Jukebox the Ghost at the Rickshaw Stop, 3/2/13

Three surprises awaited us on Saturday night at the Rickshaw for Noise Pop 2013. First, there was a line wrapped around the block by the time doors were slated to open. Second, the show started promptly ten minutes after doors opened (a rare thing for any concert). And third, the originally-scheduled opening band was not actually who they were supposed to be. Confusing? Yes.

French Cassettes were originally slated as the opening band for the evening. However, only three guys came on stage instead of four, and they introduced themselves as another band (the name of which I neglected to remember). An email to the venue confirmed that this was three out of the four French Cassettes members; whether this was a new project or not, I can’t say. But I can say that their set was very enjoyable – bluesy and energetic.

Lighthouse and the Whaler came on next, welcomed enthusiastically by the crowd, and the enthusiasm was well-deserved. The band played an intensely layered set, building up each song into a uniquely rollicking experience – a less folksy and more rockin’ Mumford & Sons.

The dichotomy of the evening became evident once Matt Pond and his band took the stage. Matt Pond has been playing music in some form since the late 90s, cultivating a solid fan base along the way. At this point, there was a clear split in the crowd: those who have been familiar with Matt Pond for some time, and those underage folks with large Xs marked on their hands patiently awaiting Jukebox the Ghost (more on that later). Matt Pond’s set was lovely and thoughtful, wherein the band played a well-curated set of both old and new songs. The crowd starting shouting out requests, to which Matt responded with something along the lines of “this is the problem with being a band that’s been around for a long time – we’ve got a lot of songs.”

Personally, I’ve only been familiar with Jukebox the Ghost‘s 2008 Let Live and Let Ghosts – specifically, the album opener “Good Day,” which has been a staple on my iPod since the album’s release. I really had no idea that the band was not only still active, but apparently very popular with the underage demographic. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, nor does it take away from the band’s talents – it’s just something I find interesting and unpredictable. Members of the band took time to sign fans’ LPs as they set up, just before launching into an excellent and intricate set.

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