Jukebox the Ghost
Jukebox the Ghost; Credit: Sachyn Mital

In 2003, Ben Thornewill, Tommy Siegel, and Jesse Kristin formed the group that would soon become the beloved three-piece power pop band Jukebox the Ghost. As students at George Washington University, the trio performed wherever they could in the city. “We were just gigging all the time and playing dive bars and coming up through that scene at the time, which was an interesting transitional moment for D.C. music because the post-punk thing was fading a bit and there were all these poppier bands that were coming into being,” Siegel tells City Paper. Since their time in D.C., Jukebox the Ghost have released six albums and embarked on countless tours across the country. Their homebase has changed, too; today, the band are primarily based out of Brooklyn. But on Oct. 27, the three are returning to the District for their third tour since the pandemic started. This show will be a little different than others on the tour. As part of their “HalloQueen” tradition, the band will perform two sets: one as Jukebox the Ghost, and another as Queen. Although Jukebox the Ghost covering Queen is quite a treat, the band will also play a few tracks from their new album, Cheers, including a song that dates back to their Washingtonian days. “‘Hey Maude’ is a song that we actually wrote when we were in college in D.C. and would play at a lot of dive bars,” says Siegel. “It was kind of long and complicated, some of the lyrics were kind of bad, so we shelved it and it took the pandemic for us to come back to it with fresh eyes and reexamine it.” For Siegel, the opportunity to play it at the 9:30 Club is surreal. “That’s the place we would have dreamed of playing [‘Hey Maude’] back when we were in college.” Jukebox the Ghost play at 7 p.m. on Oct. 27 at 9:30 Club in Northwest. 930.com. $35. 

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