After negotiating a maze of tunnels, bridges and a moat, I made it to The Tropicana hotel, meet David and Sunny and head in to the car park of The Orleans, the focus for this afternoon’s entertainment. There’s a huge hot-rod show on and some stunning, custom vehicles. The Americans sure know how to customise a car.
The Polecats are rocking the parking lot, and Dick Dale puts on a great show although a little shambolic and messy. But he’s pushing 79 and isn’t in the best health. His backing band are bang on the money, and for a three piece instrumental band, have a huge sound.
Then Brian Setzer takes the stage and rips the place apart! A true guitar hero, he tears through some classic rockabilly numbers, some Stray Cats and some Brian Setzer Orchestra favourites. The crowd are loving it, but most people seem to be watching it through a mobile phone screen. Even Trine who prefers older music and not the rockabilly revival is impressed. He ends his main set with a 10 minute instrumental version of Blue Moon of Kentucky which must hit some record of notes per minute, squeezing notes in where you didn’t think any would fit. Then adds several encores.
Sleepy La Beef, Billy Harlan then Big Sandy were good, but we needed something more energetic and found it with Rocky Burnette and Dusty Chance. Phat Cat Swinger followed with very cool LA swing.
But Setzer was definitely the highlight and boy did he ever “rock this town”!