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Jukebox the Ghost Keeps the Crowbar Upbeat

Crow Bar, a small venue in Ybor City centered around an even smaller stage, supplied an intimate setting for an evening of eclectic performances. Electro-pop groups Mike mains and the Branches, Coin and Jukebox the Ghost packed the house Saturday, Nov. 8.  Alcoholic beverages were advertised on every square inch of the establishment, and Pabst Blue Ribbon promotions were made just as prominent as the band’s logos on the stage.

To kick off the night, Mike Mains and the Branches presented the crowd with a performance that strayed furthest from the pop sphere and closest to the indie rock. The group performed their hit “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright” off of their newest album Calm Down, Everything is Fine and engaged the audience as a lively chorus singing (more like screaming) the lyrics, “everything is fine,” while the lead singer Mike Main wailed on his guitar.

The four-piece band Coin took the stage next, showcasing an upbeat collection of songs that had the crowd grooving to every tune. Coin’s electro-rock sound is similar to that of Two Door Cinema Club, and their set featured songs off of their upcoming album, soon to be released this January.

Coin opened with “I would,” an upbeat tune that exemplified the lead singer Chase Lawrence’s vocals and insane piano skills. The crowd responded enthusiastically to the band’s vibrant performance, but the audience’s excitement truly peaked when the band covered Simon and Garfunkel’s “Cecelia”.

Described by Mike Main as the type of music you want to blast with the windows down in your T-bird in the mid 1980s, Coin revealed to an eager fan that this performance was one of a kind; due to the upcoming release of their newest album, the band will not be performing the songs “Honey” and “It’s Okay” live again. Chase Lawrence, a recent graduate from Belmont University, explained that the band has officially signed to a record label and will be doing away with those two songs and replacing them with the material they have spent all summer putting together.

Jukebox The Ghost, emerging onto the dimly lit Crow Bar stage, was greeted by a roar of excitement from the hipster masses. They opened with a performance of “Sound of a Broken Heart,” a track off of their new self-titled album released just two weeks ago.

This album ventures into more of a pop realm, which is a drastic change from their prior indie rock feel. Nonetheless, their loyal fans, sporting their Jukebox The Ghost tattoos, welcomed the change.

Ben Thornewill, the band’s lead singer and pianist, revealed that he loves the Tampa fans for the fact that they “do not mess around.” He pleased the diehard fans with performances of some of their older tunes like “Empire”, “Hold It In”, and “Static To The Heart”.

Jesse Kristin, the band’s drummer who sported a Lou Reed tee and a fedora, ventured out of the comfort of his drum set to the mic stand performing the song  “Hollywood” from their new album.

Despite the recent changes the band has been experiencing, they still pleased their loyal fans and will surely continue to do so with the years to come.


Madison Kazar can be reached at


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