On a hot Saturday night in Portland, The B-52’s kicked off the Oregon Zoo Summer Concerts series with a high-energy set of new wave hits. Opening with their song "Pump" from 2008's Funplex, Cindy Wilson, Fred Schneider and Kate Pierson quickly shifted the set into high gear as they fed off the crowd's energy. Make no mistake: After 38 years, this band is still full of fun and talent.
Master of ceremonies Fred Schneider III, being his usual offbeat, subtly sarcastic self, offered up humorous comments and banter between songs and clearly enjoyed himself and the boisterous crowd. After the relentless energy of their opening five songs, Schneider and Pierson stepped aside as Wilson gave an amazing performance, showing her vocal power and range, of “Girl from Ipanema Goes to Greenland,” followed by Pierson returning to the stage to join Wilson for an insanely great performance of “Roam”—their harmonies and vocals were nothing short of flawless.
Throughout a 16-song set that featured a great mix of classics, Schneider, Wilson and Pierson sounded as good as ever while their band delivered a boost of fresh energy and showed great chops. There is no other band quite like The B-52's, so here's to keeping this party band going for a good while longer.
Opening the evening were Olympia, Washington’s The Fabulous Downey Brothers with their Devo-esque, self-described performance of "zolo, new wave, digi punk, art-ernative" music and performance art.