenant in the building saw water coming from the apartment. The officers found Childs dead in her running shower, naked except for a pair of socks.  She had dozens of stab wounds, including several inflicted after she was already dead, the complaint said.  The walls of Childs’ bathroom, bedroom and living room were covered with blood, the Star Tribune reported. Finger, palm and footprints were found at the scene.  It was not immediately clear if any of those prints matched Westrom. Investigators at the time collected Childs’ bedding, a towel, a washcloth and a T-shirt, as well as a bloodstain found on the sink, the newspaper reported.  Childs’ live-in boyfriend was ruled out as a suspect after detectives confirmed he was not in Minnesota at the time of her death.  The case soon went cold, but a Minneapolis detective, encouraged by the advances in DNA technology, renewed the investigation in 2015, the Star Tribune reported. DNA samples from the scene were sent to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and a private DNA company.  FBI agents ran the results through an online genealogy website last year, using the same technique California cold case investigators used to secure the arrest of Joseph James DeAngelo, the alleged Golden State Killer who killed more than a dozen people and raped more than 50 women in the 1970s and 80s.  Since DeAngelo’s arrest, about 50 other cold cases across the U.S. have been solved using public genealogy websites, the Star Tribune reported.  Following the DNA trail The genealogy website used by Minnesota investigators led them to two possible suspects in Childs’ slaying, one of them Westrom. Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman told the Star Tribune either Westrom or a close family member had apparently submitted DNA to learn more about their family tree. Westrom, who was 27 and single at the time of Childs’ killing, worked in Minneapolis in 1993. He moved about six months after the homicide, the newspaper reported.  Investigators began trailing Westrom in January, seeking an opportunity to surreptitiously obtain a sample of his DNA. At his daughter’s hockey game at a Wisconsin hockey rink, they had their chance. Westrom bought a hot dog from the concession stand, wiping his mouth with a napkin when he was done eating, the Star Tribune reported. Investigators picked up the napkin after he tossed it in the trash. DNA taken from the napkin matched the DNA from the Childs crime scene, Freeman said. Another DNA sample taken from Westrom after his arrest confirmed the match.  The prosecutor said he is confident the case will withstand any legal challenges by the defense.  “When discarding something in the trash, the (U.S.) Supreme Court has said many times, it is fair game,” Freeman said.  Westrom’s attorney told Minnesota Public Radio News that the evidence against his client is thin. He argued that the DNA sample obtained at the crime scene was from semen, not blood. Because Childs was a sex worker, the evidence links him to possible sex, but not the homicide, the defense lawyer said.  “The sperm shows up allegedly matching, but not the blood,” Meshbesher told MPR News. “What we’ve got is not any record of violence, not connecting it to the blood, not to the weapon, because they didn’t find it.” MPR News reported that the criminal complaint alleged that the DNA samples from the crime scene came from Childs’ comforter and the towel.  The Star Tribune reported that investigators have not yet compared Westrom’s DNA to the blood found in Childs’ bathroom. The complaint stated the case remains under investigation.  “They don’t know what the facts are,” Meshbesher told MPR News. “You don’t charge a case before you know what the facts are. You need to do the investigation first.” A sordid arrest history Westrom denied all the allegations against him, the criminal complaint said. He denied recognizing Childs, being in her apartment or having sex with any woman in 1993. Investigators said he told them he had no explanation for how his DNA could have been at the crime scene.  Meshbesher disputed the account of his client’s interview given in the complaint, MPR News reported.  Despite Westrom’s high standing in his community, part of which comes from his involvement in youth sports, he has a record of drunken driving convictions dating back to 1996, court records showed.  He also has two arrests on his record for prostitution-related offenses. A 2012 charge was dismissed, but he was convicted in Stearns County in 2015 of trying to hire a prostitute.  The Star Tribune reported Westrom was snagged in a police sting in which he thought he was soliciting a teenager for sex. His probation for that offense ended in February 2018, the court records showed.  Childs’ mother, Betty Eakman, told the newspaper the story of her troubled daughter, who dropped out of school in the sixth grade and was a repeat runaway as a teen. Eakman said her daughter’s problems seemed to begin following the 1971 shooting death of her stepfather, who was killed by his brother-in-law and business partner.  She said her daughter bounced from place to place in Minneapolis prior to her death. Eakman expressed gratitude for the science that helped solve her daughter’s slaying. “I am so happy they have come out with this new technology so it can help other cases to be solved,” Eakman told the Star Tribune. Childs’ sister, Cindy Kosnitch, credited Eakman with keeping Childs in the minds of investigators.  “This has been very hard on our family, of course, but I have a very determined mom who always kept in contact with Minneapolis police,” Kosnitch told the paper. “She refused to let Jeanie be forgotten and wanted some type of closure, as most parents would.”