Brian Setzer brings his love of rock to Montclair.
Brian Setzer is coming to the Wellmont Theater on Nov. 30, and with him he will bring memories and hopes of his rockabilly, upbeat music. Since the 1980’s, Setzer has been relaying his wild genius through scorching guitar riffs, melodic vocals and an attitude to top it all off.
Brian Setzer has been a household name for rock lovers since the 1980’s, but things weren’t always so easy for the rocker. Born in Long Island, N.Y., Setzer spent much of his early life playing gigs from New York to Philadelphia, but made no real dent in the raging rock scene that was already present.
An outlandish idea and an impulsive decision led to Setzer’s first taste of success. After failing to breakthrough in America, Setzer and his bandmates decided to sell all the instruments and gear they had, just enough for three one-way tickets to London. It was across the pond that Setzer formed Stray Cats, the infamous rock band that has garnered a global audience. After releasing singles that did well in England, it wasn’t until they released their 1982 album Built For Speed that they achieved recognition in the USA.
David James, a man who formerly lived in London and has memories of Setzer’s time there, reflected on his impact. “Everyone was a punk back then,” said James. “Or everyone wanted to be. Every new British artist had hints of the Sex Pistols, The Clash and The Damned. We loved it because it was undeniably British. But then along came Brian, with his hip-swinging, ice cube cool Americanism, and suddenly we weren’t so proud of punk anymore. I distinctly remember my group of friends thinking, ‘Wow, maybe we aren’t that cool after all.’”
For Setzer, his time with Stray Cats propelled him to fame, but were far from the only reason he is now so well known. After splitting with Stray Cats after only four years, Setzer embarked on a solo career. It was during this time he released The Knife Feels Like Justice, an album that defines his career to many to this day. It has become a cult favorite amongst his fans, as it resonates as a testament to various issues, such as nuclear proliferation, immigration, poverty and loneliness.
Setzer reignited his career in the mid-1990’s, after creating the ambitious 17-piece ensemble project, The Brian Setzer Orchestra. Their 1998 album The Dirty Boogie brought the fame great success; the album cracked the top 10 on the United States album charts.
Since then, Setzer has committed himself to playing his music all over the world. In 2011, he completed an extensive tour of Europe, playing in places such as Spain, Switzerland and Belgium.
Setzer’s performance at the Wellmont Theater is sure to be as magnificent as every one of his shows. His grooving, thumping rhythmic rock n roll is welcoming for all audiences. Setzer’s show at the Wellmont Theater is on Nov. 30. The show starts at 8 p.m., but doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets for the show can be found at www.Wellmonttheater.com.