A Skinful Halloween 

A voyeur view unmasked

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.

Slideshow
A Haunted Charleston, and Skinful
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A Haunted Charleston, and Skinful

A look through the night that was Charleston the Saturday before Halloween. The City Paper crew hits downtown and James Island for the infamous Skin Ful 2012

By Jonathan Boncek

Click to View 94 slides

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 for a night.

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