[Show Review] The Main Squeeze at Fox Theater in Boulder, CO | February 19, 2016

The Main Squeeze is comprised of frontman Corey Frye, Max Newman on guitar, Reuben Gingrich on drums, Ben “Smiley” Silverstein on keys, and their newest member, Bassist Rob Walker. The Squeeze men are busy at work promoting their new full-length album “Mind Your Head”, which is ripe with fresh and original material.

 

After meeting in Bloomington, Indiana, the creation of soul, rock, and funk-fusion powerhouse The Main Squeeze came to fruition. More recently they have migrated to reside in Los Angeles, where they’ve spent time recording their new album Mind Your Head. “We really enjoyed the vibe over there,” said Smiley. “The creative energy there [Los Angeles] is a lot different than the Midwest, we found.” So while the West Coast now has its hold on the Main Squeeze, the location change seems to be prophetic of the substantial success that is seemingly awaiting on the horizon.

To give a bit of context regarding the journey and growth of this band, Corey Frye gave us an aside during the show, explaining why these friends were so excited to play to a huge crowd in Boulder. When the Main Squeeze came together as a group, simultaneously the Lazy Dog’s foray into booking live music acts had just begun. It wasn’t long until the Main Squeeze played a show in the Basement (née The Underdog). And it’s wild how only five short years ago, these guys played to a Boulder audience just shy of thirty people—now they have moved their way up in the music world, selling out the Fox Theatre date on their All In Tour.

Their Friday night performance at the Fox was full of excitement and exceptional musicianship. In fact, it was absolutely a party both on-stage and off; the room was packed tightly with an elated audience, the respective band members were full of positive energy. They were beaming, and so were we. This feel-good vibe continued to materialize when Colorado’s own Jaden Carlson briefly sat in with the Main Squeeze. The jovial onstage interactions between herself, Frye and Smiley communicated to anyone watching that they were collectively having a blast. No doubt they’ve experienced this a time or two before, as evidenced through their lyrics on their tune Space Age Celebration:

Hey you, neon generation

Get Groove and feel a new sensation

Dancing Stars make living constellations

Join our Space Age Celebration

The majority of the music that the Main Squeeze performed was original material and their covers were deliciously inspired. Of course Smiley primarily held down the keys, but at multiple times during the show Corey Frye would jump in and play with him on his well-equipped setup, and even Rob Walker would hold his bass aside to play his own set of keys. While some might not think much of this switch up, it truly does take talent and musical chemistry amongst group members to pull off such smooth transitions and improvisations.

All of the Squeeze guys are unique in their talent, aside from just being plain great. These guys have an ear for funk/fusion but not exclusively. Reuben Gingrich has some excellent electronic compositions on Soundcloud– I have been listening for weeks and only within the past few days came to realize the connection between him and Squeeze. Moreover, the reported influence that Stevie Wonder has had on Frye permeated his vocals and performance style; his take on Led Zeppelin’s Since I’ve Been Loving You during the Fox show also added to the Main Squeeze’s overall artistic credibility, as it slightly sidestepped their more funk/fusion-based roots.

Watching the Main Squeeze is special, as they each hold their own in such a way that shows their respect for one another’s space to play, while also building on each other’s energy to synergize the overall experience. Mid way through the show, Smiley and Newman came out to pair up and jam center stage, complete with an unexpected keytar. But keys alone are not what sets this band apart from many others; the driving drum and bass sound, courtesy of Gingrich and Walker, was hard-hitting, on point, and had that beautiful feeling of thumping inside of your body. Like a heartbeat, but funkier…feel that funkbeat

The Main Squeeze performing at Fox Theater on 2/19/ Photo by Robin Gibson.

The Boulder Fox Theatre show was not one to miss, but if you did, do not fret. If you find yourself in Durango on March 10th, I’d say you should make every effort to catch their Animas City Theater show. Additionally, they’ve already announced a few summer tour dates in Colorado: Beanstalk Music Festival and a support spot opening for Umphrey’s McGee, with Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, at the ever-famous Red Rocks Amphitheater. It’s safe to say that, yes, I have officially been ‘Squozen’, and won’t ever look back!

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