Squeeze were superb at NYC’s Roseland Ballroom

By John Curley

One of the benefits of being a veteran band, like the English band Squeeze certainly are, is that you’ve got a built-in audience that will come out in force when you’re performing. That was the case on Saturday night, April 28th, at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City, when Squeeze headlined a show that also featured another veteran band The English Beat. Roseland was packed for the show, with the crowd spilling all the way back to the bar at the far end of the venue. The members of Squeeze seemed genuinely thrilled to be playing a sold-out show in the heart of Manhattan, and they appeared to be feeding off of the considerable energy from the crowd. The crowd was in good voice, singing along quite vigorously to Squeeze’s many hits that were performed at the show. On a few occasions, Glenn Tilbrook even let the crowd take the lead vocal part. Squeeze performed all of their most familiar songs at the show, including “If I Didn’t Love You,” “Cool For Cats,” “Up The Junction,” “Another Nail In My Heart,” “Pulling Mussels (From The Shell),” “Tempted,” and “Black Coffee In Bed.”

Tilbrook was in fine voice at the Roseland show, sounding no different than he did 30 years ago. In addition to Tilbrook on lead vocals and guitar, Squeeze these days also consists of fellow founding member of the band Chris Difford on guitar and vocals, John Bentley on bass, Simon Hanson on drums, and Stephen Large on keyboards. The band’s performance was augmented by images projected on a screen behind the band, including an entertaining cartoon that was used during “Up The Junction.” Squeeze’s 90-minute performance featured a 19-song main set and a three-song encore. I had not seen Squeeze live since 1987, and I’m pleased to report that they are as great in concert now as they were then. They’ve lost nothing off of their fastball. It appeared that the crowd at Roseland loved the show, judging from the many smiling faces seen leaving the venue afterward.

The English Beat performed an opening set that was also received very well by the crowd. The audience sang along to some of their better-known songs, such as “Mirror in The Bathroom,” “I Confess,” “Save It For Later,” and their take on “Tenderness,” which The English Beat’s Dave Wakeling had originally recorded while with General Public. These days, the California-based Wakeling heads up The English Beat that tours America. Ranking Roger leads The Beat, the version of the band that tours the UK. Ranking Roger does not currently perform with The English Beat in America. Since The English Beat’s heyday coincided with that of Squeeze, pairing the two bands on this tour was a stroke of genius. The English Beat were on stage for almost an hour, and the crowd seemed in no hurry to see them leave. Their set was very enjoyable, and it helped set the tone for what was a fantastic night of music in New York City.

Squeeze’s set at the Roseland Ballroom show was as follows:

Take Me I’m Yours
If I Didn’t Love You
In Quintessence
The Knack
Who’s That
Is That Love
Points Of View
Melody Motel
Bang! Bang!
Cool For Cats
Up The Junction
Another Nail In My Heart
Goodbye Girl
Annie Get Your Gun
Pulling Mussels (From The Shell)

Slap And Tickle
Black Coffee In Bed


3 thoughts on “Squeeze were superb at NYC’s Roseland Ballroom

  1. Band WAS great. however, take a combustible combination of several hundred 40-50 yr old soccer/hockey/little league moms and dads used to teaching their kids how to “behave” and trying to relive their 20’s, pour in some alcohol and pot, stick them in a very tight standing only space for 4 hours and what do you get? 4 (at least) fist fights, angry moms and dads yelling at pot smokers, 2 people passing out cold, ems moving through the crowd to find the sick people, dozens of arguments about “position” and not just a little bit of tight space panic… wouldn’t have taken much to turn this into a really dangerous situation. But Squeeze WAS awesome. need a better venue with better control though.

  2. squeeze played a GREAT song, sounded like a memphis blues or a southern rock song right in the middle of the set. i hadn’t heard it before and i can’t identify it easily from the set list. any idea which it was? it was a great song.

  3. Hi mg. I’m not sure which song you’re referring to. Sorry! Perhaps you can check some of the songs you’re not familiar with in Spotify?

    I didn’t see any incidents in the crowd. I was standing by the soundboard, near the back of the floor in front of the stage, so there was more room to move around. There was no jostling, and everyone around me seemed to be enjoying the show and in good spirits. Quite a few people were dancing. I’ve seen many shows at Roseland and have never had a problem there. Granted, it did seem pretty tightly packed closer to the front. I couldn’t really see what was going on up there. I hope that the incidents you witnessed didn’t ruin your experience.

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