This past Saturday night the Paradise Rock Club hosted perhaps the best, most fun, and energetic dance party of the weekend. And we all have Brooklyn indie-pop trio Jukebox The Ghost to thank.
Ardent Bernie Sanders supporters, the band walked to the stage to the tune of the senator and presidential candidate’s much-talked about 1987 cover of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land,” and the evening of fun was on. The band broke into crowd favorite “Good Day” off of 2008 debut Let Live and Let Ghosts to start their portion of the evening, and never looked back.
The majority of the evening’s fare came from the band’s 2015 self-titled disc, including rousing versions of “Made for Ending,” a happy breakup song, which according to bassist/guitarist Tommy Siegel, was precipitated by what can only be interpreted as a third cup of morning coffee too much, and “Sound of a Broken Heart.” As the night wore on, Jukebox tried a few new things, including a freshly-written tune called “Keys in the Car.” The new song is a jangly tune about just picking up and taking off somewhere far the hell away from where you presently stand.
As great as the new song is, that was not the only new thing that band busted out on Saturday night. For this tour (which is being recorded for a new live album) a new toy lovingly dubbed the “Wheel of Fun” helped determine which two songs the band from the band’s archives would get busted out for the evening.
And the wheel didn’t disappoint, at one point landing on “Mistletoe,” a b-side from Everything Under The Sun. Afterwards, the band treated the crowd to a supreme version of “Hold It In” that featured Siegel on piano, Ben Thornewill on drums (complete with light-up drum sticks, of course) and Jesse Kristin on guitar — the song basically went off without a hitch.
The Jukebox gents even busted out a pair of covers as the night wore on, showcasing renditions of Queen and David Bowie’s “Under Pressure” and Queen’s 1978 classic, “Bicycle Race.” Those in the ‘Dise crowd no doubt recalled Jukebox The Ghost performing an entire Halloween set in Cambridge last fall as Queen, and it was cool to see some of those tracks continue into their touring shows. As the set wound towards a close, a pair of songs off of the latest effort shone brightly in “Hollywood” and “Undeniable You.” The former got the crowd hyped and the latter featured Thornewill solo and showcasing some cool vocal-augmenting effects.
Openers The Family Crest made the absolute most of their short set by blazing through a slew of swinging tunes. The San Francisco septet got the crowd properly fired up for the evening’s festivities.