BWW Review: POSTMODERN JUKEBOX Brought Swing and Soul to Birmingham's Iron City
Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox lit up the stage at Iron City. The evening was filled with amazing singers and a band that threw down some hoppin' music. If you have never heard their music, it is a creative and fun hybrid of modern pop songs fused with tight arrangements of swing, blues, ragtime, doo-wop and jazz. These ingredients provided a memorable night of entertainment that was fun and kept the crowd up on their feet. Postmodern Jukebox has become one of the most popular staples of entertainment on YouTube and iTunes. Over three million people subscribe to their page and the sales of their albums have not slowed down. PMJ's creator and composer Scott Bradlee has produced wonderfully creative music. Very impressive for an artist, who like many of us creative types was dead broke at the start. Back in 2009 while struggling in New York, he uploaded a video showing off his skills at mixing music with the old and new. Bradlee kicked it up with inviting a bevy of talented musicians and singers to come jam on camera with him. This led to the formation of PMJ and a steady wave of hit music sweeping the world. Birmingham welcomed them to Iron City on Sunday night. The dreary rain outside did not affect the excitement of the energetic crowd. Most were dressed casual but there were plenty of fedoras and vintage dresses in the crowd.
The show started off strong with singer LaVance Colley acting as the hilarious MC for the night. His poppin rendition of Smash Mouth's "Rockstar" got the crowd hyped. The energy was high as was the enthusiasm from the crowd. One at a time, Colley brought out four PMJ superstars to the mic. Each gave honed performances of their individual hits on YouTube. Flirty and smooth Robyn Adelle Anderson playfully vamped with the crowd, and then went right into her popular jazzy rendition of Macklemore's "Thrift Shop". The soulful and rich voice of Dani Alexander brought the house down with her torch song version of Weezers "Say It Aint So." Charismatic Von Smith brought tons of sass and soul to a jazzy New Orleans arrangement of G&R's "Sweet Child of Mine".
Songstress Vonzel Solomon comes to the stage hot with every bit of talent that made her a star on America Idol. Her voice takes you on an emotional roller coaster in a soul stirring gospel rendition of "Every Breath You Take". As the night went forward the group brought many unexpected surprises. Without giving the set list away you can look forward to some fun performances of music by Bruno Mars, Taylor Swift, Radiohead, Sia and more.
The singers are backed by a band of stellar musicians and an incredible tap dancer. Postmodern Jukebox packed a ton on entertainment into a show that ran about an hour and a half. The crowd screaming for continuous encores helped it run longer. If you make it to a PMJ show, you will hear why. Seeing them perform live is a treat. The zoot suit is optional.