Photo courtesy of The B-52s / Facebook

The B-52s

Sep 7
Sat, Sep 78pm – 10:30pm
Single Ticket Prices$40 to $450 adv
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Among the first American new wave acts to break through to mainstream visibility, the B-52s became one of the biggest success stories to emerge from the American underground in the late '70s. Making music that was full of quirks but also sounded friendly and fun to dance to, the B-52s filtered surf music, '60s pop, vintage soul, and low-budget sci-fi soundtracks through a pop culture kaleidoscope, with vocals laid over the top that suggested someone had been listening to a lot of Yoko Ono and Yma Sumac records. With their eager embrace of kitschy fashion and oddball humor, the B-52s made party music for the skinny tie crowd, and also brought a queer sensibility to their music when punk rock was turning increasingly macho and misogynistic. (Four of the five founding members were on the LGBTQ+ spectrum, and they were outspoken in their support of AIDS research and marriage equality.) At the same time, the tuneful energy of songs like "Rock Lobster," "Private Idaho," and "Legal Tender" helped them cross over to the mainstream audience. While the tragic death of guitarist Ricky Wilson nearly ended the band in 1985, they bounded back with the 1989 album Cosmic Thing, a more polished but still engaging effort that went multi-platinum and produced their biggest hit, "Love Shack." The B-52s have matured into respected elders of alternative pop, touring regularly and releasing music that embraced electronic influences on 2008's Funplex.



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