Squeeze
North American Dates 1999
reviews and setlists
San Juan Capistrano * Santa Barbara * San Francisco

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San Juan Capistrano CA, The Coach House, February 12th

    From Kristine Briggs:

    Welcome to South Orange County, where conservative Republican yuppies go to die.  The Coach House is famous throughout Orange County as a great, intimate venue for a show, and tonight was no exception.  But, boy, did this crowd get off to a slow start!  Giving the band a warm welcome, the crowd was still pretty subdued.  Hardly any movement could be detected during the songs (except for my subtle dancing-in-my-chair action), but applause were thunderous.  Glenn and the band hung in there, though, and by "Tempted" the crowd was finally into it in a big way.  I do have to say it's a dinner theater kind of place, so it's tough to really let loose. 

    If you read my review of The Galaxy show two days ago, you saw me rate it as the best Squeeze show I've seen - except, of course, for the absence of Chris Difford.  Well, much to my amazement, tonight's show surpassed even The Galaxy show.  The band was absolutely ON FIRE!!!  They were very tight and energetic, despite Hillaire having some technical difficulties that had to be fiddled with for a good chunk of the show.  But what do I know - I thought they sounded great! 

    Glenn was absolutely incredible tonight!  His guitar solos just plain rocked, and he seemed to be playing with an intensity and edge that I hadn't seen before.  I was completely blown away by his treatment of "Some Fantastic Place," which we hadn't heard at The Galaxy. His vocals get better every time I see them, and it just amazes me how he can execute those quick, complicated lyrics so flawlessly.  "Take Me, I'm Yours" was another big winner tonight that highlights each band member's incredible talents.  These guys have really got it together, and I hope this Squeeze incarnation sticks for a good long time!  But we still need Chris D.! 

    Remember how I wondered about the stage dancing encore on the tiny Coach House shoebox-size stage?  Well, we got to play "How Many Beer Drinking Squeeze Fans Can You Fit in a Shoebox?"  Sounds like fun, huh!  I knew it was coming so I was about the third person onstage, only to be pushed to the back by some huge guy who insisted on waltzing with his date.  Sorry Ash, I almost ended up in your drum set a few times!  Imagine a bunch of thirtysomethings moshing to "Black Coffee in Bed"!  Just a little crowded, but a can't-miss experience nonetheless. 

    As slow as the crowd was to start, they certainly made up for it in the end, and the guys seemed to really enjoy their eventual enthusiasm.  Like tonight, the Coach House always sells out for Squeeze, so the crowd must really dig them depite their initial reserve.  It looked like the band was really having fun, and the roaring standing ovation at the end was a real boost for the band - and much deserved! 

    Anyway, I'm not a professional reviewer, nor do I know practically anything about music, but I do know what I like.  As another fan pointed out, yes, we are extremely lucky that we have found such an amazingly talented band to adore, and that we do have the opportunity to experience a personal closeness to "our" band.  Thanks for finding your way back to Orange County, guys!  We'll see you this summer! 

    From Peter Young:

    San Juan Capistrano is situated about one hours drive down the coast from Los Angeles, with a Dinner/Concert place atmosphere, it seats about 600 people and is definitely the place to get up close and personal, and the artists seem to enjoy the atmosphere too. 

    On the way in, I was chatting to a very nice lady on the concession stand, I bought Domino & Down in the Valley, and another nice lady I met delivered them back-stage and they were delivered back to me, all signed by the Band...I also had my Camera, and being about six feet from the Stage, I got some pretty amazing shots, all of which will be scanned and passed on to the Web site for your enjoyment... 

    After getting the obligatory support act out of the way, Squeeze were announced and greeted by an enthusiastic (to say the least) Audience, mostly from the 30 something and up age group. 

    Glenn's attire consisted of a purple thin corduroy dress shirt, gray trousers and Doc Martens shoes, with hair shorter than I'd ever seen it, he was looking good, the man never seems to age does he?? 

    They launched into "Prisoner", but it wasn't until the second song "Another Nail in my heart" that the audience were hooked, or should I say "Nailed??", from the first line of the song we all fastened our seat-belts, and braced ourselves for what was turned out to be yet another brilliant performance. 

