I believe it started in 2013, and at that time it was two nights, but Starland Ballroom started a yearly tradition that I don’t think anyone would’ve thought it would last for 6 years. The yearly tradition became known as Skanksgiving, It would become a yearly show all the ska fans would count on to dance off all their Thanksgiving meals with some of the best ska bands around. I do believe one year it was missed, but Less Than Jake made up for it by playing in January. However, the fact is, this yearly tradition has become something special, especially since people and critics all over state ska is dead. Ska is not dead, never was, well at least not in New Jersey.
Also this tradition isn’t a 3 to 4 band bill, no, the show usually starts at 4 and there are about 7 to 8 bands on the bill. This year was no exception, and the 7 bands featured were Backyard Superheroes, Catbite, Kill Lincoln, The Planet Smashers, Big D & The Kids Table, The Suicide Machines, and Goldfinger. The show sold out and the line up for 2019 was one for the books. At the time Suicide Machines haven’t played in the area since a few years back and the same goes for Planet Smashers. Bad Time Records bands Catbite and Kill Lincoln also haven’t made it to this area and was a first for them to share the stage with most of these bands. Goldfinger, Big D & The Kids Table, and Backyard Superheroes have played a Skanksgiving before, but the entire lineup was a solid ska show that everyone in attendance would enjoy each band. Goldfinger even threw in a surprise where their trumpet player for the show was ex-Reel Big Fish trumpet player Scott Klopfenstein. Another surprise Goldfinger did was let the crowd come on stage, to wish might’ve been a first for Starland Ballroom for I don’t know if they knew what to do at that point. Skanksgiving 2019 might’ve been the best one yet, not just because of the line up, but each band played as if it was their last and I believe at least one member of each band was in the crowd during their set. Not sure how 2020’s Skanksgiving will top 2019, but we have some ideas for a lineup or maybe bring back the two day show because there is no such thing as too much ska.