Last Night: Royal Crown Revue, Fox Theater, Pomona

The Hype: Can you look into the future by examining the past? It was a virtual time warp into the 1930s as the Fox Theater played like a decades-old cinematic reel by ushering in 2010 with a room full of swing, doo-wop, jazz and blues enthusiasts.  


Last Night: Royal Crown Revue, Fox Theater, Pomona
Andrew Youssef


The Show: Opening with the reverb guitar wash of OC guitar legend Dick Dale's surf classic "Misirlou," Royal Crown Revue declared they were ready to rock you into the New Year. Lead crooner Eddie Nichols came out swinging in a sharp black suit, snapping his fingers in time while "Walkin' Like Brando." Daniel Glass, situated high on his drum riser, surgically whacked his instrument while driving the head-bopping beat. The musicianship of Royal Crown Revue, which I doubt have ever touched Rock Band or Guitar Hero, displayed first-rate chops in recreating time-honored sounds.   

Royal Crown Revue are no one trick pony as they deftly genre jumped from swing to jazz to doo-wop. The trumpet and saxophone wailed for a "Watts Local" that transformed the spacious dance floor into a swinging frenzy. Jennifer Keith added her velvety vocals to "This Can't Be Love" and a solo performance of "Forty Cups Of Coffee." Diving into their trademark "Gangster Bop" sound, "Zip Gun Bop" had the trumpet mimicking the sounds of a siren leaving the impression that the concert would be crashed by the police. 

"Cool Yule" proclaimed the holiday season wasn't over. The mayor of Pomona made a quick appearance on stage to help with the count down and wish everyone a Happy New Year on behalf of her city. Addressing the fact that most people had a rough 2009, Eddie dedicated "Luck Be A Lady" to everyone in regards to 2010. Things kicked up into high gear again with a blazing version of "Contender" as Nichols phantom boxed throughout the song.   

Mando Dorame owned the tenor sax on "The Fever," stepping up to the front of the stage in the spotlight. Heavy requests from the crowd were answered when the band cut through "Mack The Knife." A faithful version of "Viva Las Vegas" closed the evening as the band waved goodbye. Though it wasn't on the setlist, the crowd cheered loud enough for a house-burning encore of "Hey Pachuco!" complete with a drum, and drumstick, solo. 2010 is already looking pretty good. 

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Earlier in the evening, Faraway boys blasted through a handful of psychobilly songs but threw me for a curve by covering Material Issue's "Valerie Loves Me" and Billy Idol's "White Wedding." They were genuinelly excited to play as they quipped it "beats playing a street corner." Vicky Tafoya and The Big Beat also delievered a nostalgic filled set with tunes like "Rock Around The Clock" and "We Belong Together." In the cover department, they tackled "Shout" by the Isley Brothers, which seems to be making a comeback as I recently heard this performed by Starpool at The Vandals Christmas show.      

The Crowd: Tuxedos. Tattoos. Pin up gals. Poodle skirts. Greasers. They made up the visually diverse and impressive crowd. People of all ages dotted the audience with most of the couples hitting the dance floor for a twirl. I did see a few mohawks that made me wonder if they were at the right show. 

Overheard: "I can't wait for 2009 to end," was overheard many times throughout the evening.


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