Photos By Clarissa Villondo, Words By Zeke Leeds
How do you remember college? Jukebox the Ghost remembers its D.C. dorm days fondly, playing small shows and frat parties, stacking their gear up in campus garbage bins for easy transport to gigs. The band was in a rather talkative mood this Tuesday in what was clearly, for them, a nostalgia-drenched show.
“Hello D.C. You smell delicious!” declared vocalist and piano player, Ben Thornewill, to begin the show. Never have I been to a show where the audience collective fragrance was mentioned, it was strange yet endearing.
For someone who last saw the band eight years ago for their debut record release party at the Black Cat, it was pleasant to see them going strong, playing on the larger 9:30 stage. It was also good to see them draw a respectable turnout; a crowd of guys with their excitable girlfriends—to be real, the guys in the audience might have even been the more excitable sex. For instance, the dude directly next to me knew all the words, not only to the bands golden oldies, but also to all the new shit as well—bully for you, dude! But it wasn’t just him, people sung along like it was karaoke night, which is indeed a very good sign for a power pop show.
Since I last saw them, the band has released three albums of which I’m not familiar with. At all. It didn’t matter, because I still knew half the tunes in the set; the show was heavy on Let Live & Let Ghost. Which makes me wonder if the band’s confidence in its newer material is lacking or if they were simply treating their home crowd to a pleasant trip down memory lane. Either way, there can be no doubt that, though the band hasn’t lived or recorded in the District in almost eight years, this show was not just the last stop of the tour, but a homecoming. And as a show of their affection, the band threw the stuffed dog mascot they’ve been touring with into the audience for some crowd surfing.
Favorite song of the night: “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen. Is it weird to go to a show and have your favorite song of the night be one that’s not actually by the band? Yeah, it sorta is. But these dudes fucking kill it with covers. And this is no small compliment when considering the innumerable amount of mediocre, lackluster covers littering YouTube and public high school hosted battle of the bands across America.
Anyways, I’d like to say thank you to Jukebox the Ghost for showing the district some love this Tuesday. Feel free to stop by anytime and we can go grab a Jumbo Slice. Till next time, good luck to you—you bunch of power pop dorks.