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Wednesday, December 13

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Review Tue Sep 02 2008

Review: Squeeze & Aimee Mann @ Ravinia, 8/31

It is perfectly acceptable for anyone to be suspect of any band reunion. When anything is so commonplace that VH1 has reality shows based around the concept, it's pretty easy to be hesitant about it. Some are excellent (Gang of Four) and others not so much (The Police). But what about when it's not a true reunion? In the case of Squeeze, this recent incarnation (the third, if you're counting) is really just about co-leaders Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford setting aside their differences. Along with them are an old bassist and two others from Tilbrook's band the Fluffers.

Not surprisingly, much of Sunday's Ravinia crowd was talkative and/or finishing their picnics by the time Squeeze hit the stage with "Strong in Reason" from their first album. It was certainly an odd choice to open with, considering that Squeeze's most popular album in the US is their excellent singles collection. It hardly did anything to grab the crowd's attention. Not even "Up the Junction" or a thumping "Take Me I'm Yours" really pulled people from their cherry crisps. Neither did the deep cuts that sprinkled the first half of their set. "Tempted" finally drew a pulse from the crowd, as did a lengthy "Black Coffee in Bed" that had a lot of the audience actually dancing. Tilbrook and Difford appeared to have forgotten the things that kept them apart for so many years as they switched lead duties. Closing out the night was a rousing "Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)."

Opening the evening was former Squeeze accompanier Aimee Mann playing with a full band. She is not the most energizing frontwoman, but she sounded excellent while pulling an hour's worth of songs pretty evenly from across her history. Highlighted by "Wise Up", "That's Just the Way You Are" and new single "Freeway", her set was perfect background music while dinner and dessert were consumed.

 
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Jim Bob Joe Smith III / September 3, 2008 8:33 AM

What made the Gang of Four reunion better than the Police reunion? They had all the original guys. And why would you think that Squeeze at Ravinia would be like a normal? Have you ever been there before? What the fuck were you expecting, crowd surfing? You're a terrible writer, and a dickhead to boot.

PJP / September 3, 2008 9:07 AM

This is less a review of the show than a review of the crowd at the show, which isn't particularly enlightening.

Hassan Chop! / September 3, 2008 6:03 PM

"You're a terrible writer, and a dickhead to boot." Says he of the immaculate syntax and even temperament.

Huh. The way I heard it, the biggest problem with the Police reunion tour was the fact that it involved all of the original members.

James / September 3, 2008 8:54 PM

Gang of Four were cohesive and energizing. They sounded as if they hadn't lost any time since they were last together. The Police were cashing in. What I heard of them was uninspired and out of time.

Yes, you got me on focusing too much on the crowd, but I've seen people at Ravinia more interested in CSO. Squeeze definitely deserved better.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »

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