After a day running around Portland, hitting up the stores on Hawthorne and Powell’s, Patrick and I headed to the Wonder Ballroom to see Big Bad Voodoo Daddy last Friday. I was surprised to read that this show was 21 and over, and it made for a more mature audience. The Wonder is a pretty good venue, since it isn’t just a floor, but it has a balcony as well, so if you want to avoid the crowd, you can grab a seat upstairs and the floor allowed for swing dancing as well. And since it was a 21-plus show, there was a full service bar too.
This show, unlike the LA New Years show, had an opening act, which was local Portland band the Midnight Serenaders, a jazz band with inspiration from the 1920s-30s. Impressive and passionate about their music, the Midnight Serenaders were a nice warm up, and in similar vein to Squirrel Nut Zippers. After a twenty minute or so break, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy hit the stage.
I love seeing bands that are so into in their music, so much so that they live the period they are trying to invoke. With wide brimmed fedoras and double breasted suits, BBVD takes you back in time as they sing covers of Cab Calloway intermixed with their original songs. Their latest album “How Big Can You Get?” celebrates the music of Cab Calloway with wonderful covers that breathe new life into his hits, while also respecting the originals. Since it was their latest, they did spend a lot of time on Mr. Calloway, including informing the audience of his importance, influence upon them, and his time at the Cotton Club. If you’re interested in my review of the album click here.
BBVD left the stage after performing “So-Long-Farewell-Goodbye” – their trademark, but stayed and signed autographs after. Something they didn’t do in LA. I bought their poster, which was only $5.00 and had all of them sign it. I also got my picture taken with their trumpet player, and my favorite member, Glen “The Kid”. Even after 16 years together (with all the original members I might add), BBVD is still alive and swingin’ and as polite as ever. They’re heading to Texas next, and hitting up the midwest through November and December until they end up once again at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in LA on New Years Eve. So, check ’em out and see if they’re coming to your state! I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.