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Jukebox The Ghost At The El Rey: Show Review

Jared Bass |
February 1, 2015 | 5:34 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

Jukebox The Ghost At The El Rey (Jared Bass/Neon Tommy)
Jukebox The Ghost At The El Rey (Jared Bass/Neon Tommy)
In a night packed full of talent, Goldenvoice proved that they undeniably know how to curate a perfect concert from start to finish. 

Openers Secret Someones came out in full force, with a trio of girls fronting the band, at times they were reminiscent of Haim and at times they were reminiscent of the strong women-centric bands of the 90’s like Garbage. However, what set them apart most is their ability to embrace the current trends in synth-pop music, yet they still retained a sense of country twang, allowing their sound to be more unique than the average alternative band. Closing with a new song titled “Head First,” which is going to be featured on their new album dropping in May, Secret Someones proved that “chick-rock”-as front woman Bess Rogers described her band’s sound-doesn’t have to be sappy. With their new video due soon and a featured performance at SXSW in the coming months, expect Secret Someones to be a familiar name this year.

Next up on the lineup was Twin Forks, a band that fit the bill, but instead opted out of the synth-pop sound heard before. Playing a 45 minute set that encompassed many genres, from country folk to alternative rock  (their Violent Femmes cover was surprising), Twin Forks had the audience on their feet, dancing to every beat and twang, singing every word at the top of their lungs, and giving the band energy so rarely seen for an opening act. 

Thanks to Secret Someones and Twin Forks, by the time the headliner of the night, Jukebox the Ghost, came out, the audience was at their peak receptiveness. Any motion or word from front man Ben Thornewill incited cheers and applause from the audience. After celebrating over a decade together, it was clear that Jukebox had amassed a dedicated fan base that would chant out every word to any song they chose to play. 

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Jukebox the Ghost, for those who don’t know the band, comes from a strong mid-2000’s power pop background. Their original sound at times can be compared to the likes of Snow Patrol and their newer sound can be compared to the likes of Twenty One Pilots. Encompassing the best of rock, pop, alternative, and even a bit of folk at times, everyone can find something familiar in their sound. 

Opening with one of their biggest hits, “Postcard,” Jukebox was not afraid of losing interest in the audience.  Playing through other staples such as “Hollywood,”  “Somebody,” and “The Great Unknown,” Jukebox the Ghost made it easy to see why the band has successfully made music for so many years. Their on stage chemistry, quirkiness and diversity has allowed them to connect with a wide fan base, ranging from young teenagers to middle aged adults.  It’s easy to see why the band can cover unorthodox bands of the past such as Queen and The Bangles, and still retain complete control of the audience. 

Truly a great night of music, with exceptional performances from the openers and Jukebox the Ghost, the El Rey had hundreds of people moving.

Reach Staff Reporter Jared Bass here.



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