NEW YORK, NY—Reunion tours warm my heart because I get to see all the bands that I missed out on before I was even conceived. So once I heard that most of the original members of The Specials were touring, I was going—even if it meant that I had to dance next to the smoky hotdog stand outside the venue the whole time.
After a quick ride into the city, I left my purse in my car, was ready to dance my troubles away, and for my face to be melted off by the end of the night. It’s nice when you walk into a venue and there’s not an opening band, but then you usually end up hearing the same 10 songs over and over again for around two hours. This wasn’t the case because DJ Trevor Evans and lead singer Terry Hall’s son Felix were playing classic reggae and ska songs and the wait seemed to go by quicker than usual.
After Toots & The Maytal’s “54-46 Was My Number” finished, the band came out with “Do The Dog.” The lights lit up and the band members were full of energy that quickly fed into the crowd, which meant it was time to turn Terminal 5 into a sweatbox. They did an amazing job playing “Concrete Jungle,” which guitarist Roddy Byers sang extremely well on. Neville hyped the crowd up, while lead singer Terry Hall stayed in the back by the drums for most of the set. The Specials played a solid set of favorites like “Gangsters” and “A Message To You, Rudy,” but they also slowed things down with songs like “Friday Night Saturday Morning” and “You’re Wondering Now.”
The band was generous throughout the whole night giving the fans handshakes, bottles of water, tea bags and guitar picks. Hall even told the crowd what hotel and room number guitarist Lynval was staying at and Neville threw Hall’s socks into the crowd, but Hall stopped midway through a song to get them back because it was the last pair he had. They did an encore of “Ghost Town” and a second encore of “Long Shot Kick De Bucket,” which was stuck in my head for the rest of the week. Overall, it was one of the best shows I’ve been to. There were no fights or your usual concert drama and everyone had a good time and left covered in sweat. I’m happy that I finally got to The Specials after all these years and I hope the band doesn’t wait another 30 years to do a reunion again.