For 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.)
Gosh, 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.
But 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.
PS – How many song titles did you find in the mural behind the stage?
- Big Beng
- Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)
- Up the Junction
- I Think I’m Go Go
- King George Street
- Mumbo Jumbo
- Cradle to the Grave
- The Day I Get Home
- Someone Else’s Heart
- Is That Love
- Third Rail
- Please Be Upstanding
- Labelled with Love
- Woman’s World (with Beth Nielsen Chapman)
- Take Me I’m Yours
- Cool for Cats
- Goodbye Girl
- Annie Get Your Gun
- Wicked and Cruel
- If I Didn’t Love You
- Black Coffee in Bed
Glenn Tilbrook-Guitar and Vocal
Chris Difford-Guitar and Vocals
Melvin Duffy-Pedal Steel and Additional Keyboards