Scott Bradlee’s Post Modern Jukebox: Live Review10th March 2016
I first found about about Post Modern Jukebox through YouTube videos shared on Facebook.
They were OK in my opinion, and their style – modern pop songs in a vintage music twist – was definitely right up my street. However, their videos just seemed to be lacking something.
So it was an absolute delight to find out that the internet does not do them even the smallest fraction of justice.
With an obnoxiously talented roster of singers, musicians and a tap dancer. PMJ dazzled the crowd at the O2 with their vintage re-imaginings of pop songs both modern and classic.
Cristina Gatti got the show off to a flying start with a “Pulp Fiction-inspired” take on N-SYNC’s Bye Bye Bye. With a voice that sounded like a cross between Adele and Amy Winehouse, plus some vintage attitude, she set the bar impressively high for the other performers. Worrying was unnecessary as they each took the challenge Gatti issued them and ran with it.
It’s almost impossible to pick highlights as nearly every piece they performed was phenomenal: Sarah Niemietz’s Charleston inspired cover of Bad Romance complete with tap dancing interludes from Sarah Reich, Aubrey Logans’ 20s styled Bad Blood, Casey Abrams’ take on Sweet Child Of Mine…it would be quicker to name the songs that fell flat. So…none?
It would be unfair to say that Halo dragged – LaVance Colley’s voice is envy inducing hitting insanely high notes effortlessly and the crowd loved it, but it’s never been a favourite of mine. In the same way, the build up to a quirky Star Wars medley felt a little long winded – but then growing up with a drummer in the family leaves little patience for showboating percussion players.
On the whole, the gig was an amazing experience and did something I didn’t think was possible; actually liking Justin Bieber and Drake songs!
But PMJ’s Motown infused Sorry and Hotline Bling plus 40s swing plus Cristina Gatti’s sultry vocals somehow revitalised two formulaic, vanilla RnB “hits” by making them sound decades old.
The only real complaint I have was that the crowd was so tightly packed that it was impossible to dance properly, and you would have to be completely soulless not to groove to PMJ’s toe tapping tunes.
The audience loved every second, feeding their energy into the band who threw it back out into the crowd until everyone was in such a frenzy that by the time of the last number, another Motown number – this time Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off, it felt like the phrase “they brought the house down” was going to be worringly literal.
Post Modern Jukebox are still in the UK until March 22, so if you don’t mind travelling, and classic twist on modern music are your thing, get yourself to a PMJ gig pronto.