Christmas came late to Portland this year when rockabilly's own swingin’ Santa Claus came to town. On December 27, Brian Setzer strolled into the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall and gave us his gift of high-octane Christmas music.
Dressed for the occasion in pinstripes and leopard print, Setzer belted out such classics as "Boogie Woogie Santa Claus," "Jump Jive An' Wail," and "Here Comes Santa Claus." Setzer also paid tribute to Tom Petty by playing "Runnin' Down a Dream" before finishing the evening with "Santa Claus is Coming to Town." Santa showed up in a big way, arriving in his '57 Chevrolet as the song was starting to kick into overdrive.
As Setzer and his orchestra welcomed Santa Claus to the stage, he started throwing candy canes out to the crowd, and as Setzer hit some of the final notes of the song, snow fell from the heavens on top of the sold-out crowd.
That night at the Schnitz could have been a Christmas concert straight out of the swinging '50s with all the pomp and class of Setzer and his orchestra.