Jukebox The Ghost at The Crescent Ballroom
Jukebox The Ghost at The Crescent Ballroom 2/3
by Kristen Lucas
I first discovered Jukebox the Ghost my freshman year of high school when my friend Isabella sent me a link to one of their songs, and my obsession hasn’t faded since then. The first time I saw them live was this past June. They were playing at Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, New Jersey and opening for A Great Big World. Because this was before Jukebox the Ghost dropped, they were trying out a lot of new material including “The Great Unknown” and many other songs that are on their latest album.
This week was the second time I saw them live, but this was their first headlining tour with Secret Someones and Twin Forks opening. It was Twin Forks’ last night on the tour, so it was an emotional goodbye as they played their last song of the night and everyone joined them onstage. You could really tell that the bands were good friends off stage as well and really respected each other both as friends and as musicians. I was surprised to see a good portion of the crowd leave when Twin Forks’ set was over, but that meant I got to be closer to the front for the real show: Jukebox the Ghost.
Jukebox started off by playing “Postcard,” which was the perfect upbeat pop track to get the audience excited for the rest of the show. It’s also one of my favorite songs on the new album. The three-piece pop rock band has really come a long way in performing since their first album Live and Let Ghosts. They captivated the attention of the audience through the entire set list with the perfect variation of upbeat and slower songs and old and new songs. Ben Thornewill (piano and vocals) and Tommy Siegel (guitar and vocals) did a nice job of trading back on forth on who was singing. Jesse Kristin (drums) made his singing debut with the song “Hollywood.” The band’s signature stuffed dog also made a debut crowd surfing during one of their songs. One of the most notable moments of the night is when they covered Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now.”
Personally, I thought the encore was one of the best parts of the entire show. They played “The Great Unknown” as well as a couple other songs. Ben attempted to remember the lyrics to “The Popular Thing” after an audience recommendation, but he mostly failed and just let the audience sing the words instead. The band then joked about how that is what their tour will be like in 50 years when they do a reunion tour and how they needed a teleprompter for their lyrics.
Jukebox kept the show pretty simple with no fancy lighting or backdrops. Instead, they opted for their signature ghost on a white sheet as the backdrop and very minimal lighting effects. The band was definitely excited to be headlining their first tour and kept it very focused on the music, but lighting is such a huge portion of any concert that I would’ve liked to see a little more than what they had.
As a dedicated follower of six years now, I’m excited to see where this band will go next.