SOLD OUT: The B-52s – Tickets – Oregon Zoo – Portland, OR – July 23rd, 2016

SOLD OUT: The B-52s

Oregon Zoo Summer Concerts

SOLD OUT: The B-52s

The English Beat

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Doors: 5:00 pm / Show: 7:00 pm

$34.50 - 94.50

Sold Out

This event is all ages

No outside food or beverage.
Only sealed water bottles permitted.
Rain or shine.
Valid for zoo admission day of show only.
No Refunds.

THE B-52s
THE B-52s
You don’t need to look too hard to see or hear the multi-dimensional influence of The B-52s…
For as loud as anthems like “Dance This Mess Around,” “Love Shack,” and “Rock Lobster” might resound, the group have quietly impacted alternative music, fashion, and culture over the course of four-plus decades. Selling over 20 million albums worldwide, the GRAMMY® Award-nominated quartet—Fred Schneider [vocals, toy piano], Kate Pierson [vocals, keyboards], Cindy Wilson [vocals, percussion], and Keith Strickland [guitar, drums, keys, programming]—ignited a legacy of innovation and inspiration that dates back to 1976.
John Lennon famously professed his fandom in Rolling Stone, and the Washington Post chronicled the moment writing, “Forty years ago ‘Rock Lobster’ launched the B-52s career – and revived John Lennon’s.” Meanwhile, Madonna, James Murphy, Michael Stipe, Dave Grohl, and many others espoused similar adoration throughout the years. Casting a wide net, Panic! At The Disco, Blood Orange, The Offspring, Pitbull, Roger Sanchez, and DJ Shadow sampled classics from the band’s discography. Seth MacFarlane’s Family Guy, The Simpsons, and more offered up covers of their own, while Sugarland joined the legends for a rousing rendition of “Love Shack” at the CMT Awards. Known for intergalactic micro-dresses long before they became high fashion, Yahoo! dubbed Pierson, “The original Katy Perry,” while it certainly wouldn’t be a stretch to trace the “Beehive”—which Pierson and Wilson pioneered—to Nicki Minaj and other modern style icons. Countless music critics have lauded Schneider as having one of the most distinctive voices in rock.
A 2017 piece in Salon posited they, “may be the most subversive band America ever gave us,” and it couldn’t be more on the mark. Agreeing with millions of rabid concertgoers, Pitchfork claimed, “From the very beginning, the B-52s were an undeniably great live act,” before adding that, “summoning up a proto-Riot Grrrl intensity at least a decade ahead of its time, Wilson sings as though her life depends on it.” Rolling Stone summed up Pierson’s voice as “Transcendent,” likening it to “a glitter bomb of joy.”
So how did it all happen?
Rewind to their hometown of Athens, GA in October ’76. As the legend goes, a shared flaming volcano cocktail at the Hunan Chinese Restaurant set into motion the five B’s modest plan for playing music at a friend’s house party that week. Within a year, they began lighting up CBGB’s and other popular venues as they inched towards the forefront of the post-punk movement in America codified by 1979’s self-titled The B-52s produced by music industry icon Chris Blackwell who signed them to his Island Records label.

A whirlwind of midnight dancefloor-ready spunk, punk energy, and pops of vibrant color, the seminal debut yielded “Rock Lobster” and “52 Girls” as they wowed audiences nationwide. Not only did the record go gold, but it also placed at #152 on Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” and #99 on VH1’s “Greatest Albums of All Time.”
The gold-selling Wild Planet arrived hot on its heels in 1980, boasting “Private Idaho,” “Give Me Back My Man,” and “Strobe Light,” to name a few. They teamed with Talking Heads David Byrne as producer for the cult favorite Mesopotamia EP in 1982 before 1983’sWhammy solidified the group as an omnipresent MTV fixture.
Following the recording of Bouncing Off the Satellites, co-founder, multi-instrumentalist, and Cindy’s big brother Ricky Wilson tragically passed from AIDS in 1985…only months after his last performance with the band in front of over 250,000 fans at the inaugural Rock In Rio. His spirit remained integral to those formative records, and he would also notably be the first member to come out. In a Pitchfork retrospective entitled “53 Miles West of Venus: The Enduringly Queer Legacy of The B-52s,” T. Cole Rachel wrote, “Eventually Wilson would be remembered as a kind of wily genius—a guitar player whose open-tuned style of playing would influence countless other musicians.”
In the aftermath of his death, many assumed they’d never regroup, but the surviving members bounced back bigger than ever after a much needed three-year pause…
With Keith brilliantly filling the void in with music composition and live show guitar duties, 1989’s watershed Cosmic Thing elevated the B-52s to another galaxy altogether. It moved 5 million-plus units and spawned a string of Top 10 smashes in the form of the GRAMMY®-nominated  “Roam” and “Love Shack” and was a fitting tribute to Ricky. “Love Shack” also earned the MTV Moonman that year for “Best Group Video.” Their marathon tour in support of the record would be highlighted by an Earth Day gig at Central Park for over 750,000 fans. 1992’s Good Stuff then landed a 1992 GRAMMY® nomination in the category of “Best Alternative Music Album.”  

