By Kelly Langin, Asst. Copy Editor
“Tonight, I’m gonna have myself a real good time,” Ben Thornewill crooned as he played the opening chords to Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now.” The crowd cheered for the familiar cover. Strobe lights flashed as guitarist Tommy Siegel spun around the stage.
“Don’t stop me now,” the men harmonized, the lyrics mimicking the wishes of the audience for Jukebox the Ghost to continue playing.
Washington D.C.’s Jukebox the Ghost played a packed show Wednesday at The Waiting Room. The ceaseless positive energy of the show was reminiscent of their decade-long discography, with album after album showcasing feel-good attitudes and sounds.
The signature ghost drawing from their 2014 self-titled album hovered behind drummer Jesse Kristin’s set–up as he pounded steady, danceable beats for the crowd to move to. Harmonies from Thornewill and Siegel soared gracefully above the loud, hard-hitting songs, a strange but useful juxtaposition for the high-energy set.
More importantly, the sound remained full even though only three members played onstage. They delivered a set reminiscent of classic hard rock concerts—which makes sense why the Queen cover was a perfect fit.
Thornewill showed off his classically-trained piano skills with miniature solos in between songs, his fingers effortlessly cascading up and down the keyboard. He played around with synth tones for newer songs, adding a prominent dance element to the set fit for an arena rock show.
Nashville’s Twin Forks, the second opener following the Secret Scomeones, put on a foot-stomping show before Jukebox the Ghost. The pop-Americana band mixed country twang with power pop influences.
Kelsie and Kimmy Baronoski delivered as vocalist Chris Carrabba’s backup. The venue filled with the warm air of full harmonies and Carrabba often shouted his vocals, adding a punch to the family-friendly mood.
The set was not short on smiles.
Carrabba (formerly of DashboardConfessional) stopped the band between each song, cracking jokes and telling stories about the band members. He even tenderly sang about crushing on a girl at a roller skating rink, weaving in details about arcade games and DJs.