LIVE MUSIC: Big-band swing, Detroit Underground and a tribute to Queen
by Bart Mendoza
Feb 25, 2013 | 5860 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
: Queen fans won’t want to miss an appearance by tribute band Queen Nation, performing at Brick by Brick on March 9 at 8 p.m. Courtesy photo
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Swing dancers will want to head to Tango Del Rey on Feb. 28 for an evening of music from the Moonlight Serenade Orchestra. Named for a Glenn Miller song, the 20-piece big band has a repertoire of more than 400 classic tunes, placing an emphasis on dance. While big-band swing is the group’s mainstay, it is adept at playing everything from waltzes to polkas, just as good at playing the Latin rhythms of a tune like Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “One Note Samba” as it is at performing Benny Goodman’s “Sing, Sing, Sing.” Even if you’re not a dancer, this chance to hear classic songs from the 1920s to the 1960s, played as intended, by a large combo. It shouldn’t be passed up.

• Moonlight Serenade Orchestra performs at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 28 at Tango Del Rey, 3567 Del Rey St. All ages. www.tangodelrey.com

While there are plenty of cover bands out there covering vintage rock, when it comes to vintage soul and funk, the numbers thin significantly. Though their numbers are fewer, there are several excellent combos in the area performing old-school tunes. One of the best out there is nine-piece group Detroit Underground, which appears at Tio Leo’s on March 8. With male and female vocals, as well as a horn section, the band turns in excellent renditions of tunes by the likes of Earth, Wind & Fire, Chaka Khan and Stevie Wonder. While its repertoire includes some modern-era tunes like Santana’s “Supernatural,” it’s the seventies and eighties dance classics like Michael Jackson’s “Shake Your Body Down to the Ground,” that are the real crowd pleasers.

• Detroit Underground performs at 9 p.m. on Friday, March 8 at Tio Leo’s, 5302 Napa St. 21 and up. Cover TBD. www.tioleos.com

Queen fans won’t want to miss an appearance by tribute band, Queen Nation, performing at Brick by Brick on March 9. With nearly two decades of hits, Queen is an obvious band to cover. However, between frontman Freddie Mercury’s operatic vocals and Brian May’s distinctive guitar, re-creating this music would be a major challenge for most performers. Queen Nation is up to that challenge, with four musicians who not only re-create the musical parts in the songs, but who actually resemble their chosen character through costumes and wigs. Whether you enjoy early hits like “Keep Your Self Alive” or later gems like “Radio Ga Ga,” Queen Nation is the next-best thing to seeing Queen in its prime.

• Queen Nation performs at 8 p.m. on Saturday March 9 at Brick by Brick, 1130 Buenos Ave. 21 and up. $15. www.brickbybrick.com

San Francisco-based quintet the Soft White Sixties performs at The Griffin on March 9. The band’s name is a dead giveaway. This is a band that reveres classic rockers from Free to Bowie. However, the Soft White Sixties doesn’t come across as derivative. Yes, its songs have strong influences evident. However, its material rocks with an infectious soulful edge that puts its best tunes on a par with those of their musical heroes. The Soft White Sixties is currently building a major national buzz. Indie rock aficionados wanting to catch the next big thing, just as the group is on the cusp of breaking nationwide, won’t want to miss this show.

• Soft White Sixties perform at 9 p.m. on Saturday, March 9 at The Griffin, 1310 Morena Blvd. 21 and up. $8 www.thegriffinsd.com

Music fans should be aware that every second Wednesday of the month from September through May, the Pacific Beach/Taylor Branch Library hosts a wide range of free music series. Blues, jazz, gospel and more can be heard among the books, with the next performance scheduled for March 13. Featuring classical chamber music ensemble the Piano Quartet, the night is perfect for culture fans on a budget, but anyone who enjoys good music will want to check out the whole series.

• Piano Quartet performs at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 13 at the Pacific Beach/Taylor Branch Library, 4275 Cass St. All ages. No cover. www.pblibraryfriends.org/concert.htm

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