With the Wild Crowd!
Live In Athens, GA
"Surprise…Paaaaarty! Yeah, we thought we'd drop in." These are the opening lines to "Party Out Of Bounds" from the B52's 1978 sophomore release, Wild Planet, and perfectly describes what it's like to attend a B52's show. Since 1977, this Athens, Georgia party band has been giving its fans a non-stop dance party that just seems to never end, with as much fun and energy as you can handle. With The Wild Crowd! Live in Athens GA, the B-52's live DVD/Blu-ray Disc from Eagle Rock, perfectly captures this band doing what they do best - singing, dancing, enjoying the party and having a blast with a crowd that enjoys doing likewise throughout the entire show.
Filmed in the bands hometown on Valentine's Day 2011 - exactly 34 years after their first ever show - With The Wild Crowd! Live in Athens GA covers the B-52's entire recording career and includes just about every song that their fans would want to hear them play. They opened with "Pump," from their 2008 release Funplex, and it does just that: "pumping" up the party and setting the pace.
The original band - singers Fred Schneider, Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson, along with present guitarist and original drummer Keith Strickland (original guitarist Ricky Wilson died in 1985) - is joined by a group of solid musicians, including keyboardist Paul Gordon, bassist Tracy Wormworth and drummer Sterling Campbell, who help drive the show through a good two hours of fun times.
Schneider is almost a narrator of sorts and a true ring leader. Pierson and Wilson are the real singers, especially the former with her exceptional range on songs like "Roam" and "Planet Claire." Wilson stands out and puts a lot of emotion into "Give Me Back My Man." Sing-along favorites like "Love Shack" and "Rock Lobster" are made for both audience and home viewer participation.
The aforementioned Funplex release, which is well represented, is important in the history of the band as their first new studio offering in 16 years. The album includes lots of great tunes, such as the title track and "Hot Corner," with the same feel and energy of tracks from the first few albums issued in the late 70s. I must commend the Wormworth and Campbell rhythm section, who, behind Strickland, are totally in the pocket. Check out the groove on songs like "Private Idaho" and "Planet Claire." You just cannot stop tapping your toes - it's infectious!
The DVD and Blu-Ray disc also include an interview with band members, taped right onstage at the Athens Classic Center. It's a great overview from the bands perspective on the birth and continued success of the B-52's - from their beginnings as a novelty act to their huge success and more. The members even touch on how important the late Ricky Wilson was to the formation, songwriting and arrangements that made the B-52's what they are.
You just can't beat dancing your ass off to 20 tracks on this fun party in a box. It's surely a great way to spice up your next house party. There is also an audio-only version of this release available, so you can listen to it on your car stereo or iPod. Now go out, purchase With The Wild Crowd! Live in Athens GA and "Dance This Mess Around!!!"