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Watch Stray Cats Perform "Runaway Boys" and "Built for Speed" at Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend

If you're a big fan of the Kardashians, American Idol and Ed Sheeran's "Shape of You" ("I'm in love with your body..."), you probably would've had a lousy time at Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend 21.

The annual event, which took over the Orleans Hotel & Casino on Sin City's West Tropicana Avenue this past weekend, is pretty much a celebration of everything the mainstream is not. After all, the biggest draws at the popular event are pre-1964 hot rods, authentic Fifties clothing, burlesque shows, Sailor Jerry-style tattoos, a jiving contest and, of course, a slew of rockabilly, throwback and straight-up, slicked-back rock and roll bands.

And while first-generation rockers Jerry Lee Lewis and Duane Eddy were near the top of the bill this year, the truly big news was the much-ballyhooed return of modern rockabilly legends the Stray Cats, who performed Saturday night in front of a massive outdoor crowd. It was the iconic U.S. band's first North American appearance in 10 years.

Above, you can watch fan-filmed footage of the rockabilly masters—Brian Setzer (vocals, guitar), Lee Rocker (bass) and Slim Jim Phantom (drums)—performing "Runaway Boys," their 38-year-old debut single and one of the records that helped kick off the rockabilly revival of the early Eighties (which some say is still going strong). Below, you can watch them perform 1982's "Built for Speed" from a bit later in the set (Note: Please excuse the low-quality video and almost complete lack of bass; if you find a better version of either performance on YouTube, let us know in the comments below).

If you'd prefer to head straight to Setzer's impressive guitar solos, both of which he played on his signature Gretsch 6120 models, skip to 1:29 ("Runaway Boys," above) and :48 ("Built for Speed," below). Stray Cats have two more shows scheduled for 2018; you can catch them July 4 at Ribfest in Naperville, Illinois, and August 17 at the OC Fair in Costa Mesa, California (with the Paladins).

For more about Stay Cats, head here. For more about Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend (Hey, it's never too early to start planning for next year!), check out and follow the event on Instagram.

GW homepage photo: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

(Image credit: Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend)
Damian Fanelli

Damian is editor-in-chief of Guitar World magazine. From 1998 to 2014, he was one third of Mister Neutron, an instrumental rock act that toured the universe and elsewhere and released three albums via Austin-based Deep Eddy Records. These days he performs with several New York City-area bands and can often be spotted with one of his many, many, many B-bender-equipped guitars. In past lives he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor – and he still can’t believe he got to write the liner notes for the latest SRV box set.