March 11, 2015 Jukebox the Ghost pump up NYC 2-28-15 w/ Secret Someones & Little Daylight
Hailing from Washington D.C., Indie-Pop band Jukebox The Ghost has been making waves in the past couple of years. No stranger to the music scene, this trio of Ben Thornewill (vocals/keyboards), Tommy Siegel (vocals/guitar), and Jesse Kristin (drums) have been pushing forward for over a decade now. Proving hard work and presences does pay off, 2014 was a big year for the band with the release of their self-titled album, along with opening slots for A Great Big World and Christina Perri. In coordination with the release of their third album in October, Jukebox the Ghost brought excitement to their growing fanbase announcing plans for a headlining tour in early 2015. What exactly does this mean? The answer is quite simple, it means a longer set and, most of all, growth for the talented band. Beginning their tour in January, the tour buses rolled into New York City Saturday February 28th with supporting acts Secret Someones and Little Daylight to perform at Irving Plaza. Despite the record cold temperatures, adoring fans lined up in the streets hours before the show to guarantee a great spot to witness the show.
First to take the stage was Secret Someones, consisting of NYC based singer/songwriters Bess Rogers, Lelia Broussard, Hannah Winkler, and drummer Zach Jones. A relatively new project, the band states they draw influence from Weezer, Talking Heads, and the entire Tom Petty catalog. Energetic and ready to rock and roll, Secret Someones captivated the crowd with their unique style and played a few songs from their latest EP entitled I Won’t Follow including the title track and “Let You Go.” Bringing a retro, raw ’90s vibe to the stage, Secret Someones was warmly greeted by the New York City audience and it will be exciting to see where the budding musicians end up in the future.
Following Secret Someones was Little Daylight, an Alternative Brooklyn based trio. Formed in 2012, the band consists of vocalist Nikki Taylor, guitarist Matt Lewkowicz, and bassist Eric Zeiler. Signed to Capitol Records, the band released their EP Tunnel Vision in 2013 and toured with Charli XCX, as well as Bastille. Following with their debut full-length album, Hello Memory, in July of 2014, Little Daylight appear to be on the fast-track to success in the Alternative Rock scene. Walking out in front of the packed Irving Plaza crowd, Little Day Light were very unique in the way of playing piano, guitars, and bass for a solid two minutes before they began singing. Catching the audience’s attention immediately, the set marched right into catchy, fun original tunes like “Mona Lisa,” single “Overdose,” and “Siren Call.” Taylor sang affectionately, appearing comfortable with her surroundings and making for a wonderful performance. Fans of Pop Rock with catchy, but mature styling need to check out Little Daylight.
After a pleasant appetizer of bright and different opening acts, fans were warmed up for the evening’s main attraction, Jukebox The Ghost. For many, this was the first time seeing the band live, for others it was merely another chance to catch them, but this time as the headliner. While people conversed with one another in anticipation, the large screen in front of the stage lifted at around 10 PM as a banner showcasing the band’s latest album artwork draped in back of the stage and the show was ready to begin.
Ready to enjoy new tunes as well as older pieces from their collection of material, the audience cheered as Jukebox The Ghost took the stage with new song “Postcard” as well as “Made for Ending” and “Girl.” Having everyone bouncing to their upbeat tunes, the band appeared in high spirits as they carefully jammed out older songs like “Victoria”, “Hold It In”, and “My Heart’s the Same.” Thornewill and Siegel both equally shined on vocals, alternately singing the main vocals each song, making for a refreshing change-up here and there. Offering up some of fans’ favorites like “Schizophrenia” and the ever-so wonderful “Somebody,” the mood of the room remained happy and light while a stuffed animal bounced through the audience, opposed to a beach ball.
Continuing along, and providing some surprises, Jukebox The Ghost played a cover of Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” receiving a large applause and sing along from the crowd. Winding down the set with in an intimate fashion, the mellow “Undeniable You” left the crowd yearning for more. In response, returning after a brief exit, the band put on a spectacular three song encore including “Show Me Where It Hurts” and single “The Great Unknown.” Continuing to leave everyone guessing, the band’s spot-on cover of The Bangles’ “Walk Like an Egyptian” featured Secret Someones and Little Daylight joining them on stage to throw balloons into the crowd as they wrapped up the evening on a high note.
Jukebox The Ghost are an act certainly worthy of a headlining tour, and their presence in New York City was evidence of such. They knew exactly how to keep the performance moving without any dull moments and, most of all, their silky, crafty Pop Rock tunes sounded stunning. While the run has come to an end, fans who want to make the trip down to Austin, Texas can catch them at this year’s SXSW annual music festival March 17th-20th.
Photo credit: Shoshana Swell