By L Paul Mann
February 9, 2016 – NPR Indie music darlings Jukebox The Ghost and The Family Crest played and energetic and crowd pleasing show at the Regent Theatre in downtown Los Angeles last Tuesday night. The Regent Theatre is one of many of the old restored downtown movie theaters resurrected from their early 20th century roots. Like many areas surrounding the successful Staples Center complex, the former barrio on Main Street where the theater can be found, was recently transformed into a revitalized urban area. The theater which was built in 1914 has been renovated as a performance hall and restaurant and is surrounded by upscale restaurants, high-end condos and trendy boutiques. The area has undergone an astounding transformation for its former urban ghetto setting.
The show Tuesday night opened with local rockers Green Gerry. The band, which migrated from Athens, Georgia to Los Angeles, is the brainchild of Jerry Green, who first created the bands sounds solo on his laptop. Green put together a touring band after her second album and has been playing well received local shows in Southern California. With a neo-psychedelic pop music sound and catchy lyrics like on his two singles, “La La Only Marie” and “Mumbo-Jumbo,” the group has developed a fierce local following. The audience responded well to the 45 minute set.
The Family Crest took the stage next. The group sounds sort of like a mash up between Arcade Fire and ELO. The band is the brainchild of Liam McCormick, who is also the lead singer of the group. Liam leads the energetic band with singing and acoustic guitar playing similar to that in bands like the luminaries started the group with animated bassist, John Seeterlin. The current group is a seven-piece core band boasting over 400 “Extended Family” members who have contributed,in different ways to the music. “The Family Crest released its album ‘Beneath the Brine” in February 2014 and, just with its previous recordings, the San Francisco band set out to capture a plethora of instruments — including bassoon, vibraphone and French horn — in unique places, such as living rooms, churches and cafes across the West Coast”. The bands three piece string and horn section brings in the mad orchestra element similar to ELO. The rest of the band churns out high energy Americana rock. The band plays with an energy and intensity sure to lead them to headline performances in the not to distant future. The group had the swelling crowd singing along and dancing to nearly the entire set.
Headlining the evening was the Indie rock trio Jukebox the Ghost a group, that plays more than 150 shows a year. With their new self-titled album, Jukebox the Ghost, the talented trio brings memories of an early Police band with their simple catchy tunes, spiced with occasional sophisticated jam sessions.
Ben Thornewill, Tommy Siegel and Jesse Kristin all sing in the band. But keyboardist Thornewill takes much of the lead as a Ben Folds type of hyperactive lead vocalist, jumping up and down around his keyboards and bolting frequently about the stage. The band has built a steady loyal following in the last decade since their inception and some of those fans were on hand for the Regent show Tuesday night, emphatically showing their appreciation. It was a great night of Indie music in old town Los Angeles.
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