Last Friday, I made one of my rare trips to the SD House of Blues for a concert....not a fan of the venue that packs too many people inside , has bad sight lines and poor air conditioning....but once in a while a band plays there that makes it worth it...
The Specials are a band I have been a fan of since I was a teenager. The were THE band of the famous British 2-Tone Ska Era. Other bands like The English Beat and Madness certainly became more famous, but The Specials are most commonly considered as the most important band of that scene. What Nirvana was to Grunge- The Specials were to the 2nd Wave Ska.
The Specials full original lineup only lasted 4 years after which Terry Hall, Neville Staples and Lynval Golding all left to form Fun Boy 3. "The Lunatics..." originally recorded by Fun Boy 3 has been re-recorded in a different way on the new Specials release called "Encore"
The were other forms of the Specials and lineup reunions over the years but this new album is the first with Terry Hall since 1981.
This tour includes 3 original members with Hall leading the way.
On this occasion the band seemed tight and active and political (although I won't dive into the politics of the band here). The crowd swirled during classics like "Message to Rudy" and "Concrete Jungle" and were respectfully enthusiastic about new material as well.
The Specials are still a live force to be reckoned with and I highly advise seeing them if they come back around.
Some of the video below will show you...