    Glenn announced that he was as surprised and disappointed as the audience were that Chris wasn't amongst them, and he was indeed truly missed, after all, Squeeze is Difford and Tilbrook...right? But he said ten minutes before they were about to leave Heathrow, they learned that Chris wouldn't be able to join them, so what should they do?...Turn around and go home? or go ahead with the tour, well, you could tell by the reaction from the audience that they definitely made the right decision. 

    The only bug of the evening was the failure of Hilaires amplifier which refused to function as it was designed, but after the first 5 songs in the set, and a few visits on stage by the sound crew it was up and running. 

    The four or five times I've seen Glenn perform I've been absolutely amazed at the energy and enthusiasm he puts into his performance, and last night was no exception, he certainly took every opportunity to flex his musical muscles with some brilliant guitar work, and of course his voice was as strong as usual, how on earth can anyone sing with such passion and still have a voice at the end of the night? This is one guy who loves his music, and it shows. 

    The rest of the Band were awesome, Chris Holland, who looks so much like his brother Jools, was certainly in fine form, and he even SOUNDS just like his brother, he gave out a couple of solos during the set. 

    Hilaire, is a fine Bassist, and although he does attempt to back up on vocals with Glenn, he is the Bassist, and obviously no substitute for Difford, but he did his job. 

    Ashley was awesome, an excellent drummer, he worked very hard, mostly in darkness at the back of the stage, but made a major contribution with his faultless Drumming, resplendent in his Black shirt, and Leather trousers, he certainly put a lot of energy into what he was doing. 

    Then came the encore, we were all invited onto the Stage to join the boys in the last few numbers, he didn't need to ask twice, I sprung onto the Stage with a crowd of others, and was lucky enough, amongst the turmoil, to end up right next to Glenn, we're the same height I found out, I joined him at the mic for the Chorus lines of "Annie get your gun" with my arm around his shoulder I thought I did a pretty good job, although I'm not expecting any record deals any time soon, I had the opportunity of meeting and shaking president Clintons hand at an award ceremony in DC last year, but it didn't come any where close to the feeling of actually singing with Glenn... 

    All in all, a wonderful performance, Chris's absence obviously left a big void, but Glenn and the Lads did an awesome job. 

    It was truly a night to remember.....I wonder if they have any tickets left in Santa Barbara for tonight's' gig....;-) 

    From Joe Ohman  (AKA - The guy with the "SQUEEZE"  TATTOO):

    Review of  three shows in three days!!! 

    WED 2-10,  THURS 2-11, and  FRI  2-12!!! 

    WOW, three awesome shows in 3 days!   First of all, let me just say to those of you in Santa Barbara and San Fransisco - YOU STILL HAVE TIME TO SEE THE BEST CONCERT OF THE YEAR!!!    They are playing tonight and tmrw, respectively!! 

    Since so many people have given the "PLAY LIST" from the show - I will just mention the songs!   Of course, SQUEEZE played all the "SINGLES" (except Cool for Cats) and the arrangement of new songs mixed in with old favorites was refreshing!  "First Thing Wrong" from U.K. Squeeze (first album) was excellent and was not on the actual song list that i was able to get from stage - OF COURSE, MY BROTHER AND I WERE ABLE TO GET ONE FROM EACH SHOW - TO ADD TO OUR COLLECTION OF ABOUT 20 DIFFERENT PLAY LISTS!!  Playing for nearly 2 hours - and having fun doing it - they also played the following:  1/2 of the new album "DOMINO," including the title track;  Electric Trains, Its Over, Melody Motel, Third Rail, Footprints, and Hourglass. 

    Glenn pulled people up on stage during the last 4 songs at each of the three concerts...  and at the last one (2-12 "Coach House" in So. Calif.) LAST NIGHT - Glenn introduced me on stage with my SQUEEZE TATTOO that I had shown them 2 nights before!!!   It was an awesome 3 days!! 

    And a special thanks to  DEBRA  who tours with the guys and their management team to do promotions and T-shirts, CD's. etc....  Debra helped me get some CD's and other souveniers signed by the band after a jerky bouncer wouldn't let me pass him!!   She flipped out her BADGE and said. "he's with me and walked me right past the big fat guy so I could chat with Glenn and meet the band and get some autographs! 

