2 Skinnee J’s – Music Hall of Williamsburg
“Do you have any plans on Friday?” – Little did I know that this simple question would lead to seeing a reunited, one-night-only performance, of one of the greatest live acts I have seen in my lifetime: 2 Skinnee J’s.
In their heyday, knowing who the J’s were was like having the secret handshake to the coolest, most-exclusive, music clubhouse around – and once you were in, you were in for life. But simply having heard their strange brew of rock, rap, funk, fill-in-the-blank-music-style wasn’t enough – you had to see them live to truly appreciate their unique brand of musical genius.
To say the invite to this concert was a surprise would be an understatement. I had already seen the J’s last show, twice as a matter of fact; first, at their first “final” show, the “(718) Farewell Extravaganza” on July 18, 2003; then again in August of 2008 for the final night of their “Mission Accomplished” tour — and so here we are again, just a little over 4 years later.
Seeing the J’s live, whether in 2012 or in 2003, is an experience that is always exciting, always memorable, and always comforting – knowing that a Lance Rockworthy riff, or a Special J lyric, will be right there where you left it. Sure, some of their waistlines may have expanded, some of their hairlines may have receded, and yes, some of the vocals may have been a little flat at times – but that does nothing to take away from the overall experience, of which there is nothing like it. Speaking with Andy “Action” Markham before the show, he was reticent of the band’s age, but that they were all back together to have fun – and that they did, blistering through their 90-minute set of favorites, mixed with stories, anecdotes, and shout-outs along the way.
The two opening acts of the evening could not have been more different from one another. First up was a band called Exes of Evil, or EXOH (depending on their mood I guess). They were… ok. Their performance was ordinary at best, their lyrics were very gimmicky – like when Big Time Rush conveniently sings a song about that episode’s conundrum. The thing that really struck me the most was their excessive use of backing tracks. To try and enhance your musical presence on stage is one thing, theirs was out of place, disjointed, and just not very fun to listen to. Thankfully, their 30 minutes came and went, and we were on to act number 2 to save the day, and did they ever.
The next performers go by the name of the Wau Wau Sisters, a duo mixing music, comedy, and more than a little showmanship in to their act. Their act was divided up in to two parts more or less. The first part went a little like this: start with June Carter Cash, combine with healthy doses of Stephen Lynch and Howard Stern – and then make two of them. Their routine, complete with audience participation, was a sight for the ages. The second part of their act was a hair metal themed trapeze act that kept the two ladies spinning, grabbing, clutching, and otherwise getting themselves in to and out of some precarious positions. It was a performance I will not soon forget.
A big thank you to Andy for taking care of us. Also, be sure to check out our pics from the show.
There will never be another band like 2 Skinnee J’s, and that is a very, very good thing – aint nobody does it better.