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  • November 10th, 2013

    reCAP :: The B-52s :: 2013.11.09

    Written By: Chadbyrne R. Dickens
    Photos by: Dino Perrucci

    “Now we go forward into the future” – Kate Pierson

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    Shows like last night’s B-52s concert are a clear example why one is so fortunate to have The Capitol Theatre delivering such varied musical offerings to the region. Considering the band hasn’t been commercially relevant in two decades, it was impressive how a bustling and passionate fanbase, lingering for another listening of the contagious hits, packed the hallowed hall. Having sold over 20-million albums, they have released one album since 1992, but remain on top of their game and, although more mature, one can still capture exquisite glimpses of a band playing with the same renowned enthusiasm they brought forth in the 1970s

    Formed in Athens, Georgia in 1976, the party music pioneers now consist of Fred Schneider (vocals), Kate Pierson ( vocals), Cindy Williams (vocals, bongos), Tracy Wormworth (bass), Sterling Campbell (drums), Paul Gordon (Keyboards) and Greg Suran (guitar). Although set up with chairs on the floor, most patrons were too busy grooving to ever feel the cold of the canvas. Schneider, outlandishly flamboyant lead singer of “The World’s Greatest Party Band,” still lives to entertain and stated, “I’d shake my ass for free.”

    With his spoken-singing approach and quirky dancing style, he does his best to incite the heat on stage, but the spark emanated most alluringly from fireball Pierson. Possessing one of the most recognizable voices in music, she still dances as provocatively as ever in a bright orange mini-skirt while exhibiting flamboyant fun moves. The band hits its groove best when she and Williams mesh together for some of their patented luscious harmonies. Strobe lights and mesmerizing white streams cascaded around the historic venue as the varied tunes unfolded.

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    Highlights included “Dance This Mess Around” where all the musicians danced frenetically about the stage. Williams dedicated “Girl From Ipanema Goes To Greenland,” with its intensely satisfying guitar strumming, to her deceased brother Ricky, a former member of the band. Pierson mischievously introduced “Legal Tender” by quipping, “This is about two women who got something together to do something naughty.” The greatest moment of fan appreciation came during the rendition of the #3 song of 1990, from the monster “Cosmic Thing” album. The performance shared songs that exhibit that distinct New Wave flair, except a notable successful departure in the belting out of arguably their most popular ditty, “Roam,” where the two vocalists best demonstrated their wares.

    The nostalgic crowd was swept off its feet by the band’s most popular offering “Love Shack” which closed down the house in incendiary fashion before the encores. “The whole shack shimmies” lyric was poignant as Pierson simultaneously performed a shimmy dance in her bright orange mini-skirt while Schneider proved to be a mean cowbell player. The audience followed suit as the melody rings “Everybody’s movin’/Everybody’s groovin’.” The signature surfer guitar notes marking the beginning of the iconic opus that is “Rock Lobster” pushed the fans into a frenzy and marked an ideal end to the evenings musical adventure. Incredulously, the women still flawlessly hit the high notes. The established and influential act may have gotten noticeably older, but these professional musicians still brought the party music proper and it remains as addictive as ever.

    Set List: Planet Claire, Mesopotamia, Private Idaho, Lava, Dance This Mess Around, Girl From Ipanema Goes to Greenland, Roam, Legal Tender, Love in the Year 3000, Is That You Mo-Dean, 6060-842, Whammy Kiss, Love Shack, Encore: Party Out of Bounds, Rock Lobster

     

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    The Capitol Theatre Photo Gallery

    Photos by: Dino Perrucci