There are not many holiday traditions I attend to but last night was one of my favorites: The New Standards annual holiday show at the Fitzgerald. I am not sure whether it was the fifth or sixth annual but every year has a new twist and Christmas traditions that all of us know are coming but still enjoy seeing every year.
It was a great set of guests this year; some of my favorites were artists that I discovered this year including Chastity Brown who ended the first set and the Cactus Blossoms who added to country theme of the first half of the show. And there were some former guests who were great to see again including Mike Doughty who bookmarked his “Ice Ice Baby” rendition a few years ago with “Ring of Fire” this year. Matt Wilson did own take of “Crying” by Roy Orbison and Jeremy Messersmith showed some country chops.
While I enjoy the guests every year I could use more New Standards covers throughout the entire show. The unique sound and take on popular songs is so refreshing and some of their covers have become better than the originals. I would have put six just New Standards songs (with only Chan, John and Steve) right in the middle of the show. It might be a small complaint I know I can correct it by going to a show that is not holiday focused. Bringing us back from the intermission was a video of their latest single, “Call Your Boyfriend” a remix of the Robyn hit.
But it was the Holiday show and there were so many great Holiday songs. Aby Wolf started off the night with her version of “Silent Night” and was a great back-up with the other Ascots the rest of the night. Janey Winterbauer and Chan Poling did a fabulous Irish version of the Pogues, “Fairytale of New York”. To finish the night we were all ready for the yearly rendition of “Snow Days”, this year with a new Matt Wilson appearance and the new TNS classic-“Christmas Time Next Year”.
It is not just the music that makes this show but all the extras, this year included the cowboy theme on the story of the Three Wise Men, an annual appearance by local dance favorite Rupert, dancing trees and the best guitar-wielding Santa Claus. All in all it was a show that leaves us wondering what will next year bring and one of the reasons I am glad December comes every year.