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The B-52s, The German Art Students

  • Orpheum 216 State Street Madison, WI, 53703 United States (map)

The deeply weird Athens, Georgia band remains an energetic live act. Info/tix

Photo by Joseph Cultice.

Photo by Joseph Cultice.

The B-52s have always valued having fun over everything else, and the fact that they're touring in 2018 indicates they're still having a good time. Formed by five friends in Athens, Georgia in 1976, the B-52s created a blend of kitsch aesthetics, surrealist lyrics and infectiously silly songs that quickly made them a cult favorite. From the bizarro hit "Rock Lobster" to the omnipresent earworm that is "Love Shack," the B-52s managed to have long-term commercial success while remaining deeply weird and unequivocally queer. Though they've only released one studio album in the last 25 years (2008's Funplex), the band has continued to tour semi-regularly since their heyday. While most bands in the 1980s nostalgia circuit have maybe one or two original members, the B-52s impressively still feature all the founding members except Keith Strickland, who retired from touring in 2013, and the late Ricky Wilson. The self-proclaimed "World's Greatest Party Band" might not be breaking much new ground at this point, but it's admirable that the B-52s are still playing music on their own terms. —Ian Adcock