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:
Fan Club Presale: Tuesday, July 17th at 10am local time through Thursday, July 19th at 10pm local time. Be the first to get tickets by signing up for Brian’s fan club here.
SiriusXM Presale: Tuesday, July 17th at 10am local time through Thursday, July 19th at 10pm local time
Local Presale: Wednesday, July 18th at 10am local time through Thursday, July 19th at 10pm local time
“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).
Q&A WITH BRIAN SETZER:
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.”
Catch BSO’s 15th Anniversary “Christmas Rocks! Tour” in the following cities:
Hard Rock Live
Foxwoods Resort Casino
Academy of Music
Red Bank, NJ
Count Basie Theatre
NYCB Theatre at Westbury
Ruth Eckerd Hall
Hard Rock Live
BJCC Concert Hall
Grand Prairie, TX
Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie
Wagner NoëlPerforming Arts Center
Salt Lake City, UT
Gallo Center for the Arts
Fantasy Springs Resort Casino
Los Angeles, CA