On Wednesday night, WC and Mrs. WC attended a performance by Postmodern Jukebox in Boise. For those who haven’t encountered this amazing group, they perform recent hits in older styles. Lady Gaga songs as ’40s jazz pieces; “Radioactive” as doo-wap. Or the theme from Titanic as downbeat soul. Five remarkable singers backed by five skilled musicians and, yes, a tap dancer as percussion, alongside a drummer.
Maiya Sykes, at the center microphone, is a truly astonishing singer. She has a range that reminds WC of the late, great Minnie Riperton or Phoebe Snow, but can also belt out soul like Aretha Franklin. She’s an astonishing vocalist. And the others are nearly as good.
But what makes Postmodern Jukebox so wonderful is their live act, which includes everything from serious vamping – the singer described herself as “the girl who put “Ho” in “Idaho” – to incredibly high energy songs, underlined by the terrific tap-dancing of Sarah Reich.
Still photos don’t begin to capture PMJ. The musicianship and showmanship are the thing. In true-to-form postmodern fashion, the group even took a selfie of themselves at the end of the show, with the crowd carrying on in the background.
Immense fun, amazing talent and enough enthusiasm to blow your socks off. Live music at its best. Thanks, Postmodern Jukebox, for a Boise show.