The B-52's were invited to perform at the historic Radio City Music Hall in the absence of Sheryl Crow. Crow announced she was no loner engaged to be married and was recovering from a cancer scare. The B-52's appeared as the opening act for the Robin Hood Foundation Benefit being headlined by the Rolling Stones in New York City on Tuesday, March 14, 2006.
The flamboyant punk rockers are fronted by vocalists Kate Pierson, Fred Schneider and Cindy Wilson with guitarist Keith Strickland. The quartet delivered an abbreviated stage stint while Stones fans were still filing into the NYC venue.
Their RCMH setlist featured dance-rock hits off a handful of the most successful B-52's albums. Four songs alone came off 1989's Cosmic Thing. The audience was generally receptive to their quirky brand of dance rhythms and humor-infused tunes.
"Strobe Light" and "Private Idaho" were both songs from 1980's Wild Planet. "Roam" was an evening performance highlight featuring the tight harmony vocals of Pierson and Wilson. Their lively duet revealed the dynamic dames were having fun on stage together.
Pierson, Schneider and Wilson strutted out together in a choreographed move to sing "Love Shack". The flashy trio got the house floor up on their feet. The crowd began clapping during the percussion break at the bridge. The lyric "Bang!, Bang!" was punctuated by dramatic pauses with the band resuming the infectious good-time feeling.
Although the B-52's did not perform an encore, they chose to close their set with "Rock Lobster", a song the late John Lennon credited as motivating him to renew his suspended recording career in 1979. Stickland's grunge guitar licks launched the cool romp, whipping the audience into a frenzy. Clearly, the B-52's brief stage jam ended way too soon for many.
N.Y.C. setlist: Strobe Light * Private Idaho * Roam * Channel Z * Cosmic Thing * Love Shack * Rock Lobster
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A cosmic groove to dance by
The B-52's shake it up to aid the Robin Hood Foundation
by Timothy Tilghman