B-52’s / Culture Club – MN State Fair – St. Paul MN – September 2nd 2018

Culture Club, The B 52’s @ the Minnesota State Fair Grandstand 9/3/18

Its funny how I mention some acts and I get negative comments from the fans of a specific type of music.  They act as though if you like Metallica as an example you can’t like Culture Club.  Music is so very personal and that’s what creates such passion. I feel bad for anyone who is so narrow minded.  They miss out on some amazing live music with an attitude like that. When I attend a concert, I try to be as open minded as I can. I never know what I will discover and to me that is a big part of the excitement. This past week I have been treated to some incredible music.  I was able to see Old Dominion, Neal McCoy, Hairball, Lady Antebellum and Darius Rucker. All were wonderful in their own way. I capped it off with The B 52’s and Culture Club.

Last night I was again pleasantly surprised. I have been a casual fan of both bands over the years because they were such staples on radio and MTV. The B 52’s were a lot of fun, I don’t know how else to say it.  They went back to their first album and pulled out classics like “Planet Claire” and “Rock Lobster”. The highlight for me was their hit song “Roam”. They were fun and quirky just like I hoped they would be.  I appreciated that they did not get political and were there to entertain. They dressed up in the big wigs and fun outfits just like you would expect. Another band in a long list that I would recommend seeing.

Some people said they were surprised that Culture Club was the headliner that night until they saw the show. I remember being in Knollwood Mall in the early 1980’s when the first record came out.  My first thought looking at that album was that is the ugliest chick I have ever seen.  Come to find out a short time later that its Boy George. I was never a huge fan but always like some of their songs.

I have to say they were incredible.  Large band with amazing back up singers and a wonderful set list. They played every hit you would expect like “Karma Chameleon” and “I’ll Tumble For Ya”. The big surprise for me was all of the other songs they added into the set list. They opened up with David Bowie’s “Lets Dance”. They covered an early 1970’s Bread song “Everything I Own”, Robert Palmer’s “Addicted To Love” and the highlight for many people there, Prince’s “Purple Rain”.

Over all it was a fun night of music to close the 2018 Minnesota State Fair.  Both bands have seemed to figure out what their fans want and are more than happy to give it to them.

Review and photos by Tommy Sommers