Superstar group The B-52s gave the crowd a lesson in party band rock n’ roll, with opening act The O’s.
On a beautiful Saturday night that was tailor-made for an outdoor concert, the Levitt Pavilion hosted a show that appealed to rockers of all ages. The staff at Levitt made it a wonderful night for everyone as it was their yearly benefit concert to cover the costs of all the free concerts they provide during the rest of the year. The venue was sold out, and every person in attendance came to see the headliners. Most fans had seen them multiple times and weren’t going to miss this chance.
Opening the night was The O’s, who came out to play an 11-song set of pumped-up folk/rock. John Pedigo on the acoustic guitar and Taylor Young on the banjo played most of the songs from the last two of their four albums. They finished with a fantastic jam that thrilled the crowd.
After a set change and a thank you to all the sponsors of the evening, the B-52s came out to a thunderous ovation. Fans rushed the stage as the first few notes of “Cosmic Thing” and continued dancing all night.
The band showed tons of energy on stage, and they all looked great and sounded fantastic. If there was any confusion, Fred Schneider unequivocally stated, “We’re a dance band from Athens, Georgia.”
They kept the energy and the fun going as Kate Pierson took the lead for “Mesopotamia.” Cindy Wilson pounded the bongos while Fred danced to the expressive song. The finish to the song was a short instrumental tribute to Prince in the form of “Raspberry Beret.”
The three band members were always moving as Fred sang “Lava.” It was guy vs. girls in their traditional style for “Is That You, Mo-Dean?” The singalong onstage was almost as loud as the singalong in the audience.
Kate and Cindy displayed their best Egyptian dance movements during “Private Idaho.” The thunderous applause from the crowd was indicative of the love and appreciation. The two women continued as a duet for “Deadbeat Club,” as this is what they called themselves 40 years ago when they sat around drinking coffee and talking music.
The cheers for their huge hit, “Roam,” raised the decibel level in the venue. The few people not already dancing quickly jumped up and joined the movers and groovers. The ladies teamed up again for “52 Girls,” that finished with a rocking jam.
Fred then sang a deep cut in “Channel Z” as the ladies danced seductively on either side of him. He then grabbed a cowbell as Kate danced The Swim and Cindy danced The Pony during “Dance This Mess Around” and “Party Out Of Bounds.”
It then got “Dallas Cowboys in the playoffs” loud when the crowd heard the first few notes of “Love Shack.” Cameras dominated the view as fans recorded the song and kept rolling as it turned into an extended jam. Cindy, Kate, and Fred danced in unison during a tremendous guitar solo as they finished the set.
Very few people left to beat the traffic before the band came back out for their encore. Cindy banged the bongos and Kate wailed as the backup singer while Fred performed “Planet Claire.”
The audience begged for more and got it with the crowd interaction song “6060-842.” The mesmerizing beat put the crowd in the perfect mood for their closing song “Rock Lobster.” It was the ideal song for the alternative-style dancing that accompanied it. A long, ending jam session ended the show after the women did their signature animal impressions in response to Fred’s musical questions. The evening ended with a well-deserved standing ovation.
The B-52s are still a great party band after four full decades in the business. They know each other so well that they’re guaranteed to deliver an outstanding performance. Their passion and energy make it easy to see why they’ve sold over 20 million albums and continue to sell out their concerts.
Catch The O’s as they play mainly around Dallas and have a show on radio station 95.9 The Range.
The B-52s continue the American leg of their tour through early December, then begin a tour of Australia and New Zealand in February.
Special thanks to the staff at Levitt Pavilion, and Mary in particular, for their help.
Joe Guzman of National Rock Review was on hand to record the event.
Event Date:Â 08-Oct-2016