    SQUEEZE looks better than ever with a fresh look because of the new line-up which includes Jool's younger brother, "Christopher Holland," who sings and plays as well as Jools does!  "ASH" who bangs the drums better than any Squeeze drummer, and "Hilaire" who plays a FIVE-strings BASS guitar - and who in fact, TEARS up those 5 strings!!    Great bunch of guys in the new line-up!!!!! 

Santa Barbara CA, The Coach House, February 13th
    From Steven Sharp (again):

    I just returned from the Coach House in Santa Barbara very satisfied. Although not many showed up for this event and the majority being seated at dinner tables, it went over well.  I was lucky enough to get a table 3 seats from the stage and it was well worth the 2 hour drive.  I thought the sound was much improved from the Galaxy date, but Glenn's voice was a bit touch and go toward the end.  This is something he admitted himself during Black Coffee.  For those curious, set list as follows... 

    THE PRISONER 
    ANOTHER NAIL FOR MY HEART 
    DOMINO 
    IF I DIDN'T LOVE YOU 
    IT'S OVER 
    SOME FANTASTIC PLACE 
    TO BE A DAD 
    WITHOUT YOU HERE 
    TEMPTED 
    UP THE JUNCTION 
    TAKE ME I'M YOURS 
    MELODY MOTEL 
    IS THAT LOVE 
    LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL 
    LITTLE KING 
    GOODBYE GIRL 
    PULLING MUSSELS 

    ENCORE 

    FOOTPRINTS 
    HOURGLASS 
    ANNIE GET YOUR GUN 
    BLACK COFFEE IN BED 

    From Heidi Sackerson:

    Another fantastic, enjoyable evening in the company of a terrific band -- this time in the more intimate setting of the Coach House in Santa Barbara. And Squeeze proved they're just as capable of raising the roof in a sleepy little Santa Barbara club as they are in North Hollywood. 

    Big Rude Jake opened again, unfortunately they didn't go over so well with last night's crowd.  Poor guy, though, he worked his ass off up there.  I'm sure they'll be a big hit at the Fillmore. 

    Anyway!  The combination of Big Rude Jake and TOTALLY inappropriate warm-up music (I don't know what it was, but there were lots of strings... a real downer) and clanking silverware might have been enough to dissuade a lesser band, but NO!  Not our boys!  Again I didn't get a set list, but here's a list of what was played, though not in the right order: 

    (setlist snipped)

    Glenn sounded like he could use a lozenge when he talked, but you couldn't tell the difference in his singing voice at all.  The concert started out kind of slow, but by the time they launched into Up the Junction, the crowd had finally woken up. 

    I sat at a table with some non-fans, who remembered "Black Coffee in Bed" from their high school days, and it was fun to hear them yell out, "Oh, I know this song!" from time to time throughout the evening. 

    Met up with Steve Strange (hello!) and his wife after the show, and we got to say hello to the band.  They were particularly gracious, considering they still had seven hours to travel that night.  Glenn even signed one guy's baseball.  No word yet on a label for a US release of Domino

    Oh, fashion report!  Glenn was in the black shirt and trousers again last night, but no jacket (a bit more casual).  And yes, when I saw Ash out from behind his drum kit I realized he *was* wearing leather pants!  That just about gave me  apoplexy, quite frankly (in a good way).  Everyone was a bit more dressed down for the Santa Barbara gig.  After the show Chris H. was walking around outside the bus in a Mickey Mouse sweatshirt, which I 
    thought was a nice touch. 

    Straight from the horse's mouth on this one: 

    ME:  Oh, by the way... what is the significance of the doggie on the cover (of Domino)? 
    GLENN:  Oh, no.  No no.  None at all. 
    ME:  Nothing? 
    GLENN:  We just thought it looked like a Squeeze cover. 

    So there you have it. 

    From Mark Heggen:

    A quick note re the Santa Barbara show: 

    For me, the highlights were the more upbeat "Some Fantastic Place", which I think was the best version ever--sounding more joyful than sad, and Hilaire's and Chris' solos during "Take Me I'm Yours".  The new guys sound great, and much as I miss Keith's presence, there is a definite new energy to the band.  My 2-year-old daughter loved 'em, too!  (We stuck to the back of the Coach House, away from the speakers...)  Picked up the single, the album, the UK tour program, but had to miss the autographs due to one sleepy girl;  perhaps the next time around!

