Concert Review: Jukebox the Ghost, The Greeting Committee, May 10, House Of Blues

Jukebox the Ghost, March 15 2018

How many BFFLs did you make in high school and college? So many, right? You went through everything together: fake IDs (full disclosure: I was too much of a nerd to ever have one of these but I hear they’re great), sports games, theater, spring breaks, exams, summer jobs, travel abroad, crazy parties… you name it they were there for you. You swore to keep in touch after graduation… that may or may not have worked out but you still (probably mostly) think of them fondly. Well, what if that natural separation after school had never happened? What if, instead, you not only remained in touch but discovered unbelievable musical talent among each other? Then you would be lucky enough to be part of either The Greeting Committee or Jukebox the Ghost, both of whom played at Chicago’s House of Blues and rocked the socks off the venue.

The Greeting Committee took the stage around 8:45, the lead singer eliciting aggressive praise from the audience for her killer red romper. The group looked super young and hip in general, only a few years removed from their Kansas City days in Blue Valley High School. The band gained visibility a few years ago while still in school, releasing their first EP, It’s Not All That Bad to instant acclaim. The beauty of this young, talented crew is that they embrace everything they are expected to – their sound is bright, young, a bit angsty, and captures the feelings/thoughts/emotions we all do when we’re trying to get into “adulting.” Listening to this band online, I really liked their acoustic-heavy approach to their songs. I think a lot of young bands rely on really shocking or witty lyrics or a really unique voice to make way in the music world, but this group stood out to me for their beautiful chords and harmonies. They didn’t disappoint in person – both their instrumental pieces and their vocals and lyrics killed. Addie Sartino, their lead vocalist, has a beautifully throaty voice that I’m sure will only deepen and mature as she grows in her role – this young woman has big days ahead of her (she was also super cute at the show – thanking her Greek grandmother – Yaya – several times for being in the audience).

After a great set, these high school friends ceded the stage to their older counterparts, the college-bonded Jukebox the Ghost (JTG). Time for another moment of full disclosure: I HEART JTG. My sister and I have traveled to see them, we’ve racked up at least a dozen shows between the two of us, and we just melt every time they come out with a new single. Their newest album, Off to the Races, is only the latest in their line of instant hits. The trio KILLS IT with their piano-pop sound and oh-so-true-lyrics. “Everybody’s Lonely” is probably their best known new single and it beautifully describes the “super-connected-yet-isolated” social scene of today’s iPhone generation. JTG’s true talent, in my mind, is their ability to synthesize upbeat sound with dark realities and their set this night did that beautifully. The band went through old favorites and new tunes for a loving audience that sang along with every word. While the show itself was, of course, awesome, the highlight of my night was actually running into Ben, the lead singer, on the sidewalk a few hours before the show. Cute, kind, and totally humble, he wowed me with his total calm and happiness at meeting a random fan. Love these guys – whether on stage or on the sidewalk. They’re champs at being on the road and will, most likely, soon be in a city near you. Don’t miss the chance to see them.

Posted on by halley in Concerts