Squeeze @ Ryman Auditorium / Nashville TN / August 1, 2021

P1110127For 90 minutes on this Sunday night in Nashville, my experience was so surreal that I thought I was either dead or having one last wish fulfilled before the Grim Reaper came to take me away. That hyperbole pretty much sums up just how great it was to be back at a big concert. And not just any concert, but one from perhaps the best band I have ever gotten to know and love, Squeeze.

The great thing about it though is that I got the feeling that the band felt the same way as I did as they opened this US tour with their first show in quite some time. They repeatedly vocalized the joy that they were sharing with the audience. The band is here in the States on The Nomadband Tour mixing dates opening for Hall & Oates with several headlining shows on their own.

My evening was magical from the moment when I pondered what song they would open with, getting a premonition of the opening bass line for “Footprints.” How I called that one, I’ll never know. But from then on it was a full set of just about every Squeeze hit song, abandoning only “Another Nail in My Heart” and “Slap and Tickle” (Although it sure sounded like the night’s closing number of “Black Coffee in Bed” was morphing into the latter. Listen here if you don’t believe me.)

P1110104P1110105Gosh, it was so great to be with Glenn and Chris again. Having been a Squeeze supporter now for over 40 years, seeing these two felt like meeting up with two old friends again. And to see them both look so happy and healthy was a plus, let alone that they both sounded great. Glenn once again showed how he is the best vocalist ever to also play lead guitar while singing. I will even overlook Tilbrook’s surprising “man bun” which has stirred up more shock on social media since who knows when.

I could go on and on gushing about how much I loved this show. I didn’t even once complain about having to stand for the entire set. It was so exhilarating to be singing along with the lively audience choir to all these songs that I hold so dear while I couldn’t help noticing and be humbled by the young lady standing alongside me who seemed to know every word to every single song!

Amongst the familiar songs were a couple of special moments. An only-in-Nashville moment happened when local songstress Beth Nielsen Chapman joined Glenn for a duet on “Woman’s World.” Apparently, Beth has joined him on some streaming shows during the recent down time. The other surprise was when the band played East Side Story’s “F-Hole” reportedly for the first time ever! Hearing it roll into “Labelled with Love” like it does on the record was sublime.

P1110123But the big moment for me was getting to hear my favorite Squeeze song that I had never before heard played live. Following my repeated attempts during the request segments of Tilbrook solo shows only to hear him respond with “Here’s a different song, same album,” I finally heard Play’s “Wicked and Cruel.”

It was great to see so many other Squeeze fans enjoying this show and a treat to see the Mother Church just about full after a rather disappointing turn-out when the band last played there in 2008. It was also nice to see Glenn’s talented young son, Leon, open the show with a well-received solo set. Now, only to figure out where and when I can relive this fab evening at least one more time on this current tour.P1110101

P1110136PS – How many song titles did you find in the mural behind the stage?

SETLIST:

  1. Footprints
  2. Big Beng
  3. Hourglass
  4. Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)
  5. Up the Junction
  6. I Think I’m Go Go
  7. King George Street
  8. Mumbo Jumbo
  9. Cradle to the Grave
  10. The Day I Get Home
  11. Someone Else’s Heart
  12. Is That Love
  13. Heaven
  14. Third Rail
  15. Please Be Upstanding
  16. F-Hole
  17. Labelled with Love
  18. Woman’s World (with Beth Nielsen Chapman)
  19. Tempted
  20. Take Me I’m Yours
  21. Cool for Cats
  22. Goodbye Girl
  23. Annie Get Your Gun

ENCORE:

  1. Wicked and Cruel
  2. If I Didn’t Love You
  3. Black Coffee in Bed

BAND:

Glenn Tilbrook-Guitar and Vocal
Chris Difford-Guitar and Vocals
Simon Hansen-Drums
Stephen Large-Keyboards
Steve Smith-Percussion
Melvin Duffy-Pedal Steel and Additional Keyboards
Owen Biddle-Bass

Squeeze Hatch Show Print

P1110102

6 comments

  1. badfinger20 (Max) · · Reply

    Great review Mike. I’ve always thought that the Beatles comparison hurt their career…the kiss of death almost. I’m a huge fan and I wish I would have caught them. My all time favorite song by them for some reason is Piccadilly. Glad you had a great time…The Ryman is fantastic.

    1. Yes – didn’t Rolling Stone start that nonesense? I love Piccadilly and everything else on that LP.

      1. badfinger20 (Max) · ·

        Yes Rolling Stone did start it with East Side Story. That is the first thing I read about them.

  2. Great to see you had such a ball. I think I can well relate to how you felt. About a month ago, I went to my first larger music event in more than 18 months. And while the performers were “only” tribute bands (though top notch), experiencing live music again after such a long time truly was a thrill.

    Next Saturday, perhaps my favorite contemporary band Southern Avenue are playing the Summer Stage at The Stony Pony in Asbury Park. Since it’s outdoors I had planned to go, but now I’m having second thoughts.

    The other night when I stopped by in Asbury Park, I happened to witness a huge crowd attending another Summer Stage show. People pretty much were on top of each other. More importantly, like in many other parts of the country, the Delta variant is spreading rapidly in New Jersey. While I’m vaccinated, I can spread the virus just as easily to somebody else as an unvaccinated person.

  3. Scott Smith · · Reply

    Would have loved to have been there but I’m just not comfortable getting back into a crowd yet (even if all the proper protocols are in place). I remember seeing them in the Vanderbilt gym sometime in the early ’80s. Glenn was looking straight at me singing along when he flubbed the lyrics to Another Nail In My Heart and he cracked up that I got knew the words better than he did. I hope to have another chance to see them live one day.

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