3/05/15 – Paradise Rock Club

“The story of this song is a special one…”

Ben Thornewill of Jukebox the Ghost paused dramatically, the crowd of hip teens strained forward. “One day, I sat down at the piano and asked myself: What is the stupidest thing I can play? And somehow, somehow, we turned it into a song and I feel very lucky to be able to play it before you today.” Thornewill launched himself at the piano, and the frantic, delicate dance of “Hold it In” began. Fellow band members kept pace on drums and guitar with Thornewill’s tongue-twisting lyrical speed: “Life is OhmyGod, ifItellhim, he’lltellher, andthenshewillknow I like her!” Funky interludes of piano and guitar chattered back and forth, intermingling gracefully, while drums pumped out a nimble beat.

Indie-pop band Jukebox the Ghost brought their quirky charm to a packed house for a night of bouncy melodies and back-and-forth banter on stage. “I’ve always wanted to be a stand-up comedian,” Thornewill joked onstage. “So now that I’ve lured you in with my music, you have to listen to my jokes. But fortunately I chose a career where my friends support me onstage instead of awkwardly wishing I would go away.”

Their fan base has followed them for nearly a decade, and they catered to that; playing fan-favorites from each of their four albums, showcasing a wealth of pop jams, piano ballads with intelligent yet catchy lyrics. They featured songs from their most recent self-titled album, including “Sound of a Broken Heart,” “Postcard,” “Undeniable You,” and “The Great Unknown,” but also played older hits. Earlier songs were quirkier and more carefree while the new sound was distinctly more polished, yet still fun and passionate. Just as they balanced their set between old and new, Thornewill made sure to acknowledge, encourage and interact with both sides of the stage, despite the fact that he had his back to one side while he was playing piano.

Swapping cleanly between eras, they finally came to the climax of the night. A clear favorite, hit song “Somebody” had the room bouncing on their toes, shouting out the lyrics: “I don’t want any more heartbreak / I’m tired of the sound it makes.” The whole show was one big singalong; nearly every song was belted with enthusiasm and glee. Not surprising, considering the happiness of the music and their delight in performing.

They reveled in sharing their passion with others, both fans and other bands alike; during the encore, their opener Secret Someones came onstage to perform their cover of “Walk like an Egyptian.” The energy and sound was overwhelming until the very end, when they bid everyone a goodnight with beaming smiles and waves.

Quirky Pop: Jukebox The Ghost
Pros:
  • Enthusiastic band and crowd
  • Lots of interaction
  • Good balance of songs
Cons:
  • Long set
  • Visibility difficult from side stage
8.3Bouncy Fun

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