Have you ever wondered if people really win contests for trips and prizes on the Internet? I have never known anyone that won anything, until recently when my friend and fellow photographer Chyrisse Tabone called me to invite me to be her guest as a SiriusXM radio prize winner! She won a trip to L.A. to the Brian Setzer Orchestra “Christmas Rocks” private show at the legendary Troubadour! I was as stunned as she was that she won and that she was asking me to come along for the ride. SiriusXM provided hotel and airfare expenses as well as a meet & greet with Brian Setzer and seats in the VIP box. We stayed at the Mondorian Hotel on the famous Sunset Boulevard with a view of the Hollywood Hills, pretty awesome stuff.
We took a whirlwind sightseeing drive around L.A. with a friend who lives in Hollywood! Malibu, Santa Monica Pier, lunch at the Sunset Marquis, Hollywood Blvd and the Rockwalk, we tried not miss a beat. We packed in as much musical history as time allowed us, driving by the Whisky A GoGo and the Rainbow, the famous Viper Room, The Roxy and of course heading to the famous Troubadour where everyone from Elton John to the Eagles got their start in L.A. From Bob Dylan in the 60’s to Alicia Keys in 2017, if those walls could talk and sing!
Arriving at the Troubadour we were greeted by various SiriusXM officials and Brian Setzer’s management team, they were so friendly and truly happy for Chyrisse’s win. Introductions and welcomes all around, they put VIP passes and laminates on us for the evening. We were taken upstairs in the Troubadour to a private room for the meet & greet and photo op. Brian Setzer arrived and was the cool cat we all thought he would be! Super friendly, he took photos and talked to us about the show. I told him I had been at the Clearwater show at Ruth Eckerd Hall and he said he couldn’t get over what a great wild audience they had in Clearwater! He signed a photo I had taken of him and we were whisked off to our front row VIP box overlooking the stage!
This show is one of the best Christmas shows on tour whether in a large theatre or a small club like the Troubadour, it gets people dancing and rockin’! The audience consisted of all SiriusXM listener winners! Mr. Setzer had a few guests in the VIP box which included Scott Ian of Anthrax! Hard to miss that trademark beard! Setzer is a well-respected musician by his peers. The setlist was everything from the Nutcracker Suite to the Stray Cat Strut and classic Christmas tunes. Amazing how they fit over 20 musicians and singers on that small stage but they made it work! Santa made an appearance for the encore of “Jingle Bells”. It was a great night – thank you to SiriusXM and Brian Setzer for a great contest prize. Next time you think about entering a contest – DO IT! My friend Chyrisse is glad she did and so am I! Happy Holidays Everyone!
Photos by Vicky Sullivan / Rock the Lens Photography