B-52’s coming to Vail
VAIL ” The musical weirdness lurking just beneath the surface of Americana will be on display Aug. 20 as the Vail Valley Foundation brings the party sounds of the legendary B-52’s to the Ford Amphitheater.
“We always appealed to people outside the mainstream,” explained vocalist Kate Pierson, “And I think more people feel they’re outside the mainstream these days.”
An unexpected commercial and critical success, the B-52’s formed the core of the burgeoning early ’80s new wave movement, along with contemporaries like Blondie and Talking Heads. With the release of their second studio effort, “Wild Planet,” the band members created a lexicon of songs, styles, phrases and images that would set the standard for the development of the alternative music scene for the next decade.
“We just did our own thing,” said Fred Schneider, “which was a combination of rock ‘n’ roll, funk and Fellini and a game show host and corn and mysticism. The underlying message of the B-52’s is that it’s okay to be different.”
Formed in 1976, following drinks at a Chinese restaurant in Athens, Ga., the B-52’s remain unlikely rock stars, becoming the first band to glorify pop culture with an almost Warholian sense of purpose with their absurd B-movie style and off-kilter sound.
Naming themselves after Southern slang for exaggerated bouffant hairdos, the B-52’s repertoire contains timeless gems such as “Rock Lobster,” “Planet Claire” and “Private Idaho,” as well as more recent classics like “Channel Z,” “Love Shack” and “Roam.” These unforgettable dance-rock tunes, along with a unique concert experience, start a party every time the music begins.
The band’s self-titled debut disc sold more than 500,000 copies on the strength of its first singles, the garage rock party classic “Rock Lobster” and “52 Girls” galvanizing the pop world with a stream-of-consciousness approach to songwriting and outrageous performance.