Jukebox The Ghost Ruined My Rock Show

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.

I don't know if he ever actually winked, but it was pretty close to watching Sarah Palin play the keyboards.  They played the one song my wife really wanted to hear, and we left after 4 disappointing songs.  I would  give them another chance if they were opening for someone cool, but I don't think I ever need to see these guys headline again.

Here's a couple songs I like by each band.  Enjoy!

So, you ever walk out of a rock show?  Why?  Tell me in the comments.
While you're pondering, enjoy some other great DC bands.


Unknown said...

re: jukebox the ghost -- when i saw them at fort reno this summer, i got the feeling that they were in the process of being remade from a fun local act into a commercial-friendly pile of suck. sad, they really do have potential.

Amanda said...

I found Jukebox unbearable. The songs were mediocre and their attitude was just so smarmy. But I am a harsh critic, and have walked out of several shows, including Wilco and The Verve.

John Das Binky said...

I've walked out of a number of shows lately, but usually because I'm sleepy. I'm a morning person. Don't remember most of the bands though. I did walk out on the Moody Blues.

In one of my more passive aggressively insulting moves, I walked out of an opening band to watch Monday Night Football at the bar next door, returning for the headliner. There were only 5 people watching the band and I was wearing a football jersey, so it was pretty obvious what was going on.

99 said...

walked out on lots of opening acts, including soul coughing (heard one song, heard them all). left a badly drawn boy show early, but that wasn't his fault - the crowd was so chatty that it wasn't possible to enjoy the music. from the stage, he called it "a bad experience for all of us."

i walked out of some kind of wonderful when i realized it was just pretty in pink with the genders switched, but i guess we aren't talking about movies.

Newmanium Reveler said...

Most recently, ted leo at the black cat. "Thanks for "biomusicology," Ted! It's too loud now, so I'm leaving..."

Is it more lame to leave halfway through or to have tickets and not show up?