This past weekend, the missus and I decided to take in a show. I was excited to see that Say Hi (née Say Hi To Your Mom) was coming to the Black Cat, and that local favorites Jukebox The Ghost were opening for them. Or so I assumed. Turns out it was the other way around, which is really too bad for all concerned.
Following the Junior League Band (banjos! fiddles!) , Say Hi did a great set, keeping the banter to a minimum (seriously, rock and rollers, can none of you maintain 30 seconds of witty banter?) and playing some kick-ass songs both old and new. I was really impressed with their live sound - their records all sound pretty low energy, even on the faster songs, and it was cool to hear the songs played with a much higher level of energy on stage. I always find it more interesting to hear a band do a different take on their music live as opposed to just regurgitating exactly what you can hear on a recorded album. Even if some bands take that idea to the extreme.
After they left the stage, I waited eagerly for Jukebox to come on and rock the place. I should state at this point that while I really like a couple songs from their album Live And Let Ghosts, on the whole I think it sounds like a lot of unrealized potential. In other words, they would make a great opening band. However, this being a hometown show for them, I can understand their place in the lineup. What I don't understand is why they felt it necessary to have a bunch of people come out and spend the next almost 30 minutes taping up xeroxed copies of their band logo (picture a poorly drawn Blinky from Pacman) and throwing glowsticks and whatnot out into the crowd. Between that, stringing up ghost lights, and other nonsense, they managed to totally kill the momentum of the show.
As if that weren't bad enough, frontman Ben Thornewill took the stage with the smarmiest smile I have ever witnessed at a rock show, and kept it plastered on his face from that point on.