Shelly is too good at these trivia games. The first Unplugged performer was, in fact, Squeeze. My cousin Bill went to a Glenn Tilbrook (former Squeeze member) concert in 2001 which led to this article/book by David Segal.

But the greatest Moment was a solo show by Glenn Tillbrook, the former lead singer of the now-defunct British band Squeeze. Just him and an acoustic guitar. Near the end of the evening, at the tiny Iota Club in Arlington, he posed a question. How many people would like me to play the next several songs in the parking lot? It was nearly unanimous. We trundled out the door, maybe 50 people, led by Tillbrook, who took his place on a ramp in the rear of the club and played — unamplified — the Squeeze classics “Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)” and “Goodbye Girl” while people danced under the moonlight. It was my kind of ecstasy. Then the cops came and shut it down, after complaints by neighbors, which made it even better.

To be in that parking lot was to feel like you were in on something that was sublime but fleeting. It’s hard to explain, but I can sum it up with the highest praise in the history of high praise: You just had to be there.

Do you have a favorite Live Concert Moment? I, sadly, do not really have one. Everything these days, as David Segal says, is so prepackaged and preplanned, that even the encore is disingenuous. My favorite live performer of all-time is, oddly enough, Garth Brooks. The man knew how to put on a fucking show. He is closely followed by the Saw Doctors, and Elton John with Billy Joel. One of my favorite moments was the Bill Kirchen concert at Nottoway Park last year, when Ellie received a real musical education.
What about you?

2 thoughts on “Unplugged”

  1. My favorite is still Phil Collins. No B S just Phil singing his ass off for 2 hours. Only one “production” moment for “in the air tonight”, but it was awesome.
    Great show and his last tour show in the US.


  2. I’ve been lucky enough to see some great shows in my short few years. Ben Folds was a highlight as were Barenaked Ladies. And 311. And U2.


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