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Don's Music Views
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Brian Setzer Orchestra live on July 19, 1998 at the Wolf Den, Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville, CT

The Brian Setzer Orchestra rolled into the Wolf Den Sunday night and drew the largest crowd that Iíve seen there thus far. The 16-piece group required an enlarged stage, which forced the removal of a few tables but also allowed for a dance floor. The crowd started lining up at 3pm for the free 7pm performance and at show time less then half of the line was actually able to be seated. The remaining crowd found themselves some standing room around the outside of the theater (which is actually in the center of the casino and completely open). The standing onlookers amounted to some 15 to 20 rows of people around the entire theater. This was definitely a big draw show.

The band took the stage promptly at 7pm and had the crowd rocking almost immediately. Setzer was full of energy and his excitement was transferred to both his band and the crowd. The 85 minute performance included a 1-hour main set and 2 encores. The second encore, which appeared unplanned as the band was leaving their seats when Setzer returned, consisted of 5 songs as Setzer just continued to play off of the energy of the room. After each song heíd prompt the crowd by asking if they wanted one more before he left. They did and he kept delivering.

The band drew material from all three BSO albums and performed versions of Setzerís Stray Cats hits as well. "Stray Cat Strut" was performed with a great sax solo, consisting of the "Pink Panther" theme, as itís centerpiece. The house was rocking so a cover of Stevie Ray Vaughanís song of the same name fit perfectly when performed. This show was pure energy from start to finish. The crowd loved it, Setzer loved it, and his band loved it. This was just one of those classic rock and roll moments and I felt privileged to have been there. (even though I was one of the standees around the outside of the theater)