The Tommy McCook Benefit Show - Dion Knibb and the
Agitators, the Bluebeats, New York Ska-Jazz Ensemble, the
Toasters, and the legendary Skatalites.
The show started at 1:00 on Sunday, May 30. It was a benefit for Tommy McCook, one of the original members of the Skatalites who died recently. We got there around 2:00. Because we arrived so late, we totally missed Dion Knibb and the Agitators. At least I got to see the second half of the Bluebeats. Steve Prisco, the lead singer/guitarist, had great energy and charisma. Two rows of people in the front and one guy in the back were the only people skanking. I suppose it was a little too early in the show to get in the mood. Their set ended about 5 songs later. I got back into the crowd early so I could get a good spot. It took them about twenty minutes to setup, but it was more than worth the wait. The New York Ska-Jazz Ensemble is a ska-jazz band composed of members of the Toasters, Scofflaws, and the Skatalites. This time, when they played, everyone in the crowd skanked. Most of the stuff they played was from their self-titled album. They played for about 45 minutes and I skanked to every second of it. Their set ended in an encore, with their world famous “Haitian fight song”. I went to check on my aunt again. She said it was kinda loud. The Toasters took their time setting up. I could have sworn it took a half an hour. After the long wait, they finally started. I was a good three rows back, but I think I shifted back 3 more during the set. I forget what they opened with, but I think “2-Tone Army” was the 2nd song. Most of the songs they played were from their albums “Hard Band for Dead” and “D.L.T.B.G.Y.D.”, but they also played other songs like “Thrill Me Up” and “East Side Beat”. They ended after 45 minutes . We all screamed “Encore!”, but the whole band looked beat. Unfortunately, I had to catch the bus back to Easton, so I missed the Skatalites. It was a real drag. Right when I walked out of the Wetlands, I could feel my shirt soaking with sweat and cigarette smoke. I also had a pounding headache, and I was disoriented. Twas a great show.