The Main Squeeze Funks Up The Gramercy Theater, 11/27/13
The Main Squeeze is a one-way ticket to Funkytown. From humble beginnings playing to a small but strong following of camp and school friends, to opening for the legendary Meter Men with Page McConnell, the last couple of years have been quite a ride for this talented young band that shows no signs of slowing down, and their latest show at the Gramercy Theater in NYC proved just that.
There is always a personal feel to being at a Main Squeeze show, where a large majority of the crowd has been following the band and watching them grow for some years, providing for a very connected and meaningful experience. However, these people are hardly distinguishable from the freshly squozen folks who have never attended a Squeeze show, both groups radiating energy and excitement at the band’s universally funky-fresh, happy vibes.
The set was scattered with old fan favorites as well as several new jams set to be released on their upcoming EP. “Where Do We Go” was a strong, familiar opening that got everyone going, with Corey Frye’s sensuous pipes and Jeremiah Hunt’s funky basslines. The pre Turkey Day party raged on with a funky new jam, “Shake It Off,” before segueing into old classics “Mixed Up” and “Ebaneezer.” Here, Ben “Smiley” Silverstein and Max Newman were the stars, wilin’ out on keys and lending groovy guitar riffs (respectively). Next, the band paid tribute to one of their influencers, James Brown, with an upbeat rendition of “Sex Machine.”
The second half of the show really took the energy to another level, beginning with a soulful, upbeat fan favorite, “Mama Told Me.” A new one, “Tank X-ing,” veered a bit from their typical style and more towards a hard rock, head-banging vibe, accompanied by the wails of Smiley’s keytar. “Dr. Funk” is always a solid funk jam guaranteed to get everyone movin’ and groovin’, followed by two new ones to watch out for, “Finally Home” and “In A Funk.” In honor of Jimi Hendrix’s birthday, they performed an impeccable version of the late legend’s “Fire.” Another classic, “Spines,” led into an epic, powerful jam to ensure that this party wasn’t dwindling down anytime soon.
The set closed with another well-known pick, “I’ll Take Another,” before diving into a double encore of the Grateful Dead’s “Brokedown Palace” followed by a newer original, “Love Yourself Somebody.” It is always apparent in a Squeeze show that the band simply wants you to have a grand, funky ol’ time, and they certainly succeeded in this mission.
Check out one of their newer jams here, and look out for a freshly squozen EP, coming soon!
(Video by Scott Gibson)