photos by Chris La Putt

"The Specials had Terminal 5 dancing" - Joe Saturday

The Specials

Boy, oh boy, did the Specials get their skank on at Coachella Friday afternoon.

The reunited English band, one of the pioneers of "2 Tone" ska-punk music, played their second U.S. show in nearly three decades (their first was a L.A. warm-up gig the night before) and they must've been hanging out at the Red Bull tent beforehand. Though the bandmembers are all over 50, they hopped, skipped, spun, and danced non-stop all over the stage. It was like a ska-punk fitness class.

The 10-piece band -- all original members, missing only founding keyboardist/songwriter Jerry Dammers -- blasted out classics like "A Message To You, Rudy," "Do the Dog," and "Monkey Man."

Organs soared, a three-piece horn section blared, and lead singer Terry Hall shuffled his feet and spat lyrics in an upbeat reggae cadence, as bassist Horace Panter fingered nimble dub lines, drummer John Bradbury cracked echoing rimshots, and Roddy Byers and Lynval Golding traded slinky guitar riffs.

"That's a dance-y song -- you can dance to it," singer Neville Staple said of "Monkey Man." You bet your checkered pants and mohawk you can dance to it -- and most fans at the Beer Garden stage did just that. [SPIN]

... and they did just that again last night at Terminal 5, the group's first of two shows at the NYC venue (and one of only four, not counting Fallon, that they're playing during this trip to North America). They do it again tonight (Wednesday, 4/21). More pictures from Tuesday, and part of the setlist, below...

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