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Jukebox the Ghost’s ‘personal’ tunes to be Next @ Wex

Courtesy of Shervin Lainez

For some, an intimate dinner or movie date is the ultimate Valentine’s Day plan, but one band offers a different option, bringing its personal style of music to the stage. 

Jukebox the Ghost is slated to perform at the Wexner Center for the Arts’ Black Box on Mershon Stage Thursday at 8 p.m.

The band is touring for its third full-length release “Safe Travels,” but does not plan to stick strictly to new songs for the tour, said guitarist and vocalist Tommy Siegel.

“We’re definitely a crowd-pleaser sort of a band,” Siegel said. “We did put a lot of art into our records, but when we’re playing live we really just want people to have a good time. (Concert attendees) can expect a nice mix of old and new, and we always do a tasteless cover or two.”

Jennifer Wray, marketing and media assistant at the Wexner Center, said the band offers a sense of closeness in its shows.

“With a performer like Jukebox the Ghost, it’s an intimate performance,” Wray said. “They have these very close-to-the-heart personal perspectives that they relate through their music”

This quality has garnered Brooklyn-based Jukebox the Ghost the most attention from its fans.

“Their lyrics are extremely relatable,” said Anne Gubics, a fourth-year in linguistics and non-profit management. Gubics has seen Jukebox the Ghost five times in concert and plans to attend Thursday’s show. 

Jukebox the Ghost’s music is “really personal,” she said.

Wray said the venue will accentuate this personal experience. 

“(At the Black Box on Mershon Stage) there’s no kind of barrier between you and that stage space. You really are up close and personal with the musicians whose work you’re enjoying,” she said.

Siegel said the members of Jukebox the Ghost met while attending college at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Now, Siegel and Ben Thornewill, the band’s pianist and vocalist, are the primary songwriters for the band.

“Ben and I both write independently, then we’ll bring it to the band to arrange,” Siegel said. 

The third and final member of the band is drummer Jesse Kristin.

Jukebox the Ghost will celebrate nine years together this fall, and the pair’s songwriting has evolved with its age. 

“We both have a clear sense of the kind of stuff that we know worked well for Jukebox the Ghost,” Siegel said. “When we’re writing it seems a little more targeted than it used to. We used to kind of struggle with writing for genres that didn’t quite sit with Jukebox the Ghost. Now it’s a little more honed in.”

Siegel said the band’s third album is its best work yet.

“We’re really proud of the new record,” he said. “This new one is the one I’m happiest with.” 

Jukebox the Ghost’s performance is part of the Wexner Center’s “Next @ Wex” series, showcasing “a combination of young, indie scene music innovators as well as sort of breakout bands,” Wray said.

Tickets for the show are $12 through the Wexner Center’s website. Opening artists are Matt Pond and The Lighthouse and the Whaler.

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