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Jukebox the Ghost take Northampton by storm

(Alexandra Bellink / Daily Collegian)

Saturday Sept. 16, Jukebox the Ghost and Secret Weapons fans lined the street outside Pearl Street Nightclub in Northampton.

From families to college kids, energy was high and attitudes were positive all around. Some fans were nearby residents who knew little of the bands, while others came from as far as New York to see them.

Headliner Jukebox the Ghost hadn’t toured in a while—the last time they played in Northampton was in 2014. Regardless, it’s safe to say their fan base has stayed strong.

Secret Weapons kicked off the show by playing hit songs from their debut album, “As The Setting Sun Comes Crashing Down On Me” released this past August. The band’s energy on stage got the crowd singing and dancing along to their catchy tunes, while some die-hard fans belted every word.

The Brooklyn duo, Gerry Lange and Danny Rocco, didn’t officially launch Secret Weapons until 2015. Since then, their fan base has grown rapidly and they have appeared on several “bands to watch for” lists across the music industry.

As the band has stated in many interviews, a common thread throughout their music is the idea that fans should be their own sort of “secret weapon.” Their songs unite and inspire fans. Songs such as “Power,” which is centered around taking chances, along with “Comeback Season,” a song about pushing through challenges,  unite and inspire their fans.

Secret Weapons even gave a shout out to a fan who had come to a previous tour date and requested they play “Unforgiven” from their album. It’s safe to say she was beyond happy.

Both bands were really great at personalizing the concert to their audience. It was clear how much the bands appreciate each and every fan, as the gratitude of the performers was magnified by the intimacy of such a small venue.

During the transition between bands, some members from both Secret Weapons and Jukebox the Ghost paused to chat, or snap selfies with audience members in the front row.

Jukebox the Ghost kicked off their set with hit single “Stay The Night,” which got fans jumping and singing as if the music had never stopped.

Jukebox the Ghost’s unique sound was highlighted by pianist and vocalist Ben Thornewill in the band’s new song “Keys In The Car,” a track which can be found on their live album released last December.

The band confirmed they have an almost completed album which they plan to release in the coming months. While they offered little more information about the album, they did play one of the songs, titled “Boring,” as a commentary on turning 30.

Jukebox the Ghost also announced they will be playing a “Halloqueen” concert in Philadelphia, Penn.. The concert will consist of two sets—the first will be their own music, while the second will be entirely comprised of queen songs.

Because this “Halloqueen” concert is regrettably nowhere near Northampton, the band dragged a wheel of Queen onto the stage and asked two fans to “give it hell” to determine the encore performance.

After playing covers of “Killer Queen” and “Another One Bites the Dust,” the band closed out the show with two of their own original songs.

After the show, fans stuck around to meet band members, buy merchandise, and take photos with Jukebox the Ghost.

Both Secret Weapons and Jukebox the Ghost, while they are fairly different from each other, have a very uplifting sound and energy. They inspire fans to be confident, kind people, which was reflected in the attitudes and behavior of the audience.

The positive energy of both bands is something we could see more of in the music we listen to. Their can-do attitudes and catchy tunes make them up-and-coming bands you absolutely must add to your playlist.

Erin Alzapiedi can be reached at ealzapiedi@umass.edu.

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