ACL Live Shots
Reviewed by Margaret Moser, Fri., Oct. 9, 2009
Oct. 4, Zilker Park
The B-52's Sunday afternoon performance demanded nothing and gave it all. The group's ability to work a giant crowd whose ages spanned at least five decades is testament to the little old band from Georgia. It was a pure delight as the natty Fred Schneider and ever-darling Keith Strickland led Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson onstage, 30 years almost to the month since their first appearance opening for Talking Heads at the Armadillo. This time, the set opened with "Pump" from last year's Funplex before slipping back thousands of years ago to "Mesopotamia," "Private Idaho," and Wilson's plaintive "Give Me Back My Man," then shifting forward again with "Funplex." That was the last nod to the present as the old favorites rolled, including "Strobe Light," "Planet Claire," "Love Shack," "Roam," and closing with their signature showstopper, "Rock Lobster." The B-52's could have easily become a cartoon, but in the same way that its once kitschy look – teased hair, heavy eyeliner, etc. – has been revived, their music has proved much more substantial and timeless than the Athens, Ga., act ever intended.