Legendary British ska band The Specials eased into Wednesday night's set at the Ogden Theatre with "Ghost Town" and "Do Nothing," but gradually built up the energy throughout the hour-and-a-half-long set.
"It's time to start skanking!" said original guitarist Lynval Golding just before "Rat Race."
Golding, along with other original members, including singer Terry Hall and bassist Horace Panter, kept a near-capacity crowd skanking with "Hey Little Rich Girl" and the high-octane takes of "Nite Klub," "Do the Dog," "Concrete Jungle" and "Gangsters." They were all fueled by the muscular playing of Gary Powell, the Libertines' drummer who joined the band on its current tour.
The Specials dedicated "Gangsters" to renowned ska singer Prince Buster, who passed away earlier this month and whose song "Al Capone" served as inspiration for "Gangsters." Hall dedicated "It Doesn't Make It Alright" to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. "Good luck with that," Hall said. "You're going to need it. The only difference between Clinton and Trump is one's a lying bastard and the other one's a lying bastard. Vote for Pee Wee Herman. At least you know what you're getting."
Brooklyn-based reggae quintet The Far East opened the show.
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