San Francisco, The Fillmore, February 14th
    From Steve Strange:

    A quick report on the Fillmore show last night (I'll skip reviewing the Santa Barbara show [hi Heidi & Debra!], as we've already got two on the web site)... 

    First, Big Rude Jake went over a whole lot better with this crowd than they did down in Santa Barbara.  I think they played better, two.  They even did an encore!  I always appreciate a band more the second time around anyway, since I generally know what to expect. 

    By the time Squeeze came on stage, there was quite a crowd.  Glenn's voice seemed much better than the previous night in Santa Barbara, and the sound overall was a lot better.  The Fillmore reminds me a lot of Avalon in Boston, for those of you who have seen Squeeze there.  There's something about these shows where everyone is standing, crowding around the stage, that energizes the band in a way that can't be duplicated in a "dinner theatre" type atmosphere like the Coach House.  Even though I saw the same band, playing more or less the same set list, two nights in a row, they felt completely different.  Although I like the intimacy of a small venue, there is no replacement for the exchange of excitement between band and audience that you get in these bigger clubs.  I'm sure that the band put in even more energy because it was the last show of the tour. 

    The set list was nearly the same as the other shows, with a few nice additions (probably not quite in the right order): 

    The Prisoner 
    Another Nail For My Heart 
    Domino 
    It's Over (Glenn does a great version of this live) 
    Some Fantastic Place 
    Walk Away 
    Tempted 
    If I Didn't Love You 
    To Be A Dad 
    Melody Motel 
    Up The Junction 
    Good Times Roll (Chris Holland vocals) 
    Take Me I'm Yours 
    Little King (A live version of this would make a great single, I think) 
    Is That Love 
    Goodbye Girl 
    Pulling Mussels 

    Encore (not in order): 
    Footprints 
    First Thing Wrong (!!) 
    Hourglass 
    Slap & Tickle 
    Annie Get Your Gun 
    Black Coffee In Bed 

    Glenn knows his audience, or at least the majority of his audience -- half the show was "45's and Under", excepting only "Cool For Cats" on this tour, of course.  The biggest treat for me at Squeeze shows where they pull out an obscure song from the first few albums, like First Thing Wrong.  When's the last time you heard that done live?  These older songs hold up as well as anything when done live, and they're just so much fun to hear again, and Glenn's guitar work has only gotten better. 

    I did miss Mr. Difford's vocals and rhythm guitar, but having seen "Squeeze" without even drums or bass so many times these past few years, the four-piece band sounded quite full.  And these guys really play remarkably well together -- you'd never know that they hadn't been playing together for years.  If it weren't for Chris' absence, I would have to place this performance at the top for Squeeze shows.  This latest incarnation of the band is as good as it gets! Here's hoping for their return to the States soon. 

    From Jon T.:

    My wife Cheryl and I went out for a Valentine's evening date last night; the first since our little Samuel was born 12 weeks ago.  It is always a pleasure to visit the Fillmore, and we'd been looking forward to the show for a long time. 

    Of course we were disappointed upon our arrival to be told before entering that Chris Difford was not going to perform, but we were too happy to be out and about to let it throw a damper on the evening.  I am not sure if the show was a sell-out or not, but the Fillmore looked very full to me.  "The crowd was enthusiastic and Squeeze responded accordingly!" 

    As I watched and danced (and quietly sang the low parts to myself), I thought that in this stage of Squeeze's career it was important that Glenn Tilbrook bring his new bandmates to the US, Difford or no.  Their is something rather poignant about Squeeze after all these years; they seem to struggle to keep their music heard and their band alive.  Making the decision to tour without Chris must have been a difficult one; real-life pathos straight from the lyrics of a Squeeze song.  Best regards to the absent Chris, who was most certainly missed.  Squeeze, such as it was, played their hearts out and came off quite well.  Glenn had considerably more than his usual end to hold up, and he did a splendid job. 

    As expected, Glenn Tillbrook plays the solos that you know and love straight from muscle memory.  The guitar solos in Another Nail In My Heart, Tempted, and Black Coffee In Bed were virtually note perfect.  Those and other similar solo takes are not so reflective of Glenn's ability as a player as they are his knack for songwriting and composition.  I am always more impressed with Glenn's guitar playing when he stretches out a bit on less frequently performed songs like Take Me I'm Yours, the newly-arranged (at least to me) Goodbye Girl, and If I Didn't Love You.  He is a lightning fast and technically adept guitarist, and he crafts melodic solos that flat out rock. The guy has always been a damn good player and he still is, no question. 

