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B-52’s Pierson entering Vegas gig: ‘We’ve stood the test of time’

Updated May 4, 2023 - 8:59 am

When the B-52’s legendarily sang, “Tin roof! Rusted!” they were not referring to a fancy theater designed as an opera house.

The Venetian Theatre is now the Love Shack for the new-wave party band out of Atlanta. The B-52’s open the first of two stints on the Strip on Friday night. The series continues Saturday, Wednesday, and May 12-13. The band is back for five more dates straddling late August and September.

Founding members Fred Schneider, Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson are raising the roof and holding down the beat for the Las Vegas shows. Pierson talked of the band’s indelible appeal recently, during a phone chat from Cape Cod, which she agreed should be renamed, “Kate Cod.”

Pierson recognizes the band’s indelible career, dating to its formation in 1976.

“I just feel like we’ve had this unique niche, a unique spot in the music pantheon of being just different,” Pierson said. “We are a really different band. We’ve stood the test of time, just because we’re so unique. We don’t really fall into a genre. We’re in the ’80s category, I guess, but I don’t think of us as just 80s, I think we have a longer lifespan.”

The band has already headlined its own “farewell tour” in 2022. Those dates enlarged the B-52’s set list for The Venetian.

“We added a lot of songs to our farewell tour, so we have a bigger pool to kind of draw from and we’re going to add a couple of new, quirky additions,” Pierson said. “Not to give it all away, but we have to do ‘Queen of Las Vegas.’ ” That’s the ode to our city from the 1983 album “Whammy.”

The B-52s’ sense of originality appeals to multiple generations. That measure of appeal is why the band has booked 10 shows on the Strip, and why the band has finally signed on for a residency after 20 years of seeking the right opportunity.

“The timeline of the band has been expanded, because of “Love Shack’ and ‘Roam,’ but also because of ‘Rock Lobster’ and ‘Private Idaho’ and the first couple of records,” Pierson said. “I guess because of YouTube and things being posted on the Internet, we have a whole new audience of younger fans. We have our old fans, but now all these new people. It’s really been fun seeing this kind of resurgence.”

The B-52’s surge of popularity should only continue. The band is “knee deep,” Pierson says, in a full-length documentary being produced by music/comedy great Fred Armisen, directed by Craig Johnson (of “The Skeleton Twins” and “Alex Strangelove” fame).

The project has been ongoing for about five years, with no release date set. The film should cover, exhaustively, the band’s nearly 50-year career.

“We have all kinds of archival material that all of us, luckily, have hoarded,” Pierson said. “We have Super 8 footage and lots of photographs.The archivist said we have more content than any band they’ve worked with. We have just tons of stuff.”

Pierson said the band is also working on a picture book of photos and material “that we dug up.”

“What’s next? It might be Broadway, but who knows?” Pierson said. “Right now we’re playing this beautiful recreation of a Venetian opera house, in true Vegas style.”

Jonas to the fore!

The Jonas Brothers’ momentum and relationship with Las Vegas continues to build as they take on “The Tour.” Brothers Nick, Joe and Kevin are playing MGM Grand Garden on Sept. 8. Ticket registration is open through noon Saturday (Pacific time) at verifiedfan.ticketmaster.com/jonasbrothers.

Kimmel is eponymous

I use “eponymous” whenever Jimmy Kimmel visits his comedy club at Linq Promenade. I tossed out the term during a chat in November, as he reopened the venue. He grinned and said, “Thank you for using ‘eponymous’ in a sentence, as if I would understand it.”

Kimmel is back May 26 for “No Joke,” a night of comedy to support Project ALS. Top comics Sarah Silverman, Jeff Ross and Nick Kroll, along with famous YouTuber Mark Rober, are to headline a night of comedy, food and drink.

Kimmel is throwing his support behind his godson, 29-year-old Joey Porrello, who was diagnosed with ALS a year ago. Kimmel, who is from Las Vegas, is a close friend of Porrello’s family. In November, the late-night, talk-show star headed up the ALS Association Nevada Chapter Vegas Walk at Craig Ranch Park.

A limited number of seats are available at between $500-$1,250 for the charity show. E-mail rachel.porter@positionsports.com. Act fast, as the room is seated at 175.

Tease this …

We are confident Sammy Hagar will make an appearance at the “Baja Beach Bash” at 11 a.m. Sunday at the Palms’ SOAK Pool deck. If he doesn’t show up, I will perform a cannonball in the middle of the party. Regardless, enjoy the splashy tunes of Three Lock Box and also all of Hagar’s spirits — including Santo tequila margaritas, Beach Bar rum mojitos and his handy cans o’ cocktails — all to honor Cinco de Mayo weekend.

Wild ride at KNPR

Time to back-tease Tuesday morning’s KNPR “State of Nevada” broadcast, during which I was a bemused and sometimes speechless guest. Jimmy Kimmel’s Comedy Club headliner Luenell (no last name, professionally) and Kelly Clinton-Holmes (three total names) took the show hostage.

Luenell explained her Only Fans Instagram strategy, which has drawn “thousands” of subscribers and helped her finance a new house in Vegas. Clinton-Holmes performed her flawless Wayne Newton impression, which kills every time.

Host Joe Schoenmann asked Luenell about a documentary she credited with executive producing, which Luenell did not know about. This led to a frantic online search for the film, “Where Have All The Fathers Gone.” It’s listed on Luenell’s IMDB page. News to her, and she’s now wondering where is her money.

Fantastic stuff, all of it at KNPR.org.

Cool Hang Alert

Travis Cloer is playing the Rouge Room at Red Rock Resort from 7 p.m.-11 p.m. Saturday and again May 20. The onetime co-star of “Jersey Boys” is back May 20. This is such a hang, with Cloer in the middle of the action. No cover, music during the meal. A supper club, if you will. Go to rougeroomlv.com for intel.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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