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Monday, May 11

The Main Squeeze Review and Photos 5/2 B.B. King's Blues Club - Memphis

The Main Squeeze
B.B. King’s Blues Club, Memphis, TN
May 2, 2015

The road from the Gulf of Mexico up to the Home of the Blues is always a busy one in the first weekend in May. New Orleans, Louisiana hosts its second weekend of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival that weekend, while Memphis hosts its annual Beale Street Music Festival to kick off Memphis In May. The Main Squeeze, a Chicago-based funk band, boldly braved the road and hit both cities during the hectic opening weekend of May 2015. After a late night set in New Orleans, the band immediately set off to Memphis, and with little or no rest, The Main Squeeze brought the heat to The Home of the Blues!
The five-piece band wasted no time bringing a wave of energy with “Dr. Funk,” immediately setting the tone for the rest of the evening with a funky, laid back bass line and fleeting vocals. One of the big highlights of the first half of the set included a great cover of Ray Charles’ “I Don’t Need No Doctor,” with a funky little twist to it. Soon after that came one of the band’s latest singles “Message to the Lonely,” which heavily features the powerful vocals of Corey Frye, followed by the insanely funky “Ebeneezer,” led by Ben “Smiley” Silverstein on keys and Jeremiah Hunt on bass. “Colorful Mist” added a smooth, jazzy element to the set, while the “Where Do We Go? (Interlude)” > “Where Do We Go?” slowed things way down, gettin’ sexy with it, before slamming down a dynamic groove, alternating between four-to-the-floor dance beats and half time explosions of synth-led aural blasts.

After a brisk and tactful “Jungle,” the band rocked out a massive cover of Pink Floyd’s “Have A Cigar,” and when I say they rocked it out, I mean it was absolutely mind-blowing! Guitarist Max Newman had been on fire all night, but he really got a chance to branch out and show his true colors on this one, tapping into David Gilmore’s minimalistic approach, while at the same time strategically adding his own aggressive style to the solo at times. The Main Squeeze ended their set in Memphis with a vigorous string of tunes, starting with an extremely energetic “Mamma Told Me,” followed by some more laid back, ultimate funk from “In A Funk.” Finally, the band ended the night with “I’ll Take Another,” showing a heavier rock side of the band and capping the evening off on a high note. Frye’s vocals screamed out the chorus of “Give me one moooooore!” while the band rocked out behind him relentlessly.
I am definitely looking forward to the future of this band. Their Chicago roots have provided them with all of the necessary influences of funk, blues, jazz and rock to form a unique sound of their own. It is also worth noting that, in a modern live music scene that seems to lack the classic “frontman” on vocals that was so prevalent in rock & roll throughout the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s, The Main Squeeze thrives on Corey Frye’s epic voice, which allows the rest of the members to focus on the instrumentals. The resulting powerhouse of musical expertise allows for a combination of Western genres that forms the ultimate dance party.

Full Setlist:
Dr. Funk
2 Steps
I don’t Need No Doctor1
Space Age Celebration
Message to the Lonely
Colorful Mist
Crazy Women and Croquet
Where Do We Go? Interlude >
Where Do We Go?
Pink Piano
Have A Cigar2
Tank Xing
All In
Mamma Told Me
I’ll Take Another

1 Cover; Ray Charles
2 Cover; Pink Floyd


Words and Photos: Ragin' Randy Harris

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