    He can sing, too.  Glenn really had to carry more than his usual share of vocals because of Chris's absence.  Additionally, and I must say unfortunately, Glenn got very little backing vocal support either from the keyboard player or the bass player, both of whom had microphones but neither of whom used them with any authority.  Nobody could replace or imitate the vocal stylings of Chris Difford, but there could certainly been some more effort on the part of Tilbrook's supporting cast to add some vocal punch to the show.  Oh well ... get well soon, Chris. 

    The set list was varied and well performed.  It was a pleasure to hear the selections from some of the more recent albums like It's Over and also the title track from Some Fantastic Place, and also Walk Away from Ridiculous.  (I would have like to hear Electric Trains, though . . . that's a great song.) Squeeze's new songs seem good, and I bought the cd so I can hear them a few times and really decide what I think. 

    We danced around, we sang along, and we generally had a great time.  The band played for a couple of hours and after we left the Fillmore Cheryl and I could not resist prolonging our date by stopping for a drink at an attractive cocktail bar in Hayes Valley called Absinthe.  We got home before midnight to find our little Sam and his Grandma sleeping peacefully at home.  Our domestic life is perhap not fraught with the peril of your average Squeeze ballad, but it's ours anyway! 

    From Melinda Edens:

    I won't bother with a set list, as the other seemed quite accurate, although I did manage to snag Glenn's after the show!  But here is my attempt at a review of the 14 Feb. show at the Fillmore in San Francisco!! 

    Well what can I say, I am in awe once more!  Glenn and the "new boys" amazed me with their ability to make even me ALMOST forget about Chris' absense.  Well, perhaps the vodka and coke had a little something to do with that as well (har).  But I found myself feeling as though I was listening to Glenn being accompanied by three magnificently talented musicians, rather than seeing a "Chris-less" Squeeze show.  It was THAT good! 

    Glenn's voice was in top form and he looked fantastic as well!  Very dapper in his (either grey or green) trousers and jacket, the light gels they used at the Fillmore that night made it hard to identify.  The band was tight and had good energy, though i was surprised that Hilaire and Chris didn't do more backing vocals, not that Glenn needs any assistance in sounding brilliant!  The highlight of the evening was of course when my favorite musician and yours, invited us to join him on the stage to cut-a-rug during the encore.  I was directly to his left and was fortunate enough to have tons of photos taken of me dancing like a crazed lunatic beside the masterful one himself.  As soon as they're back from the lab, you'll have 'em, Chirs and Jenn!! 

    The end of the show found the boys sitting at an autograph table set up on the side of the dance floor, where they very graciously and patiently greeted everyone who had lined up to meet them.  I had them sign my Domino CD and the tour shirt I bought that night, and spent a brief moment chatting with them before we left the city.  It was great meeting Chris H., Ash, and Hilaire for the first time, and seeing Glenn again after quite a hiatus.  I had a "diffordc@aol.com" t-shirt made just for this occasion, which I wore regardless of the fact that Chris D. was not there, and which seemed to really make an impression on the boys.  Ash said "Chris would've liked that", to which they all agreed.  Oh well, I'll save it for next time Chris!  Thanks for an unforgettable show and please, please, please...come back SOON!!! 

    From Robin Johnson: a California overview of sorts!

    House of Blues - Los Angeles 

    This was my first show of the tour as I had been unable to attend the Galaxy show in Santa Ana.  To be honest, while I love seeing Squeeze live and have not missed a tour since "Cosi", I was not very excited to be going to this first show.  I think ambivalent is the best description of how I felt, I mean Chris Difford wasn't going to be there, so how good of a show could it be?  Once I got to the House of Blues however, I started to change my tune. My friend and I walked up to the strangely vacant stage area, just left of center and proceeded to chat until "Big Rude Jake" came on to perform their set. 

