music / Columns

Jam Central Station: Main Squeeze – 12.14.16 – The Beachland Ballroom – Cleveland, OH

December 17, 2016 | Posted by Jeff Modzelewski

I don’t know why The Main Squeeze insists on coming through Cleveland on cold, snowy winter weeknights, but they do. Of course, the band also always ends up having great shows and excellent crowds, so maybe there’s a method to their madness. The band has been growing by leaps and bounds over the past two years, including the release of Mind Your Head and a relocation from Chicago to L.A., but, at their heart, they’re still the same band of energetic and exciting performers on stage.

The band opened up with an excellent “#W W C”, and the song really set the tone for the evening. The focus tends to get put on frontman Corey Frye, and deservedly so, since he’s extremely charismatic and an excellent singer and showman. However, the rest of the band showed that they are far from just a backing group, and guitarist Max Newman was particularly ready to shred right out of the gate. The band kept it up throughout the night, with “#W W C” leading right into “All In” and the older “Dr. Funk” as the crowd kept up with the band. Frye really stepped out vocally with a great performance on “Where Do We Go.” His range is solid if not massive, but when he hits an extended note he always hits it so right on that it’s impossible to ignore.

Much of the night came from their new album, which makes sense since they have raised the bar with their songwriting on each album. It was nice when they reached back for songs like “Devil Was An Angel” or the unexpected “Ebaneezer.” I don’t get to see the band as often as I like so I don’t know how much they mix it up from night to night, but it was nice to get a few unexpected gems mixed in with the set. They also dropped a couple new tunes in during the set and made it clear that they’re working on their follow up to Mind Your Head, and the new songs they played give a good indication that they’re on the right track with their new material. The band closed out the night by taking an extended funky cover of “Shakedown Street,” (a Dead song that truly lends itself to a funk environment) into the always powerful “I’ll Have Another.” They came back for an encore of “Love Yourself Somebody,” and the crowd that had been dancing from the first song kept right on dancing through the last.

It’s easy to describe The Main Squeeze as a funk-rock band, but that seems kind of flat to me. They’re able to put together songs that build and flow, they leave themselves room to improvise and explore enough so that the songs never seem canned, and, even after years of constant touring they still bring excellent energy to the stage. Every time I see them the crowd gets bigger and more engaged in their music, and I’m excited to see what happens as that keeps happening in the future.

High Sierra announces lineup
California’s High Sierra festival announced their initial lineup for next year. The festival will take place from June 29-July 2 in Quincy, CA. The festival will feature The Trey Anastasio Band, Ween, Galactic, Mike Gordon, Fruition, and many other acts to be named later.

moe.down returns
moe. have announced the return of their moe.down festival in 2017. The festival will take place in Turin, NY from June 30-July 2. moe. is set to play 7 sets throughout the weekend, along with other bands to be named later.

TAUK announces dates
TAUK announced a lengthy 2017 tour this week. The tour will take them throughout the country after a New Years run where they’ll play shows with Galactic and STS9.

December 29 New York, NY – PlayStation Theater^
December 30 Portland, ME – State Theatre#
December 31 Boston, MA – House of Blues#
January 5 Philadelphia, PA – Theater of the Living Arts#
January 6 Washington, DC – 9:30 Club#
January 7 Washington, DC – 9:30 Club#
February 1 Providence, RI – Alchemy
February 2 Northampton, MA – Pearl Street
February 3 Rochester, NY – Flour City Station
February 4 Port Chester, NY – The Capitol Theatre*
February 28 Greensboro, NC – Blind Tiger
March 2–5 Okeechobee, FL – Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival
March 3 Savannah, GA – Barrelhouse South
March 4 Charlotte, NC – Visulite theatre
March 6 Birmingham, AL – Zydeco
March 8 St. Louis, MO – Old Rock House
March 9 Madison, WI – Majestic
March 10 Minneapolis, MN – Skyway Theatre@
March 11 Chicago, IL – Bottom Lounge
March 14 Columbia, MO – Rose Music Hall
March 15 Lincoln, NE – Vega
March 16 Fort Collins, CO – Aggie Theatre
March 17 Denver, CO – The Ogden Theatre
March 18 Durango, CO – Animas City Theatre
March 22 Jackson, WY – Town Square Tavern
March 23 Bozeman, MT – The Filling Station
March 24 Salt Lake City, UT – The State Room
March 25 Park City, UT – O.P. Rockwell
March 29 Crystal Bay, NV – Crown Room
March 30 San Francisco, CA – Great American Music Hall
April 1 Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Bowl+
April 4 Tulsa, OK – The Vanguard
April 5 Fayetteville, AR – George’s Majestic Lounge
April 6 Memphis, TN – 1884 Lounge
April 7 Nashville, TN – Mercy Lounge
April 8 Knoxville, TN – Concourse at The International
April 9 Chattanooga, TN – Revelry Room
April 12 Lexington, KY – Cosmic Charlies
April 13 Covington, KY – Madison Live
April 14 Indianapolis, IN – The Hi-Fi
April 15 Columbus, OH – Woodlands Tavern
April 18 Cleveland, OH – Beachland Ballroom
April 19 Buffalo, NY – Iron Works
April 20 Ithaca, NY – The Haunt
#w/ Lettuce
^w/ Galactic *w/ Railroad Earth
+w/ STS9
@co-headline w/ Papadosio

Turkuaz announce dates
Turkuaz announced a round of 2017 dates starting in March, which leads me to believe that the band will be taking the first part of 2017 off from the road. The band will also be hitting up festivals throughout the summer.

