thespecials0619It was a special performance at the Vic Theatre, in Chicago, IL., by The Specials; who were celebrating their 40th Anniversary and in support of Encore - their new album, with Terry Hall (lead vocals), since 1981. 

Alongside original members Horace Panter (bass) and Lynval Golding (guitar), the band played a scorching 21 song set that, at the sold out Vic, had people skanking, raving, chanting, and clapping for more.  Terry held the audience captive, as the crowd hung onto every word and note.  The set list was a well measured balance of classics like "The Man at C&A", "Rat Race", and "Friday Night, Saturday Morning", to new material from Encore, "Embarrassed By You" and "Vote For Me", to Terry Hall's, Fun Boy Three's track "The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum", and featuring a nod to the Jamaican golden era, performing versions of Toots & The Maytals, "Monkey Man" and The Skatallites, "Eastern Standard Time". 

The Specials, have also been joined this tour by activist Saffiyah Khan, who is featured toasting on an updated version of a Prince Buster track, "The Ten Commandments".  For many in attendance it was a trip down memory lane, reliving old glory days and reminiscing of an era that had started a musical revolution, that still is felt today.  From tunes about keeping up in the rat race, to topics of race, integration, and coming together, to dancing your youthful angst away, for an evening of shaking your fist at the establishment.  The Specials provoked a special something in the crowd that night, which made sure The Specials music and message is alive and well.

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