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Jukebox the Ghost @ Union Transfer.

March 18, 2013

JukeboxTheGhost01Text by Marisa Lyon. Image by Ian Watson.

Jukebox the Ghost rocked the socks off of Union Transfer on Friday night.

The show opened at 8 pm on the dot to an already two-thirds-filled audience.

First up was multi-genre trio, The Spring Standards. The quirky Delaware Valley natives who now live in Brooklyn played a short but lively set, engaging crowd participation and setting the energetic tone for the evening.

New York-based indie-rocker (and former Pennsylvanian), Matt Pond then took take the stage. He and his band started out with a mellower mix from their newest album, The Lives Inside the Lines in Your Hands, but they kicked it up a notch halfway through with more up-tempo classics from their collection of “PA” tunes.

Finally the lights faded, welcomed by an anticipating roar from the packed audience. Jukebox the Ghost (above) appeared through the smoke and exploded into a three piece collaboration of guitar, drums, and piano. The room immediately filled with electricity that never dwindled.

The indie rock trio joked and engaged the crowd throughout the entire performance. They created a comfortable familiarity, as though every person in the venue had been friends for years – and there were likely friends in the crowd as the band mates briefly lived in Philly over the last few years. Pianist and vocalist, Ben Thornewill, sat so close to the edge of the stage that every so often he would lean over to connect with the crowd, allowing them to grab his hands and even ruffle his hair. Guitarist/vocalist Tommy Siegel kept up the audience participation, while Jesse Kristin tossed his maracas and drumsticks in the air, in between vigorously slamming on the drums.

A highlight of the evening was when Thornewill mentioned the band’s love of covering their favorite artists. Both he and Siegel joked about learning to play popular hip hop songs, albeit “not playing them well,” with Kristin banging out snippets of each. After strategically deciding to go in an 80s direction, the three burst into Queen’s “Somebody to Love,” as a sea of phones shot into the air to record the tribute.

The pop rockers’ impressive set continued for a few additional songs, followed by a genuine collection of “thank you’s” as they exited. After a solid minute of nonstop cheering and collaborative foot stomping, Jukebox the Ghost retook the stage. The encore included popular tracks “Summer Sun” and “Good Day,” and ended on a perfectly timed clap as the stage went black for the final time. The epic performance closed with a second heartfelt thank you and promise to return to Philly soon.

2 Comments
  1. Marisa permalink
    March 18, 2013 4:09 pm

    Reblogged this on Marisa D. Lyon and commented:
    Jukebox the Ghost rocked my face off at Union Transfer on Friday night. Check out my article for Jump Magazine!

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