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Monday, January 30, 2023

Riverside Fox reopens with Squeeze concert after 18 months of sleep

After 18 months of dormancy, Riverside Fox is back. I can prove it because I am there.

It was Friday night. When the British band Squeeze broke the silence, I was in the crowd.

Or rather Squeeze’s opening performance, Lizzy and the Triggermen, a popular 1940s style jazz band led by a torch singer, who mixes original with covers of Strokes, Fiona Apple and Irving Berlin. This very funny. Behind them is the squeeze.

This is the first performance in Fox since comedian Ali Wong performed on March 7, 2020.

I don’t necessarily intend to help revive the fox. This is the result of it, through the show I want to watch. Squeeze’s latecomer-will talk more in a minute-I bought a $35 ticket the day before.

Small annoyances like the high cost of raising the ticket price-I paid 48 dollars, the extra 13 dollars and didn’t even print the physical ticket-just one of the ceremonies to attend the concert. So look for free parking a few blocks away, hehe, and then queue for security. After not seeing a concert for nearly two years, all the ceremonies, good or bad, came back in a hurry.

My virtual ticket was scanned. In the luxurious lobby, people line up to drink drinks or look at T-shirts in front of the merchandise booth.

They are comforting sights. Seeing all the fans happily turning around, in pairs, in groups or alone like me (well, I brought a paperback), exploring the lobby or balcony level before 8pm, This is also true.

Have you been to a fox? The theater in 1929 was part of a chain that included the Fox Brand Cinema Palace in Redlands, San Bernardino, and Pomona. Riverside’s held a trial screening of “Gone with the Wind” in 1939. (Pomona prepared one for the “Wizard of Oz”. What a year!)

In the era of diversity, the single-screen, 1600-seat auditorium of Riverside Fox has become a white elephant. The City Hall purchased it in 2007 and began to spend $32 million to repair it and reopened the theater in 2010 with the Sheryl Crow concert.

A few weeks later I went there to watch the “Duck Soup” of the Marx brothers and watched a live performance by Frank Ferrante playing Groucho. The number of participants is small, there may be 400 people, but it is interesting.

Fortunately, I invited Jerry Tessier, whose family recently refurbished and reopened the 1931 Pomona Fox loft and joined me as a Fox fancier. Eight years later, he opened the very popular Food Hall of the Riverside Food Laboratory next door to the theater. I did not receive the fee from the discoverer.

Squeeze is only my second time in Fox. (I won’t wait another 11 years to come back.) I was a little surprised there. Squeeze passed by me in the early 1980s, only “Tempted” and “Black Coffee in Bed” made me lose consciousness.

Then, a year ago, A musician friend tweeted About Squeeze’s “Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)”, this is a kinky song about British seaside holidays. After that, I heard their excellent song “Up the Junction”, like a novel compressed into three minutes.

After laying the foundation, when I received a ticket reminder email about Squeeze’s competition in Riverside Fox this summer, I accepted it. If the venue is in Los Angeles, I won’t bother me, but spending the night at the riverside is useful for me. I bought Squeeze’s popular CD to cheer up.

As expected, the audience consisted of many people in their 50s and 60s, but there were also some young people.

When Squeeze took the stage, co-founder Glenn Tilbrook said, “It’s nice to meet you,” sounds like someone who is grateful to be seen.

The band released four consecutive songs without stopping: “This Summer”, “Big Beng”, “Hourglass” and-Long Live-“Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)”.

By then, most of us have stood up. “You are great. Thank you for coming,” Tillbrook said, and began to enter “Up the Junction.”

My night could have been completed at that time. But the band played 20 songs with almost no rhythm, and then returned to the three songs Encore, ending with “Black Coffee in Bed”.

Squeeze seems to have invested in material, even for songs from 40 years ago. Maybe the blockade has rejuvenated them. (Can I say that their performance is a “tight squeeze”? Thank you.)

I am a newbie and it took a while to figure out which is Tilbrook and which is co-founder Chris Diffford. But of the 12 songs on my popular CD, they played 11 of them, so I have a lot of touchstones.

Now, about the COVID agreement. Fox staff need to wear masks, and it is “strongly recommended” for those who have not been vaccinated to wear masks. I want to say that less than half of the attendees wore masks.

I wear one for most of the evening. Breakthrough cases are relatively rare, but they did happen. Just like on an airplane, there is no distance seat. Please proceed with caution.

Before the show, I saw a table with two members of the Fox Riverside Theatre Foundation and introduced myself. Is this the first show since the pandemic? “Yes. We are slowly increasing,” Ruthan Smith told me. “Jeffrey Osborne is tomorrow night, Monkees next Friday.”

The schedule is filling up, and there is at least one event every week: tribute performances, mariachi music, Broadway-style performances and well-known musicians. The last event on the current schedule sounds good to me: Boz Scaggs, June 5, 2022.

World Nation News Desk
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