It’s been 7 years since Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox became a worldwide sensation. To date, the ensemble’s regular online YouTube videos have garnered over 1 billion views collectively (and counting).
The last time yours truly saw them live was back in 2015. Since then, Postmodern Jukebox (PMJ) has made some slight adjustments to their tour arrangement. Kicking off their Asia tour in Kuala Lumpur, the music group introduced a list of new songs as well as new members to fans.
Despite the long weekend in conjunction with Malaysia Day, many turned up at KL Live to welcome Postmodern Jukebox back to the concert venue. Some even came decked out in vintage outfits! The objective was really simply: to let loose and have a darn good time with today’s chart-topping hits.
The formula is still the same – PMJ’s signature style of contemporary pop songs with sounds from a different era. The first half of the concert was centred around the individual vocalists from the talented troupe. It had a healthy balance of PMJ fan favourites and freshmen.
They were sexpot Ariana Savalas, handsome crooner Von Smith, “American Idol” semifinalist Brielle Von Hugel, pop singer Mario Jose, and Olivia Kuper Harris (the winner of #PMJSearch2017). They were backed by a live band of 2 entertaining trumpet players, a drummer, bass player and a pianist.
While we were already familiar with Ariana and Von, it was a nice surprise to be introduced to Brielle’s soulful grit. She reminded us of Haley Reinhart. Some may recognise Mario from his YouTube collaborations with Pentatotix’s Scott Hoying and Kurt Hugo Schneider. Olivia, on the other hand, proved that she can hang with the seasoned performers.
Ariana played the role of MC and femme fatale. She kicked off the show with a Vintage-Gatsby delivery of “Bad Romance”. Even with the absence of Scott Bradlee himself, PMJ is a machine that never fails to deliver thanks to the “cast members” to pluck for at any given tour. Mario interacted well with the crowd when he came out to perform his rendition of “I’m Not The Only One”.
PMJ’s new artist search Olivia nailed her debut with an interesting cover of “Last Friday Night”. The doe-eyed singer from Texas showed why she was chosen out of thousands of applicants. Audiences were also treated to her audition performance of “Sunday Morning”. Due to the singer’s different styles, no 2 acts were alike.
Hunky performer Von drew some of the loudest screams that night when he brought the killer pipes and full tank of energy for “Cry Me A River” and “All Star”. It’s hard to pick a favourite because everyone delivered. It’s a smart strategy to have 1 performer singing 1 song before passing the baton to the next right after. This not only enhanced the show’s delivery flow but also captured the crowd’s attention.
Having said that, Brielle might have been a personal favourite. The young vocalist stood out with a soulful voice on the stunning doo-wop infused rendition “Hey Ya” and “Same Old Love”. Even during duets and group performances, we couldn’t take our eyes off her. Sadly, the same can’t be said when the singers (minus Ariana) came out to perform Radiohead’s “Creep”. It lacked the magic previously brought by Haley Reinhart and Maiya Sykes.
In true PMJ fashion, the ladies delivered a cheeky rendition of “All About The Bass” before the entire ensemble returned on stage for an encore of “Shake It Off”. As the entertainers sang, dance, and waive their arms, those in attendance followed suit. What a night!
Postmodern Jukebox’s Asia Tour “Live in Kuala Lumpur” Setlist:
- “Bad Romance” (Lady Gaga)
- “I’m Not The Only One” (Sam Smith)
- “Last Friday Night” (Katy Perry)
- “Cry Me A River” (Justin Timberlake)
- “Hey Ya” (OutKast)
- “Where Are U Now” (Justin Bieber)
- “Single Ladies” (Beyonce)
- “Blank Space” (Taylor Swift)
- “All Star” (Smash Mouth)
- “Same Old Love” (Selena Gomez)
- “Sunday Morning” (Maroon 5)
- “Perfect” (Ed Sheeran)
- “Mad World” (Tears for Fears)
- “Creep” (Radiohead)
- “All About The Bass” (Meghan Trainor)
- “Shake It Off” (Taylor Swift) – Encore
Till next time PMJ ;)