Jukebox The Ghost
The 9:30 Club
Seven years ago they were headlining the Mitchell Hall Theater. Now the alumni turned indie stars are bringing their brand of pop-dance-rock to the 9:30 Club. The three-piece ensemble has been touring nearly nonstop for the past four years, including a last minute set on “The Late Show with David Letterman” last fall and opening for both Ben Folds and the Barenaked Ladies. Jukebox the Ghost’s sound is infectious; you can hear influences from some of the better pop-rock of the late 90s, and though sometimes hard to decipher, the lyrics are remarkably introspective. Part of the band’s appeal to the GW crowd is a sense of familiarity that doesn’t minimize their talent. In fact, knowing that a group of talented musicians came together at GW and are starting to make it big should be a beacon of hope for current students seeking to do the same.
Score: Who knows? Some of their songs may have been written about girls who lived in Thurston Hall. It’s power pop with infectious dance beats, and they really seem to be having fun.
Bore: It’s a big venue for them – hopefully they can fill it.
The Fillmore Silver Spring
This kid is blowing up. Not for the prude or the faint of heart, Mac Miller’s music is a refreshing insight into what it’s like to be a young artist trying to make it in the world. With his debut album, “Blue Slide Park,” dropping Nov. 8, he is only going to get bigger. Expect this show to be hyped to the max, with great beats and on-stage banter from Miller himself. He’s been relentlessly touring this year, and the results are showing, with more than 1 million followers on Twitter and even more fans on Facebook. One great thing about Miller’s music is the amount of amazing material available online for free download. His mixtape “Best Day Ever,” released in March of this year, features some his biggest tracks to date, including “Donald Trump.” Catch this show now; who knows if you’ll even be able to get tickets in a few years.
Score: The lyrics are blunt and Miller is always stunting. Ladies love him.
Bore: At some point, his rhymes will have to evolve past how great he is and how much he parties.
Band of Horses
The 9:30 Club
After being blindsided by the abrupt ending of their tour with Kings of Leon this summer, these Seattle rockers based in South Carolina are heading back out on the road. Although they have gone through several major lineup changes over the past five years, the band has retained its sound, delivering powerful analogue guitar riffs with Ben Bridwell’s lead vocals soaring above the mix. The 9:30 Club is the perfect venue for this show, and there will not be a bad seat in the house. There is a whiskey-and-beer tone to the music that just feels good, almost comforting. Like a more authentic Kings of Leon, Band of Horses has a sound that is raw and imaginative. Look out for fan favorites like “The Great Salt Lake” and “Laredo,” as well as quieter cuts like “For Annabelle.” This is going to be one of the best shows of the year and will serve as the perfect study break before finals.
Score: Southern rock that makes you think.
Bore: With so many lineup changes, the band could start to lose authenticity quickly.