    Awesome is the only word I could use to describe them!  Such energy, this Canadian group really new how to wail!  The crowd got going almost immediately as the band won them over with little or no trouble at all. Turning around from our vantage point we could see the swirls of dancing people all around us.  It was almost as if they were the headliners themselves.  Stories behind the songs were told and the band gave their all when belting out their tunes.  As a whole, I believe the audience was reluctant to have them leave, even if it meant less time with Squeeze. 

    During the intermission my friend and I again chatted and commented about the band we had just seen.  The lights came down and the main show began. If I had been expecting a boring show, I was about to be seriously disappointed!  How could I have thought that the show would be unbearable without Chris Difford?  Don't get me wrong, he was dearly missed, especially for his key parts in "Black Coffee in Bed" and "Tempted", even more so since it meant that we would not be able to hear "Slaughtered Gutted and Heartbroken" (one of my personal favourites), "Cool for Cats", "Fingertips", or "Striking Matches".  My friend and I did our best to sing his parts, but I'm afraid our voices were just too high, thus falling short of the correct notes.  Little did we know that by the end of Sunday our tired, raspy voices would allow us to sing even lower than Chris himself. 

    My friend had been to the show the night before and said that I was in for a few surprises, she had not told me that the audience would be invited to go up onstage and dance during the encore set.  What a shock that was, most bands don't trust their fans enough to do this and I'm wondering if Squeeze will ever do it again.  We saw many people from Squeeze shows of the past get up and shake their groove things!  Was I going to get up there?  Not on your life!  It was too much fun watching our nameless friends dance.  It was during this part of the set that Cyndi Lauper came out to join in the singing of "Black Coffee in Bed".  One word of advice to Cyndi though, you have a great voice and we love to hear it, but it's usually best to learn the words of a song before you get up in front of people to sing it.  She sounded fantastic and looks ageless, I only wish her lyrics matched those of the song. 

    It was also around this time that a certain amorous audience member had to be extricated from Christopher Holland.  It was quite comical to see the daunting-looking road manager first ask her nicely to take her hands off him and then having to resort to actually peeling her off of him.  For a while we didn't think they would get the tambourine away from her, but in the end (much to her chagrin) they finally did, all the while Christopher (being the consummate performer) managed to not miss a single note.  The night ended with many of the concert goers on their feet applauding enthusiastically, begging for more really.  When everyone saw that the show was really over many stayed a while and danced the night away to the disco tunes the D.J. was spinning. 

    Coach House - San Juan Capistrano 

    A slow drive in traffic is not usually the best way to start out an evening out, but it gave my friend and I plenty of time to play our favourite Squeeze/Squeeze related cd's.  Poor planning on our part was the best excuse I have for our poor vantage point for the show.  We had gotten our tickets well in advance, but neglected to get a dinner reservation so we were destined for the back of the room, a first for us at the Coach House. 

    The opening act "The Frias Brothers" (from what I can remember) was good and made the time go by quickly.  They weren't anywhere near the same vibe or stage presence as Big Rude Jake, so it was an interesting departure.  It wasn't that they weren't as good, they were just different.  Come to think of it, they were probably better suited for the venue than Big Rude Jake.  I believe they were local to the area in Southern California where the venue was located and most of their songs told stories about it.  They reminded me of Los Lobos in a way, it must have been their harmonies and the story-like quality of their music. 

    The show had us back by the bar clinging to the edge of a table singing our hearts out in between plates of really bad cheese sticks and glasses of house wine to all the songs, from "Third Rail" to "Domino" we belted them out.  Big apologies to all of our neighbors if we annoyed you.  This time we drummed up enough courage to take the stage with the other concert goers, but there were far too many of us and far too little space.  Our new friends at our table complained that they couldn't see us.  This was probably best though, since the sound on stage was so poor, it was hard for me to dance and stay in tune with what was being played.  I believe I looked pretty bad up there trying to dance to a song I could barely hear, no wonder it had been so comical to watch everyone else the night before!  It was our turn to be laughed on this night.  Many thanks to our new friends back at our table for watching our stuff and encouraging us to go up on stage!  Quite an experience to be sure! 

