Date: November 30th, 2019
Bands: Goldfinger, Suicide Machines, Big D and the Kids Table, Planet Smashers, Kill Lincoln, Catbite, Backyard Superheroes
The annual Skanksgiving happened after Thanksgiving, a little later than usual since Thanksgiving was practically the end of the month this year. The lineup was pretty stacked from top to bottom, although more on the punkier side of the ska punk spectrum. Nonetheless, the place was sold out and everyone loved every minute of it.
The guest list line was long and I made it just in time to run in, use the bathroom and get in the photo pit for Backyard Superheroes who went on at 5pm sharp. They are always a fun band to see live and just about the only time I see them play is at Starland Ballroom. They only played for about 20-25 minutes so if you got there a little late, you missed a fun set. Gary was his usual self and going bonkers on stage. I can’t remember too many songs they played but do remember them playing a holiday song from their upcoming holiday EP that will be premiering here soon. Plus they played “She’s Gotta Go” from their latest album Never Give Up, Never Surrender. If you’re ever in NJ, give the band a shot and check out their set.
After them was Catbite from Philly, featuring members of The Snails. Their self-titled debut album was a fun mixture of ska, soul and rocksteady. The band offered up something different from the other bands playing that night, in they weren’t punk or even ska punk. Bouncy, key-driven ska that got people moving. They played songs like “Come on Baby” and “Scratch Me Up.” Up next were Kill Lincoln, who I’m not really familiar with in terms of music. I never really listened to them but know they existed. They were a blast to photograph, as the band was jumping all over the place and it was hard to focus on just one person. They had a Less Than Jake/Catch 22 vibe to them, but more chaotic in performance. Chaotic in a good way. I don’t know their songs so I don’t know what they played but do know they covered Catch 22’s “9mm and a Three Piece Suit.” I’m gonna check out their music and pay closer attention to Kill Lincoln because they were a blast to watch on stage.
After them was a band I haven’t seen in 15 years, The Planet Smashers. They were pretty much the only reason I was at the show on Saturday. No offense to the other bands but I’ve seen most of them recently but The Planet Smashers, who I haven’t seen since 2004 at the Knitting Factory with the Aquabats. Matt was nice enough to be on my podcast back in May, and was talking with him on and off throughout the night. They were just great to finally see again, hearing a mixture of old and new songs. They played songs like “Missionary’s Downfall,” “Life of the Party,” “Too Much Information,” “Blind” and of course “Super Orgy Porno Party.” The band’s keyboard/organ player was going crazy on stage, tilting his organ and bouncing all over the stage so I took a lot of photos of him. They played for a half hour but damn, I wish they played a lot longer than that. I have a feeling they will be back again in the area when they play Supernova Ska Fest in June.
Up next was Big D and the Kids Table, another crowd favorite. It’s not a secret that over the years of doing ReadJunk and Ska, Punk and Other Junk, I have not been so nice to Big D. In the last decade, I think the band has taken a turn for the better and I’ve enjoyed their sets more when I do see them live. They are certainly fun to take photos of, that’s for sure. David was doing his usual kicks, spins and poses that make for some great photographs. They came out to Run DMC’s “It’s Tricky” and then went into “Noise Complaint.” They just released a cover album ‘Strictly Covered’ back at the end of October but nothing was played from that. I particularly liked their covers of VGS, Op Ivy and Bosstones on that album. They played songs from their previous albums instead, such as “Stepping Out,” “Shit Tattoos” and finished things up with “LA.X.”
The Suicide Machines were up next, second to last band of the night. Last time I saw the Suicide Machines, they played Gramercy Theater in 2015 with MxPx, and Vinny Nobile played t-bone for them the entire set. This time, they only had a t-bone player come out once or twice. That would be Jeremy, a.k.a. Skatune Network who was popping in and out of people’s sets for the night including Goldfinger’s and Kill Lincoln’s sets. Charlie from Goldfinger also made a cameo for the set and played guitar on “S.O.S.” Suicide Machines played a lot of old stuff like “Islands,” “Too Much,” “Face Values,” their cover of Minor Threat’s “I Don’t Wanna Hear It,” and “Break The Glass.” I believe they even played a new song as well, which they should be releasing new music in 2020. Their set ended with “Hey” with Skatune Network, “New Girl” and “DDT.”
Goldfinger finished up the night with awesomeness as usual, but this time Charlie was back playing guitar again. Last time I saw Goldfinger, it was last year on the Rocks Off boat and John crowd surfed and ended up on top of me while shooting photos. That was certainly interesting but thankfully, that didn’t happen this time. Just lots and lots of jump shots and a fun set of new-ish and old songs and some interesting covers. I think they covered the same stuff last year but still, pretty amusing to hear them cover the Friends theme song.
Goldfinger’s lineup was all-star caliber already, but then you add some horns from Skatune Network, t-bone player from Kill Lincoln I believe and Scott, formerly of Reel Big Fish came out to play a few songs on trumpet as well! I can’t remember the last time I saw Scott playing trumpet. Probably had to be at some Warped Tour I’d imagine.
Some of the highlights from their set include “Spokesman,” “Get Up,” “Tijuana Sunrise,” “Here in the Bedroom,” “Get What I Need,” “Open Your Eyes” and “Mable.” After “Mable,” my brother and I left since I was pretty exhausted since my son got me up so early and I didn’t get a chance to nap that day.
Overall, a fun show that was more on the punk side of things. Was great to finally see Planet Smashers again after all these years and see some other bands for the first time as well. Goldfinger never disappoints either. Would be cool if Starland Ballroom did a punk thanksgiving show with a stacked lineup next year…or just keep continuing the Skanskiving thing.
All the photos will be on SkaPunkPhotos.com soon, in the meantime, here’s a bunch from the show:
Big D and the Kids Table
The Suicide Machines