Shippensburg University jumped back in time on Friday, April 13 when Big Bad Voodoo Daddy played a lively set of swing music at H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center.
Dressed in 1920s to 1930s attire with pin-stripped suits and angled fedora hats, the band literally looked like they were right out of a swing-dance concert.
The music was fun and upbeat, making it a challenge to stay in your seat. The band played several classics, which the audience happily welcomed with s lot of applause, and they even played songs from their upcoming album.
The lead singer, Scotty Morris, was a huge part of the show’s entertainment. He has a charisma about him that I think very few people have. He was very calm and collected the entire time, but he was still clearly having a blast in front of his audience. He danced and moved with the same style as 1920s performers, and it did not look forced or fake. Instead, it seemed natural, like Morris invented these moves. Morris even made a point to explain what time period some of the songs were inspired from.
Each musician was given his time under the spotlight and was accompanied by ecstatic applause from the audience. The lead singer highlighted the talent of all his peers and hung toward the back of the stage so he would not distract the audience while the musicians had their solo acts.
With the finger-plucking bass, blues guitar and the jazzy excitement of brass instruments and piano, it was no surprise when Morris credited New Orleans, La. for much of the band’s inspiration.
You did not feel like you were sitting in the Performing Arts Center; it was more like a smoky, dimly lighted bar on Bourbon Street.
Morris boasted about the band still touring together after 19 years with all original members, and understandably so, few bands can proudly announce such an achievement.
It was very clear that Daddy had been together for that long and they had no intention of stopping anytime soon. With huge smiles, laughter and a lot of goofing around, one could argue that the band was having more fun than the audience.
Personally, I think the show would have been even more enjoyable had the audience been livelier.
There was literally no one out of their chairs dancing, and some people were not even moving their feet.
Overall, I do not think that the lack of enthusiasm was due to the show. The musicians did an outstanding job, and I was thoroughly impressed with the entire performance.
My only true criticism of the show was how short it was. At only an hour and a half, you could not help but notice the subtle disappointment on several audience members’ faces.
Although the band was signing autographs after the show, I still think the shortness of the event really stole some of the magic.