January 18, 2011

Concert #39 - Squeeze at UC Irvine (February 19, 1988)

 In 1987 I discovered "In My Tribe", the brilliant second album of the equally brilliant 10,000 Maniacs. The album hit me like a train, I could not get enough of it. Led by Natalie Merchant, the Maniacs came to Southern California in 1988, but not as a headlining act. It didn't matter to me, I went to see them anyway.

The headliners were the Squeeze, a British band I knew little about. The show took place at UC Irvine's Bren Event Center. I sat in the lower section, at the "50 yard line".

Natalie Merchant
The 10,000 Maniacs were not an exceedingly polished band, their sound was somewhat raw, but I had fun watching Natalie and the boys. They played a few songs from "In My Tribe", plus a few I didn't know. Then the Squeeze came out and I immediately said to myself "I can tell why the Maniacs are not the headliners". 

Squeeze sounded tight, they were a true band of professional musicians that were in a different league altogether. In addition to permanent members Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford, the line-up also included Jools Holland, who later went on to achieve greater fame on his own. It was a great night - I got to see the Maniacs and then got exposed to a band that since then has given me tons of pleasure.

Bren Event Center (UC Irvine)
Bren Event Center (UC Irvine)

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