Squeeze – 21 July 1988 – live at City Island, Harrisburg


A list of every Squeeze gig ever played - and many of the solo ones by Glenn and Chris. Why not leave your memories of the gig you were at?

Squeeze – 21 July 1988 – live at City Island, Harrisburg

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  1. The weirdest concert experience I had was when Squeeze played at City Island in Harrisburg, PA., July 21st, 1988.

    Now, City Island is just what it sounds like…a large island in the middle of the Susquehanna River that’s been turned into a park, picnic area and baseball field. Back in the early 80’s, they had big concerts where the ball park is now. I saw Judas Priest with Iron Maiden and later The Beach Boys there back in the day. This particular concert, however, was held in one of the parking lots. A couple of flatbed trucks made up the stage. This particular lot was surrounded by a small forest of trees. Remember that, it comes in to play later on.

    The Smithereens opened the show, the first of many Smithereens shows I’d attend, but that’s another tale. They started playing while the sun was still up, and their set went off without a hitch. Then between sets, as the roadies set up for Squeeze, the sun went down, and it was night time when the main set began.

    Gilson Lavis began a short drum solo that led into the song “Footprints”, and the stage light show comes on. Immediately, Gilson is besieged by literally thousands of flying insects from the surrounding woods, attracted by the stage lights. Flies, moths, mayflies, you name it, they’re all attacking the drummer on stage. One by one, the members of Squeeze come on stage to take their places for the opening song, and each is also met by an army of insects. They gamely continue on with the song, Glenn Tilbrook improvising some new lyrics about how “It’s f@#$ing difficult to sing with a mouth full of insects!” Jools Holland swats flies at his keyboard with a towel, just before his solo. A roadie jumps onstage to help, but his only weapon, a can of “OFF” insect repellent doesn’t help all that much. It was truly something right out of a cheap B-grade horror movie.

    Finally, Glenn Tilbrook called for the stage lights to be turned off, the flies departed, and the rest of the concert was played completely in the dark, only lit by the parking lot’s street lights.

    To add insult to injury, just before the encore, it started to rain. Squeeze did a quick version of “Tempted,” and beat a hasty retreat. Truly the most bizarre thing I’ve ever witnessed on a concert stage.

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