In their sixth Australian tour, Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox (PMJ) shimmied into the Adelaide Entertainment Centre in a blaze of golden era glory.
With their unparalleled reimagining of contemporary songs, the music collective made the 1920’s roar again over a stellar two-hour performance.
With Tony Kieraldo (piano), Luca Pino (guitar), Carlos Bica (bass), Kyle Morgan (clarinet/ saxophone), JP Floyd (trombone) and Dave Tedeschi (musical director/ drums) leading the way, Sweet Megg set the scene with an apt opening number. Roaring 20s (Panic! At the Disco) captured the essence of PMJ. There was high energy and showmanship. Across a two Act show, Megg dazzled with solo renditions of Levitating (Dua Lipa) and Last Nite (The Strokes).
Where Megg took an energetic jazz approach to her songs, Allison Young adopted a lounge/ folk bravura. Her interpretation of Jet’s Are You Gonna Be My Girl was smooth as silk. While Mr Blue Sky (Electric Light Orchestra) was euphonious and as pleasant as the lyrics suggest.
The evening’s standout performances came from the fiery Tia Simone. Embodying the full breadth of her moniker, Simone powered her way through Shoop (Salt-N-Pepa), Nothing Else Matters (Metallica), and Seven Nation Army (The White Stripes). He soulful voice alluring and her enthusiasm intoxicating.
The night’s MC, Rogelio Douglas Jr, was the glue that held the team together. A consummate performer in his own right, he not only hosted but took the lead in numerous songs. Thriller (Michael Jackson), Radioactive (Imagine Dragons), and I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For (U2) were dynamic displays.
They highlighted his exceptional singing and dancing abilities. Whereas Use Somebody (Kings of Leon), a highlight of the night, was breath taking in its sentiment.
In the nineteen-song performance, Megg, Young and Simone joined forces for some “girl power” features. Feel It Still (Portugal. The Man), Happier (Olivia Rodrigo), Wannabe (Spice Girls), and All About That Bass (Meghan Trainor) were delightful collaborations.
Alternating Megg, Young, Simone and Douglas Jr allowed appropriate peaks and valleys throughout. By the time the final song of the evening arrived, the group number Evolution of Friends (I’ll Be There For You), it didn’t feel like two hours had passed.
Not to be outdone by his musical counterparts, tap dancer Jabu Graybeal was outstanding. His Super Mario Brothers medley and Evolution of Tap Dance solos were jaw-dropping. When he wasn’t dancing, he was interweaving amongst other performers on stage, whether by brandishing a tambourine or drumming with Tedeschi.
Similarly, the musicians made their presence felt via instrumental interludes and solos. In addition, their overtly animated reactions from upstage added a comedic element to an already sanguine show.
PMJ are an absolute delight to witness live. Each #PMJtour to Australia has gleaned noteworthy performances that live in minds rent-free. In all its splendour, The Grand Reopening Tour is certain to follow suit.
Live Review By Anita Kertes