Since buying the tickets six weeks ago, I had been anticipating the Postmodern Jukebox concert last night with great enthusiasm.

For those who don’t know, PMJ is the country’s — maybe even the world’s — hottest cover band. They don’t do original songs; rather, leader Scott Bradlee arranges existing material into many different genres (Dixieland, 1930s swing, country, jazz, Klezmer…you name it). The fun part is that he uses a bunch of different performers, mixing and matching them for each video he produces. Obviously, the big payoff is coming to them via touring. To my knowledge, they don’t have a record contract (yet), but if I was Bradlee, I’d run away from those guys like my hair was on fire.

View of Quicken Loans Arena from 4th St.

View of Quicken Loans Arena from 4th St.

Anyway, we queued up last night on Cleveland’s beautiful 4th St. sidewalk, outside the House of Blues at a little before 7 p.m. (our tickets listed the start time as 7). Then the guy with the booze bracelets came down the line, carding people who wanted to drink inside. *forehead smack* Of course the show started at 8:00, not 7:00. Why? Because we have to sell an hour’s worth of hooch to grease up the crowd.

We looked at each other for a few seconds, and said, “Let’s go to the casino until 8:00.” [Good idea, too, because 15 minutes into playing, we hit quad aces with a kicker. Another home improvement project funded, yay.]

When we returned to the venue a little after 8, the show had just started. This incredibly zoomed, grainy photo of the incomparable Von Smith was just about all I was able to get — and this picture was taken with my arms stretched as far as they would go above my head. Now you know my visual vantage point for the evening.

I know. It was House of Blues — an SRO venue — what did you expect? I guess I expected to maybe, possibly be able to see, or that the stage might have been just a skosh higher up. I momentarily considered entering the fray of pressed-together bodies on the main floor, but it was fully 100 degrees F in the space in front of the bar where we were standing; I could only imagine how yummy-steamy-sweaty wonderful it was in the pit. Next time: balcony. What was I thinking? It would have been so worth the extra money, although the energy in the place was so crazy, the balcony seats may have been a wasted expense, because everyone up there was likely on their feet, too.

At any rate, Scott Bradlee’s band was out of this world, and the singers and tap dancer were fantastic. Despite the sometimes-shoddy sound mix (some singers were heard very well, while the sound guys couldn’t quite solve the haunting fragility of Haley Reinhart’s voice on Radiohead’s Creep), it was a fun night of great music. Definitely the quintessential “club gig.” I’d go see them again.

But Mama will sit down. :-)

8 thoughts on “PMJ

  1. Suzanne

    UGH I hate crowds. Really hate them. But I am glad that the music was fab enough to make it worthwhile. And winning a bit of coin never hurts!! Had you not gone gambling you might have gotten right up front, close enough to be spit on. I got spit on by Maynard Ferguson, fun. LOL

    Just looking at the results for Cav game #2 looks like you also missed a good ball game.

    1. Rat Fink Post author

      Eewwww, Maynard was unbelievable as a player, but gross as a human, hahaha. I saw him twice, and both times he was stoned/drunk and sloppy, ICK! But what a musician…

      And I could be concerned that someone would rip my phone out of my hand, but you? At six feet tall?? Haha not bloody likely!!! :P

  2. Suzanne

    Oh and I was going to say about crowds….add to it people that stand with their phones in the air doesn’t help! I tend to be really careful about that mainly because I am afraid someone will grab it out of my hand.

  3. Thriller

    No worries. Now we know to take your step-stool! lol And, I can take one of those stupid-looking ballcaps with the built-in fan so I don’t sweat to death! Hmmm…maybe we should just wait

  4. David

    My days of standing in a sea of bodies in the “pit” ending sometime circa 1978 listening to Marshall Tucker Band at Dane County Arena outside of Madison. The air was full of…never mind. Crazy but fun!
    I do enjoy PMJ only through vids that show up on YouTube…

    You and Thriller had a good night…little extra from the casino, some great music and a Cavs win. Sheesh…that is a full evening! Sounds like an evening Odyssey.

    1. Rat Fink Post author

      It was a lot of fun! And I’m with you — my pit days are over with, unless it’s an orchestra pit. lol

      About 11 years ago, my son Lars was in a metal band. They were quite good. The Thriller and I went to one of their gigs in Columbus, at the now-infamous Alrosa Gardens (where Dimebag Darrell of Pantera/Damageplan was murdered), and I went to take photos from the mosh pit, and got jostled around bigtime. I was like, “Do you MIND? That’s my son up there.” haha It was ka-razy, and the last time for me!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.