Skindred @ Rock City, 06/11/15
The most energetic gig I’ve ever been to.
When I arrived at Rock City for the act, the crowd was bustling and ready for a fight; well warmed up by the supporting acts. I have to admit, as someone who has been to a Skindred gig before, I was terrified of having to stand in the pit alone. Thankfully, I found a nice cosy spot on the balcony, and watched the madness commence.
First of all I’d like to address the lead singer, Benjo Webbe’s, rather confusing and original dress sense. With his classic punk look, he donned a Union Jack, and long black coat with a painted white face on the back. However, the confusion started when half way through the gig he somehow fabricated out of thin air a glittery scarf, not that he needs any wardrobe additions to convey how utterly fabulous he is.
As predicted, the gig was loud, theatrical, and absolutely electric. Webbe would burst into long speeches on subjects which were close to his heart that the crowd really empathised with, making them even more mesmerized by the aura of the band. At one point Webbe stated “I don’t care if you’re black, white, gay, green, everyone is welcome at a Skindred gig.” He really is the Lady Gaga of Punk metal-Reggae. The lead singer also made a long speech about how loyal metal fans are to the genre, and how they are great for not listening to bad reviews, or being disheartened by other people thinking their lifestyle is ‘weird’. Their fans were loyal enough to get their album to #29 in the charts, quite impressive for a metal album. Along with their humorous use of expletives, and stopping songs because one person in the crowd looked like they weren’t having a great time, there’s one thing for sure, this band knows how to engage the crowd.
From the very start, hit after hit played. One song which went down particularly well with the crowd was ‘Pressure’, with its reggae undertone and breath-taking guitar work, every single person in that crowd was either going crazy in a pit, or getting dowwwwn low and dancing their socks and shirt (literally) off. In the encore, after making the crowd wait for a full 5 minutes to the point where some people left, they came back on stage with the lead singers of support acts Crossfaith and HED p.e., to give Rock City one last electrifying number, of a Skindred original mixed with some EDM beats and Kanye West’s ‘Power’. This creative mix was absolutely perfect, and of course, the crowd went wild.
Finally, I’d like to address the part of the gig I was waiting for all night, THE NEWPORT HELICOPTER. This involves the crowd taking their shirts of and spinning them around for an entire song. It’s sweaty, it’s crazy, and it’s a lot like Ocean on a Friday night.
I’m having trouble summing up just how amazing this gig was, but whether you’re a fan of metal or not, I believe that everyone should go to a Skindred gig, because they’re bloody amazing.
By Priyanka Mistry