Stray Cats to Reunite for Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend Show

Stay Cats—Slim Jim Phantom, Brian Setzer and Lee Rocker—at Brixton Academy in London July 17, 2004

Stay Cats—Slim Jim Phantom, Brian Setzer and Lee Rocker—at Brixton Academy in London July 17, 2004 (Image credit: Official Press Photo/MSOPR)

Stray Cats have announced that they'll be reuniting and performing at this year's Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend in April. Although we freely admit we were expecting a full 2018 U.S. tour, we'll take what we can get; after all, the April 21 show will mark the band's first North American appearance in 10 years.

The band—guitarist Brian Setzer, bassist Lee Rocker and drummer Slim Jim Phantom—will share the bill with rock and roll legends Duane Eddy and Jerry Lee Lewis, not to mention Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys, Carl Mann, Narvel Felts and another 100 or so bands, all of whom will perform throughout the four-day soiree.

The annual event also features burlesque shows, a massive car show (all pre-1964), a vintage fashion show, a pin-up contest and jiving lessons (not to mention a jiving contest, whatever that is). There'll be more than 120 vendors, pool parties, DJ's and record hops—and a whole lot more. My band actually performed at this event in 2010 or 2011 (it's all a blur at this point, to be honest), and it truly is a fun weekend—a total treat for the ears and eyes. Plus it's in Las Vegas, so if you get tired of hearing rockabilly and roots music, you can just amble down the Strip and gamble away your life savings. Fun!

"There's something magic about a Stray Cats show, [and] Viva Las Vegas is the perfect event to experience that," Setzer says. "C'mon down and rock this town!"

Rocker adds: "Just a string bass, a guitar and a drum—Stray Cats are back to show 'em how it's done. Thirty-nine years after our first gigs, we're back! Can't wait to rock again with my brothers Brian and Slim."

Slim Jim's two cents: "[I'm] happy and thrilled to be hitting the stage with the Cats at Viva Las Vegas. We're the rockabilly kings, back to reclaim our throne!"

For tickets and information, visit vivalasvegas.net. P.S.: We're still holding out for a full U.S. tour announcement!

(Image credit: Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend)

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Damian Fanelli
Editor-in-Chief, Guitar World

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas (opens in new tab), was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron (opens in new tab), a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums (opens in new tab). He now plays in two NYC-area bands.