by Alison Angel
Jukebox the Ghost
Tremont Music Hall
Nov. 3, 2012
While Motion City Soundtrack hit Tremont Music Hall as the headlining act on Nov. 3, it was opening band Jukebox the Ghost that won over the crowd and stole the spotlight. “We played here a couple of years ago, and there were maybe eight of you then,” pianist Ben Thornewill told the crowd. He was clearly surprised that so many in the crowd seemed to be there just for them. “If you were at that show, you made up about 12.5 percent of our (total) audience. So, thank you.”
Things have definitely changed — Tremont Music Hall was packed when Jukebox the Ghost took the stage. It was easy to forget that they weren’t the headliners — sandwiched between opener Now, Now and Motion City Soundtrack. The D.C.-based Jukebox hung out at their merch booth before the show with fans that clearly worship the ground they walked on.
The band's trademark pop hooks and high-energy piano rock (if you’re thinking of Jack’s Mannequin, there’s definitely a resemblance to his piano driven rock) caused the previously subdued crowd to lose their minds to the beat and start dancing. The energy was so high that, after the set, most of the crowd seemed deflated and ready to leave until reminded that Motion City Soundtrack had yet to play.
Jukebox rapidly ripped through a 15-song set comprised of a mixture of crowd favorites from albums past. The band released its debut, Let Live and Let Ghosts, in 2008 and quickly followed it up with its biggest record to date, Everything Under the Sun in 2010. That album tripled its fan base and showcased the band's talent which oozes from every pore.
The trio’s ability to write meaningful lyrics that translate into rocking melodies was made even more evident with album number three, Safe Travels, which was released this past summer.
The band relies on pop hooks at its core, but what saves them from being just another band is the soaring vocals which Thornewill and Tommy Siegel provide. The duo trades off vocals so often it’s like watching a tennis match. Luckily, they’ve both got musical chops, so fans don’t seem to mind that they can’t clearly label the front man. Instead it’s all about the music — including the infectious beats pounded out by drummer Jesse Kristin.
Simply put, Jukebox the Ghost combine smart song writing, sweeping piano melodies and vocal harmonies to produce songs that make you feel like you are inside of an epic movie soundtrack and make you want to dance. Don’t miss this show next time you’re in town if you want to have a good time.
My Heart’s the Same
Lighting Myself on Fire
Hold It In
I Love You Always Forever (Donna Summers cover)