City: Coventry, England
Local show: 8 p.m. Saturday, March 23; Warfield, S.F.; $35-$47, www.axs.com.
Download these: "A Message to You, Rudy," "Too Much Too Young"
The skinny: Seemingly every band that had a hit in the '80s, and quite a few that didn't, is getting back together these days. Even Men Without Hats reunited, for crying out loud. Still, there are plenty of reasons to get excited about the reunited Specials. Most significant of the bunch, however, is that the Specials were responsible for many of the finest English 2-Tone ska revival songs of all time -- crazy good cuts like "Ghost Town," "Free Nelson Mandela" and "Gangsters." It was a blast to finally hear those songs performed live at SXSW. So put on your best "rude boy" gear and get ready to skank when the Specials come to town.
Follow Jim Harrington at http://twitter.com/jimthecritic.