Earlier in 2015, during a lull in my active concert schedule, I was looking for a show to fill the void. Through dumb luck I was blessed enough to stumble upon the phenomenon that is Jukebox the Ghost. A fierce threesome of talent, stage presence, and raw musical ability.
On that magical March evening they rocked the very souls of the Paradise as a mix of ages, cultures, and people danced the night away to many of the songs off their recent self titled album. First time fans like myself were treated to songs like Girl, The Great Unknown, and my personal favorite Hollywood as song about realistic expectations of love. Like a thirsty man in the desert discovering a lush oasis I had found a new source of musical enjoyment and artistic mastery. I declared that very night that Billy Joel and Elton John could ease into retirement now knowing that their art form wouldn’t die with them when they stop tickling the ivories.
Little did I know that I would get to see them again for a unique performance experience. The announcement that Jukebox would be playing a special show at the Sinclair was exciting enough. The fact that they would be performing a set as the legendary band Queen was manna from the heavens. This time around I was prepared to attack the Sinclair in Boston as a veteran of their tunes. Digesting all four of their albums and blasting them on repeat I became a Jedi of Jukebox. On that night I arrived with other fans ready to feed upon classic hits and wasn’t disappointed. A mix of new tunes was blended with classic hits like Somebody, Mistletoe, and the Halloween appropriate Static To The Heart. Just as we were reaching our Apex they left the stage and the crowd frothing for more.
An atmosphere of anticipation flowed like electric energy from person to person. I myself was at the merch table and witnessed the scramble as the rhythmic beat began to flow from the drums. The unmistakable call of “We Will Rock You” drew the crowd like army ants against an invading foe. The crowd, I, no one could have asked for more. Gone was Jukebox the Ghost and in their place stood Queen. Epic mustaches, flowing hair, and bravado for days stared back from the stage. With each classic cover they drew the audience into a more personal place. The intimate atmosphere freed fellow Ghost fans to dance, sing, and twirl to the magic of Queen. Young, old, and everything between gave part of their passion and spirit to a band who fed it back to them as glorious music. While no one wanted it to ever end the curtains had to drop but not before uniting the Boston crowd with one last amazing Queen classic Fat Bottom Girls. There would be no disappointments that night and only a flood of joy as the crowd spilled into the Cambridge night.
The strength of Jukebox The Ghost is their ability to coax the audience into letting down their shields of pride and vulnerability in exchange for an intimate display of their journey. A journey filled with magical success, tough resilience, and inventive musical arrangement. I would give this performance 9.2 out of 10 and this band a 9.5 out of 10 on the Tempi Olympic Scale of Awesomeness. They are a group I strive to see every time they’re in town because I know they’ll never disappoint and more likely than not they’ll open another door to a world of artistry that I never knew existed.
You can check out the set list for the Halloqueen show at Jukebox The Ghost Set List if you’re interested in seeing what you missed. You can also check out tour dates, merchandise, and get information about the band at Jukebox the Ghost‘s website.