The B-52s and The Go-Gos - Talking Stick Resort, Scottsdale - 7/12/13

The B-52's and The Go-Go's
Talking Stick Resort, Scottsdale
July 12, 2013 (View the full slideshow.

Two of the bigger names in the '80s New Wave scene packed Talking Stick Resort Friday night as the B-52's and the Go-Go's paid a visit to the Scottsdale casino.

As expected, there were plenty of 45-and-up attendees trying to relive the days when Nicolas Cage was starring in movies like Valley Girl, Sean Penn was Spicoli in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and checkered slip-ons were all the rage.

The flamboyant B-52's hit the stage around 8:15, and had a bit of a sluggish start with "Planet Claire." It wasn't until "Dance This Mess Around" that there was much energy onstage. But what they lacked in energy they made up for with the still-powerful vocals of Kate Pierson.

Cindy Wilson relied heavily on the backing vocal track for "Girl from Ipanema Goes to Greenland." Things only got bleaker for Wilson during the hit "Roam," where she clearly struggled to hit the notes with Pierson.

"This song is about two women getting together and doing something dangerous," Pierson told the crowd before "Legal Tender."

The Star-Trek-inspired "Love in the Year 3000" followed. "Before we invented New Wave, we were punks," Fred Schneider, said before "6060-842."

Even "Love Shack" felt a little flat compared to the studio version. The Go-Go's helped salvage the B-52's set, joining them for "Rock Lobster."

The Go-Go's, on the other hand, came out full of energy with opener "Get Up and Go" to kick off their 17-song set. Lead singer Belinda Carlisle sounded better than she probably did in the '80s, when the group partied hard.

"Who remembers the 80s?" Carlisle asked before "This Town." "Good, 'cause we don't."

The band even dipped into Carlisle's solo work, with a much more rocking version of "Mad About You."

Carlisle pointed out that her parents were on hand for the show, and guitarist Jane Wiedlin told the crowd to "Line up if you want an autograph from them."

Guitarist Charlotte Caffey made no bones about the fact they don't use backing tracks when the other guitar player said "You're watching 100 percent live music."

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Drummer Gina Schock came out to introduce a cover of the Rolling Stones' "Paint It Black," which may have been the biggest surprise of the night as the ladies sped up the tempo and tore through the classic. Wiedlin joined Carlisle for a cover of the Sparks' "Cool Places," and the pair danced around the stage. The B-52s joined the lady for a cover of "Cool Jerk" by the Capitols.

They also played a newer track, "Unforgiven," which Carlisle said was co-written by Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day. Fans really got out of their seats and did plenty of sweet new wave dance moves when they played "Our Lips Are Sealed."

"We Got the Beat" was mashed up with a cover of "Rock N' Roll All Night" by Kiss and went off without a hitch. The covers continue as the ladies paid homage to the Ramones with a cover of "I Wanna Be Sedated" before ending with the night with "Head Over Heels."

On Page 3: More photos and the Critic's Notebook.

Critic's Notebook: Last Night: B-52s and Go-Go's at Talking Stick Resort. Personal Bias: I heard plenty of the Go Go's as a 6-year-old, because they were my aunt's favorite band, and Jane Wiedlin is still a bit dreamy on guitar. The Crowd: Older, for sure. Overheard in the Crowd: "I need another drink." Better Than: Staying at home on a Friday night.

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