After a 16-year hiatus, The B-52’s proved as bright, bold, and boundless as ever on 2008’s Funplex. Fitting comfortably among a truly iconic discography, it bowed at #11 on the Billboard Top 200. The renaissance continued in 2011 at the sold-out Classic Center in Athens, GA. Celebrating the 34th anniversary, fans dropped in from far and wide for what became a landmark gig chronicled on the live album and video release, With The Wild Crowd! Live in Athens, GA.

The momentum only ramped up when they roamed on tour alongside Tears for Fears, Blondie, Simple Minds, The English Beat, and The Psychedelic Furs in 2015 through 2017. The 21st century takeover showed no signs of slowing or stopping with appearances on Portlandia and RuPaul’s Drag Race. Upholding a tradition of social activism, they stand in staunch support of numerous initiatives and causes such as AIDS service, LGBTQ Rights, PETA, the Student Conservation Association, Planned Parenthood, and more.
That brings us to 2018.
Ringing in the 40th anniversary celebration in style, they co-headline a North American tour with Culture Club, taking over venues across the country. Even though he remains an active member, Keith continues to compose music at home, while Fred, Cindy, and Kate handle performance. Continuing the festivities, Da Capo Press will release the first-ever official history of the band. Meanwhile. The B-52s have joined forces with Executive Producer Fred Armisen and Director Craig Johnson [Skelton Twins, Wilson, Alex Strangelove] to develop an authorized documentary film of the group.

As they prepare a high-profile documentary and first official book, The B-52s undoubtedly stand poised to inspire and influence future generations.
The English Beat
The English Beat
The English Beat is a band with an energetic mix of musical styles and a sound like no other. The band's unique sound has allowed it to endure for nearly three decades and appeal to fans, young and old, all over the world.
When The English Beat (known simply as The Beat in their native England) rushed on to the music scene in 1979, it was a time of massive social and political unrest and economic and musical upheaval. This set the stage for a period of unbridled musical creativity, and thanks in large part to the Punk movement and it's DIY approach to making music, artists like The Beat were able to speak out and speak their mind on the news of the day, as in "Stand Down Margaret", things that mattered to them and the youth culture, as in "Get A Job", and universal matters of the heart and soul, as in their classic hits "I Confess" and "Save It For Later".
The original band consisted of singer-songwriter Dave Wakeling on vocals and guitar, Andy Cox on guitar, David Steele on bass, and Everett Morton on drums – later additions Ranking Roger (toasting) and foundational First Wave Ska legend Saxa (saxophone) completed the outfit. The band crossed over fluidly between soul, reggae, pop and punk, and from these disparate pieces they created an infectious dance rhythm.
The Beat first came to prominence as founding members of the British Two Tone Ska movement, with their classic first album "Just Can't Stop It" fitting squarely in that genre. Along with their contemporaries The Specials, The Selecter, and Madness, the band became an overnight sensation and one of the most popular and influential bands of that movement.
However, band leader Dave Wakeling never felt constrained by the movement. Dave has always viewed ska as a springboard, not a straight jacket. Indeed, the band's sound continued to evolve over their first three studio albums, through the General Public era (a band formed by Dave with Ranking Roger, the toaster from The Beat), and has continued it's evolution with the forthcoming English Beat album "Here We Go Love", a PledgeMusic crowd-funded album set for release in 2016, the band's first new album since 1982's "Special Beat Service".
Consummate showman that he is, Dave Wakeling has continued to keep The Beat alive and strong. Dave continues to tour the world as The English Beat with an amazing all-star ska backing band playing all the hits of The Beat, General Public, and songs from his new album "Here We Go Love".
You just can't stop The English Beat!