The Vintage Swing Band kicked off 2023 with a spectacular performance at the renowned Iron Horse Hotel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on February 4th. We were honored to be invited to play at their “Repeal of Prohibition Ball”, commemorating the end of the liquor ban. The event transported everyone back to the glamorous 1930s, with our band embodying the spirit of that era both musically and visually. The Iron Horse Hotel hosts this spectacular event annually, transforming their lobby into a captivating walk back in time. The hotel's name pays homage to both the nearby railroad and the iconic Harley Davidson Museum, drawing connections between the powerful steam locomotives of the past and the roaring motorcycles of today. This charming blend of nostalgia makes the hotel a perfect setting for a Repeal of Prohibition Ball.

Nestled in a corner of the grand room, the VSB band prepared to deliver a memorable performance. Adding to the excitement, the hotel had enlisted several talented swing dancers, who were already showcasing their moves and priming the audience for a night of exhilarating dance. The crowd embraced the spirit of the 1930s, arriving in prohibition-era attire, setting the stage for an immersive celebration. As the clock struck 9, the band launched into the lively tune of "Charleston," instantly igniting the crowd's enthusiasm. From there, we transitioned from one vibrant song to another, ensuring the dance floor remained alive with palpable energy throughout the night.

Our repertoire featured an array of beloved classics from the 20s and 30s, including "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)", "Makin' Whoopee", “Blue Skies”, and "I Get a Kick Out of You”. Kathy made her solo vocal debut with delightful renditions of "Anything Goes" and "It's Only a Paper Moon”. The band also treated everyone to the timeless favorites "In The Mood", "Basin Street Blues", “Fever”, and "Satin Doll".

The band included trumpeters Paul, Jim, Todd, and Larry. The ‘bone section had Armando, Ethan, Dave, and Matt. The saxes featured Tim, Jack, JJ, Doug, and Dan. Our rhythm section was Alex, Jim, Louie, and Mike. Amy and Kathy sang, our conductor, Eric, led with passion, while Bruce served as our charismatic frontman. The meticulous sound team was led by John and Todd, and our planning and logistics were masterfully handled by Pam.

A highlight of the night came when we unleashed the mesmerizing "Tuxedo Junction," which brought forth a joyous spectacle. The dancers performed the “Shim Sham”, swaying to the driving beat of the song, captivating everyone's attention. The vibe was infectious, prompting them to request an encore, and we happily obliged, delivering "Tuxedo Junction" once again later in the night. The entire hotel resonated with the exhilarating rhythm of that magnificent song and the skillful dancers.

As the bars closed their doors at midnight, we were asked to perform a few more songs. The crowd, ever devoted, didn't miss a beat, reveling in every note. When we concluded our final song, the room erupted with a resounding chant of "One More Song", a beloved request that every band cherishes. Adding to the ensemble's versatility, our conductor, Eric, mesmerized the audience (and surprised the band), responding with his first ever vocal performance of "Minnie the Moocher". It was an extraordinary moment, and the perfect culmination to a remarkable night.

The event manager bid us farewell with the promising words, "We’ll see you next year!" We cannot speak highly enough of the Iron Horse Hotel - a splendid venue with exceptional hospitality, remarkable food, and a wonderful team to collaborate with. We eagerly anticipate our return next February, where we hope to welcome a fabulous crowd for another unforgettable Repeal of Prohibition Ball.