When you go to bed terrified of the pictures that will appear of you on Facebook in the morning, it’s a pretty good bet you partied hard. Skinful persevered and topped itself once again. If Big Sandy had any effect on the crowd, you wouldn’t have known — everywhere you wandered at Skinful, there were just enough people to create that feel of a raging party. Dumpstaphunk played early but started late, and their funk throwdown proved to be the perfect mood setter for the night — we came to get down.
On the local stage, the Dead 27s showed why they’re an exciting new band to watch, charging through a five-song setlist that culminated in the Smashing Pumpkin’s “Bullet With Butterfly Wings.” Guitarist Wallace Mullinax retook the stage with Shonuff, dressed as a woman in a curly blonde wig, peaking a few epic jams over the top with ‘Beet Box’ Stratton Moore.
Back on the main stage, Chali2na and Cut Chemist may as well have been the full Jurassic 5 crew with the way the packed dance floor responded, shimmied, and screamed in enthusiasm. If DJ Muggs and Gza (rumored before the party) ever took the stage, I was oblivious, lost in my own fluid dance party through the crowd — when you’re wearing a short skirt, it’s best not to slow down.
Closing the night, the Dubplates put on a career performance, hitting every beat with precision and proving that they are the local band worthy of that sweaty post-2 a.m. keep-the-party-fresh slot, when people just want to find a body to grind on. That’s the thing about Skinful — call it hedonistic, but it’s a chance for people to forget their inhibitions and follow their animal instinct.
A tip for next year — come early. At 9 p.m., everything is bountiful (especially if you forked over the extra cash for the VIP open bar). After midnight (when VIP closes down), and then after 2 a.m. (when the cash bars close down), things can get a little sketchy. Load up early on your booze and goodies, so that when the hours wane, your belly is full and your hands are free to grab a set of hips and dance without distractions. Whether you’re chasing your desires or freeing your mind, that’s what Skinful’s really all about — letting go.