Big Bad Voodoo Daddy / Lara Hope & The Ark-Tones – Wellmont Theater – Montclair, NJ – 12/16/21

There is one tour that always happens around the holidays and that’s Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s Wild & Swingin’ Holiday Party. Since the tour didn’t happen last year and with the pandemic sort of easing, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy scaled back on their dates, but at least made a stop at the Wellmont Theater in Montclair, New Jersey. It is very rare for Big Bad Voodoo Daddy to have an opening band, but this time around they had New York’s Hudson Valley Lara Hope & The Ark-Tones opening for them. This four piece band mixes rockabilly, rock and roll, with a splash of country. For a young independent band, Lara Hope & The Ark-Tones are a band that shouldn’t be looked over for they put on a great show and know how to get the crowd moving. The rockabilly sound may be rare to hear anymore, for there are only a few that are still performing it, but Lara Hope & The Ark-Tones are doing a good job keeping it alive. Not only are they keeping it alive, but they are keeping it very enjoyable.

Fans of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy know that the band put out two excellent Christmas albums, and to not showcase these songs live would be terrible. That’s why around the holidays Big Bad Voodoo Daddy treats everyone to their Wild & Swingin’ Holiday Party. Not only does Big Bad Voodoo Daddy do holiday classics like “Run, Rudolph, Run”, “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town”, and “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch”, but they also play their original holiday songs like “Christmas Is Starting Now”, “Rockabilly Christmas” and “Last Night (I Went Out With Santa Claus)”. New holiday songs don’t usually hit like the timeless classics, but Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s original holiday songs are sure to become classics. Even though these shows are holiday focused, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy doesn’t just play holiday songs, but they also play some of their fan favorites. It wouldn’t be a Big Bad Voodoo Daddy show without “Go Daddy-O” or “You & Me & The Bottle Makes 3 Tonight (Baby)” and their signature closer “So Long-Farewell-Goodbye”. These shows have a well balance of holiday and their regular swing hits. Let it be dancing or getting in the holiday mood, these shows have both and its a great thing that we have a band like Big Bad Voodoo Daddy that can bring these joys to us around the holiday season.

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