    Largo - Los Angeles 

    Usually when the bands we like are in town on a Friday night it's a sure bet that they are going to try to hit Largo after their show to play with Jon Brion.  My friend asked Glenn if he was going to head up there after the SJC show and he confirmed that indeed he was.  Right after their set we hot-footed it to our car and made our way back up to L.A.  We finally got to Largo at about 1am, just in time to see Grant Lee Philips finish up his set. About 1:30 am (give or take) Glenn came out and one by one the rest of the band joined him.  We were treated to a couple Paul McCartney covers (including "Maybe I'm Amazed") as well as a few old Squeeze standby's.  The show finally finished well after 2am and we made our way to our respective homes very weary from our long drive. 

    Coach House - Santa Barbara 

    This was my first time at this venue and I must admit, it cemented my feeling that certain types of gigs should not be at a seated "dinner" venue. Maybe it was the layed back atmosphere, maybe it was the average age of the crowd (which is my age), but this crowd just didn't get going as we had hoped.  Perhaps people were still disappointed that instead of hamburger buns, their hamburgers and chicken sandwiches were served on rather large pieces of white bread, maybe it was because the chips were stale, I don't really know.  Even the return of Big Rude Jake couldn't get this crowd jumping.  To our embarrassment, Big Rude Jake recognized my friend from an earlier show and brought it up during the set.  He was nice about it though and seemed pleased that we had picked up some of the lyrics to his songs. After his set he came over to thank us for showing up and was surprised when we told him we would be at the San Francisco show the next night. 

    Squeeze came on to an all but silent audience.  It was shocking.  The set they played was pretty close to being the same as previous nights, but until they played "Tempted" the crowd was just dead.  They seemed to be enjoying themselves, but in a quiet way.  I think they finally got going when they were allowed on stage to dance.  At least tonight the stage was big enough to accommodate all of those people!  It had indeed been a tight fit those other nights.  These dancers were a wild bunch indeed and their performance reminded me of those long lost college parties where the beer ran freely and group sing-a-longs were common. 

    As the show was over it was time for the long trek back to L.A. for a partial night's sleep before getting up early to drive to San Francisco. 

    Filmore - San Francisco 

    This was the best night of all.  As far as I know this was a sold-out or near sell-out show.  It was a general admission venue and the crowd was pumped and ready to groove.  Big Rude Jake came on to thunderous applause and had no trouble winning the crowd over.  When their set was done, Jake came into the audience to thank my friend and I once again for coming to the show.  Later on we saw the band yet again when we were walking into the same restaurant in North Beach.  We couldn't get away from these guys!  Too bad we had a 7 hour drive home ahead of us and work in the morning or we could have stayed and chatted, but it was not meant to be.  I just hope it wasn't frightening to see us all those nights down in the front.  I promise, we're not freakish American stalker-types....really. 

    Squeeze came out and you could tell that they were appreciative of the enthusiastic crowd.  It was either that or the fact it was Valentines Day (or possibly because it was the last night of the tour) but they seemed more relaxed than at the other shows.  Again, it was the pretty much the same set, but with the addition of Labeled with Love during the encore.  The dancers this time were a bit more energetic, especially one enthusiastic woman with a white t-shirt and "DiffordC@aol.com" written accross it.  I think her boyfriend was a little unhappy at her enthusiasm, but even he could not ruin her fun.  Finally he gave up and danced his heart out as well.  I shudder to think of all the e-mail Chris Difford must have gotten after that show from all of this woman's hopeful suitors. 

    After the show we were given a very rare treat indeed.  A table had been set up and the band sat down to sign various items from the audience.  Had we known this was going to happen I'm sure we would have brought a few interesting things for them to autograph.  Instead we made due with the mini-flyers advertising the show.  Usually I'm not one for getting autographs, but I figured, what the heck?  I'm here and since it was so crowded we won't be able to leave for a while anyway, so we might as well join in.   It also afforded us a good opportunity to speak with the rest of the band.  Ash Soan, Hilaire Penda and Christopher Holland are three very charming individuals and it was nice to be able to chat, even if it was just for a minute or two.  I even got a promise from Christopher that he would personally let me know when his solo cd is released, but am not really counting on it as I never gave him my name, let alone any information that would help him contact me.  Ah, the lost opportunities of us shy people, too numerous to count. 

    This show had been a very last minute decision for us and I'm really glad we decided to go.  I believe each of us got a total of 10 hours sleep during Squeeze's stay in California over 5 days, but it was worth, just don't ask my boss about the quality of work accomplished during that time, he may have a very different story to tell indeed!


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