Review: B-52’s – With The Wild Crowd!

If The Rolling Stones’ “Tumbling dice” is an endless party then the B-52s first live album, With The Wild Crowd! – Live In Athens, GA is set to replace Andy MacKay’s In Search Of Eddie Riff as the new disc to keep people boppin’ at your intimate gatherings. Fred Schneider, Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson play all the favorites in their home town at a February 2011 show commemorating the 34th anniversary of – as the press clipping puts it: “their first-ever live show on Valentine’s Day 1977.

“ The guitar wizardry of Keith Strickland burns through 18 selections – “Whammy Kiss” a thumpa thumpin’ with an inversion that the Cars would envy. “Cosmic Thing” is upside-down introspection, like dancing on pogo sticks while “Rock Lobster”, “Planet Claire” and “Love Shack” have to – and do – make their timely appearances. The Pixies said “Here Comes Your Man” while the B-52’s demand “ “Give Me Back My Man,” It might have been fun to hear them veer off and do a cover or two – The Angels’ “My Boyfriends Back” or a demented take on “Every Breath You Take” – Freddy could morph into his best Freddy Krueger to give it a sinister break, but – alas – (and perhaps, wisely) the group does just what they do best, spinning unbelievable energy with this high octane frolic, mirth and gaiety blasting out of the grooves.

True merriment. And just what we expect from this colorful ensemble.

Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at He was a film critic for Al Aronowitz’s The Blacklisted Journal, has written thousands of reviews and biographies for, and produces and hosts Visual Radio. Visual Radio is a fifteen year old variety show on cable TV which has interviewed John Lennon’s Uncle Charlie, Margaret Cho, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Felix Cavaliere, Marty Balin, Bill Press and hundreds of other personalities.