January 20 Miami, FL – Jam Cruise
March 2 Salt Lake City, UT – The State Room
March 3 Las Vegas, NV – Beauty Bar
March 4 Phoenix, AZ – McDowell Mountain Music Festival
March 6 Steamboat Springs, CO – Schmiggity’s
March 7 Frisco, CO – Barkley Ballroom
March 9 Durango, CO – Animas City Theatre
March 10 Telluride, CO – Sheridan Opera House
March 11 Santa Fe, NM – Skylight
March 12 Taos, NM – Taos Mesa Brewing
March 15 Davenport, IA – Redstone Room
March 16 Urbana, IL – Canopy Club
March 17 Columbus, OH – Woodland’s Tavern St. Fatty’s Daze
March 18 Columbus, OH – Woodland’s Tavern St. Fatty’s Daze
March 19 Kalamazoo, MI – Bell’s Brewery
March 21 Morgantown, WV – Mainstage
March 23 Ithaca, NY – The Haunt
March 24 Lancaster, PA – Chameleon Club
March 25 Stroudsburg, PA – Sherman Theater
April 9 Austin, TX – Euphoria Festival
April 21 Live Oak, FL – Wanee Festival
April 28 New Orleans, LA – Civic Theatre*
April 29 New Orleans, LA – Civic Theatre*
*w/ moe.

Jam Cruise
January 20-25
Sailing from Miami, FL
The Original Meters, moe., GRiZ, Galactic, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Benevento Russo Duo, Lettuce, Kamasi Washinton, The Revivalists, The Motet, Beats Antique

Los Muertos Con Queso
January 25-28
Riviera Maya, Mexico
The String Cheese Incident, Bill Kreutzmann & Bob Weir with Dave Schools, Jeff Chimenti, and Tom Hamilton, Chris Robinson Brotherhood

Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds: Three Concerts On The Beach
February 23-25
Riviera Maya, Mexico

Winter Wondergrass Colorado
February 26-27
Steamboat, CO
Railroad Earth, Leftover Salmon, Elephant Revival, Infamous Stringdusters, Sam Bush Band, Fruition, Brothers Comatose, Steep Canyon Rangers, Billy Strings

Panic En La Playa
February 27-March 3
Hard Rock Hotel
Riviera Maya, Mexico
Widespread Panic, Orgone, Southern Soul Assembly, Playa All Stars

Winter Wondergrass California
March 31-April 2
Olympic Valley, CA
Greensky Bluegrass, Yonder Mountain String Band, Leftover Salmon, The Infamous Stringdusters, Sam Bush Band, Hot Buttered Rum, Fruition

Wanee Festival
April 20-22
Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park
Live Oak, FL
Bob Weir, Widespread Panic, Trey Anastasio Band, Gov’t Mule, Leftover Salmon, Blackberry Smoke, Matisyahu, JJ Grey & Mofro

Sweetwater 420 Festival
April 21-23
Centennial Park
Atlanta, GA
Widespread Panic, Trey Anastasio Band, Ween, Lettuce, Slightly Stoopid, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Anders Osborne, Dark Star Orchestra, Twiddle

Summer Camp
May 25-28
Three Sisters Park
Chillicothe, IL

Dark Star Jubilee
May 26-28
Legend Valley
Thornville, OH
Dark Star Orchestra (x3), Greensky Bluegrass, Hot Tuna (acoustic and electric), Keller Williams and KWhatro, Rumpke Mountain Boys

June 8-11
Manchester, TN

Mountain Jam
June 16-18
Hunter Mountain, NY
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Steve Miller Band, Peter Frampton, Gary Clark Jr., Michael Franti & Spearhead, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Elephant Revival, Shovels & Rope, The Revivalists, The Infamous Stringdusters

Electric Forest I
June 22-25
Rothbury, MI

Electric Forest II
June 29-July 2
Rothbury, MI

High Sierra
June 29-July 2
Quincy, CA
Trey Anastasio Band, Ween, Galactic, Mike Gordon, Fruition

June 30-July 2
Turin, NY

Northwest String Summit
July 13-16
Horning’s Hideout
North Plains, OR

Floydfest 17: Freedom
July 26-30
Floyd, VA
Michael Franti & Spearhead, St. Paul & Broken Bones, Railroad Earth, Leftover Salmon, Shovels & Rope, Turkuaz, TUAK, Fruition

August 24-27
Arrington, VA
The Avett Brothers, Gov’t Mule, Widespread Panic, The String Cheese Incident, Umphrey’s McGee, moe, Greensky Bluegrass, John Butler Trio, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, TAUK

Thanks again for stopping by. I’ll be back next week with more jam. Until then, check me out on Facebook and Twitter for up to the minute concert announcements. Until next week, Jam On!