A blast from the retro past, the band that made a name for itself with catchy jam band style beats and funky mod fashion will take the stage at 8 p.m. Friday.
Ready to rock, the B-52s will undoubtedly sing their lyrically witty hits that span the band’s more than 30-year career such as 1979’s “Rock Lobster,” 1999’s “Love Shack ’99” and 2008’s “Funplex.”
With more than eight studio albums under their belts, it would be hard to believe that the B-52s’ band members — drummer Keith Strickland accompanied by singers who play multiple instruments, Cindy Wilson, Fred Schneider and Kate Pierson — believed in future success when they first played together at a Valentine’s Day gig in 1977 in Athens, Georgia.
After signing with Warner Bros. in 1979, the B-52s hit the mainstream airwaves with catchy songs composed on funky guitar riffs, danceable drumbeats and cleverly disguised sarcasm in the songs’ lyrics.
The band’s current tour is in support if its 2008 album “Funplex,” which according to the B-52s’ Web site is the band’s first album of the new century. Not bad considering the title single rocketed to No. 14 on the U.S. dance charts within weeks of its March 2008 release.
As for the album, “Funplex” has hit the Billboard charts with impressive standings at No. 4 on the alternative charts, No. 5 rock album and No. 11 on the digital albums and Billboard Top 200 charts for April 2008.
“I had been listening to a lot of electronic dance music and early rock and roll,” Strickland said on the band’s Web site. “I was inspired to use those two aesthetics together with our own sound to write some shameless dance-floor party music.”
Strickland, who writes most of the B-52s’ material, said he wanted to write songs that could hold their own against modern rock bands such as the Rapture, LCD Soundsystem and the Killers.
“I’m trying to convey a feeling when I write,” Strickland said. “I like to think of my instrumentals as landscapes. The chord changes, rhythms and sound quality of the instruments are all aspects of sonic space, which is designed for Cindy, Fred and Kate to step into. I want them to feel inspired by the music and expand on that feeling with their melodies and lyrics.
“Little did I know that with our new sounds they were going to get all sexy,” Strickland added.
This unintentional collaboration of feelings and musical melodies has created a sound that has been able to carry the B-52s through the decades down the road of success, even if Wilson and Pierson are walking that road in white knee-high patent leather go-go boots.
“Most people could not do this,” Wilson said on www.theb52s.com. “What we’re trying to do is rare, but it works out. And you get a song that is multi-faceted and has different senses of humor and has depth to it.”
The B-52s history and song-writing ability will have fans singing along and dancing in the Celebrity Showroom at the Nugget on Friday night. The show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $79 and can be purchased by calling 356-3300, (800) 648-1177 or by visiting www.janugget.com.
For more information about the B-52s or to hear some of the band’s music, visit www.theb52s.com or www.myspace.com/