The Main Squeeze – Stevie Wonder Tribute – Martyrs Chicago, IL 1/16/12

Summer Camp 2013…will we hear the Main Squeeze? Let your voice be heard.

Set:  Sign, Seal, Delivered, I Wish, All I Do, Too High, Livin for the City> Boogie On Reggae Woman> Contusion> Sir Duke, Love In Need Of Love Today> Higher Ground.

The Main Squeeze doing their Squeezie Wonder set

The Main Squeeze doing their Squeezie Wonder set

There are no certainties in life, but good music speaks volumes. I know this much…Summer Camp could used to get “squeezed”. The Main Squeeze, hailing from Bloomington, IN recently relocated to the Windy City and have been showing off their chops honed overseas in China, and down in Manchester, TN at a weekly Martyrs residency on Chicago’s north side.

For the third installment the quintet decided to bring out even more funkiness to the mix with a tribute to the sweet voiced lyrically masterful legend himself Mister Stevie Wonder. Corey Frye did major justice to the Rock Hall of Famer by elevating his vocals to near perfect harmonies. His energy and enthusiasm to the craft and a musical mentor are apparent in the passion he put forth throughout the set. He even donned the trademark shades and cracked a joke midway through the set jesting “It’s so dark with these on, I don’t know how Stevie did it.”

Speaking to keyboard/keytar player Ben “Smiley” Silverstein he explained due to a uppity neighbor near their practice space that liked peace and quiet over a late night rehearsals, they only had one real “run through” before the show! Amazing. However, these guys are professionals and know the songs backwards and forwards so the night went off without a hitch. Playing together for 3+ years they really have a comfortable flow and feel of when each should step out front to solo.

Having checked out Janis & Friends Stevie Wonder Tribute set at Abbey Pub for Halloween I was eager to see how their set stacked up, both from what songs they played and how they put their “twist” on what now are such iconic songs. They only thing that was missing besides the costumes (YouTube Jaik Willis as Big Bird for a laugh) was a horn section. Yet The Main Squeeze had a number of healthy keyboard solos where Silverstein really shone. Paired with mean electric guitar fills and a bass that kept the low end tight I really enjoyed this evening immensely.

 

The Main Squeeze start the party wherever they go.

The Main Squeeze start the party wherever they go.