Postmodern Jukebox’s unique, musical universe comes back to Edinburgh an ever-evolving, revolving collective of performers playing popular music in period styles.
Performing a quirky repertoire of all-time favourites, from Brit-pop anthems to eternal hits, Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox bends time by reworking modern hits into vintage genres, especially early 20th century forms such as swing and jazz.
Started by Bradlee in 2011, Postmodern Jukebox puts out a new video on YouTube each week to their 5.68 million subscribers, most of which are filmed casually in Bradlee's living room. With over 1.8 billion YouTube views and more than 3 million Facebook fans, the band has covered songs by artists ranging from Lady Gaga to the White Stripes. One part celebration of vintage music and culture, one part “’Saturday Night Live’ for singers”, a Postmodern Jukebox show is an unforgettable trip back in time that makes Pop Music History — in your own hometown. This show includes established performers as well as some new faces with an always stellar line up!
POSTMODERN JUKEBOX “THE GRAND REOPENING” REVIEW
Last night (Sunday), I attended the Usher Hall in Edinburgh and witnessed nothing short of wizardry as Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox’s tour “The Grand Reopening” came to town. If you haven’t heard of PMJ then I reckon you’ve yet to fully immerse yourself into this digital age.
Over the past decade, Postmodern Jukebox has grown from a viral phenomenon into a worldwide juggernaut, amassing more than 5.68 million subscribers and a stratospheric 1.8 billion views on their YouTube channel.
So, before I tell you about the show itself, I best tell you who Postmodern Jukebox are. Postmodern Jukebox is a musical collective known for giving contemporary pop hits a classic twist in styles of bygone eras.
It all started in 2011 in the New York basement of a struggling jazz musician, Scott Bradlee. It was there, he and his college friends shared their take on the modern songs via, yes you guessed it, social media. Since then, PMJ has gone on to feature 70 different performers and perform over 200 worldwide shows. Wow!
THE GRAND REOPENING
The atmosphere in the Usher Hall was buzzing with excited chitchat and selfie takers. Gotta get that obligatory selfie, you know! The stage, occupied by instruments and podiums, glowed violet as the PMJ band walked on. The show was about to begin. People began to cheer and whoop. Here we go!
The show was a musical masterpiece. The talent that graced the stage was immense – not just the band or the singers, but the tap dancer with insanely fast feet. To my surprise, it was also pretty funny. These guys know how to entertain!
At the end of the show, I was on my feet dancing, as was everyone else under the Usher Hall dome, to PMJ’s infused Meghan Trainer’s hit “All About That Bass”. I looked around me, we were all smiling and swaying, clapping and cheering. This wasn’t just a “Grand Reopening”, this was a “Spectacular Celebration”.
Postmodern Jukebox did not disappoint. My favourite parts of the show (I’ll keep these limited to 3 because I could go on for pages), other than every snippet of fun and hilarity, were the MC, Casey Abrams, performing the 2003 hit Stacy’s Mom on the bass along with the band. It took me back to my school days in a weird yet wonderful way. Just like my other favourite, the band and tap dancer, Demi Remick, performing the theme song to…. Super Mario Bros. And yes, I did whoop like an overexcited tween at a One D concert. Many a day in the 90s, I would play SMB on the NES until I threatened Bowser with immeasurable pain and almost threw the controller through the TV.
Ok, one more favourite, I loved it when the 3 female singers, Maris, Jack Dani Armstrong, and Therese Curatolo strolled out onto the stage dressed in subtly familiar colours. One in black, one in blue, and one in pink holding a lollipop. Queue the lyrics “Tell me what you want, what you really, really want”. Of course, it was the Spice Girls classic Wannabe imbued with 1940s flair. Superb!
Before last night, I was a fan of Postmodern Jukebox, but now, I’m a mahoosive fan!
I strongly recommend checking them out on YouTube. The “social” place where it all started.
- Reviewed by Radio Saltire’s Jenna Cockburn 2nd May 2022.