The B-52’s :: The Downtown Cafe – Sept 2, 1978 / Atlanta, GA

It crawled from the South. As debut records go, The B-52’s is one of the best. Brazenly bathed in yellow, the 1979 album served as a garrulous introduction to the quintet from Athens, GA. Delivering its sonic manifesto over the course of nine tracks, the group’s sound came off as uninhibited, singular and–most impressively–fully-formed. No one else was doing this … whatever this was.

The following footage, captured live in Atlanta in 1978, finds the B-52’s at their most primal. A Saturday night gig held over Labor Day weekend, the grainy, black & white concert opens with a raw “52 Girls,” before sliding into “Dance This Mess Around,” “Hero Worship,” “Rock Lobster,” “The Devil’s In My Car,” and more. As a testament to the performances, the humidity and funk emanating from the club are almost palpable some 40+ years later.

Recorded via a Sony black & white 1/2″ reel-to-reel deck. All kudos to the original taper for documenting this late summer, late 70s souvenir.

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