Soundcheck: Postmodern Jukebox Returns to Segerstrom Center April 15

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Their fans are fanatic, their music videos clever and compelling, and their live concerts sell out around the world. Not bad for a group that’s only been around for a few years, but then Postmodern Jukebox is not your ordinary band.

Since Scott Bradlee created the project in 2009, Postmodern Jukebox has amassed around 900 million YouTube views and more than three million subscribers. Over that time, the group has performed on “Good Morning America,” topped iTunes and Billboard charts, caught the attention of NPR Music and NBC News, and played hundreds of shows to sold-out houses around the world.

Postmodern Jukebox brings its exciting live show back to Segerstrom Center for a concert on Sunday, April 15 at 7 p.m.

I became a Postmodern Jukebox fan several years ago after watching their addicting videos that have the band and guest singers perform contemporary pop and rock songs in the style of music from the 1920s to the 50s.

Bradlee and his band post a new video every week, recorded in what looks like Bradlee’s living room—which adds to the fun of the video, and the music.

The music videos range from Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” done in a 1930s style accompanied by a dynamic trap dance, to a delightfully raunchy version of “All About the Bass.”

Entertainment Weekly wrote, “Scott Bradlee’s group is known for retro-fying modern hit songs into viral success,” while Yahoo! Music added, “if you’ve been on YouTube in the last couple of years, then you’re familiar with the everything-new-is-old-again brilliance of the viral phenomenon known as Postmodern Jukebox.”

“I take pride in putting together the right powers and personalities to create a unique and amazing experience for our fans,” Bradlee says. “We want them to escape reality and join us for the most sensational 1920s party this side of The Great Gatsby. We want them to experience what it was like to be at the New Years’ Eve show that Sinatra would have hosted in the 1940s. We want them to feel the excitement of hearing the greats of Motown live and up close. Our goal is to give our audiences their favorite show again and again and still have it feel like the very first time.”

Indeed, I’ve seen Postmodern Jukebox live twice, and each time the show has been different yet with the same high energy and musicality that makes the Postmodern Jukebox concerts so memorable.

You never know who might be performing any given concert. For the April 15 show, Constantine Maroulis has been recruited to be both emcee and performer. American Idol fans will remember Maroulis from his 2004 appearances on the show, including his show-stopping rendition of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” He went on to a career on Broadway, including earning a Tony Award-nomination for his role in “Rock of Ages.”

“I’ve been a big fan of Scott Bradlee and Postmodern Jukebox for many years,” Maroulis told me during a recent phone interview. “Our managers are friends, so Scott and I had a meeting and it took off. I was on their last U.S. tour, and now back on the road as the emcee. What is wonderful about PMJ is that they have eroded the boundaries of where this show can go. It’s nice to be part of the team and see the joy it brings to audiences young and old. People get dressed up. It’s exciting.”

Maroulis said that the lineup for the Segerstrom shows has never been together as a unit before. He could not reveal who was in the show, but said fans will have a great time.

“The energy will be amazing, and I’m excited to be hosting. It’s quite an honor, I’m flattered and humbled by it. I bring some comedy with rock and roll flair.”

For tickets, visit SCFTA.org.

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