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last night's gig

The B-52's Rock Coney Island Despite Non-Famous Audience

The B-52'sPhoto: Zak Hussein / Retna

Near the end of the B-52's hour-long set at Asser Levy Park in Coney Island last night, Fred Schneider called out: "We'd like to acknowledge all the celebrities in the house." He paused, scanning the crowd. "None came!" Brooklyn borough president Marty Markowitz, the night's ringmaster and self-promoter extraordinaire, might have been offended, but the rest of the concert-goers — mostly barricaded to the sides of the supersize, half-empty VIP section — laughed and cheered.

It was a summer-band-shell crowd: children chasing each other, older couples in lawn chairs. But the mood was celebratory, not mellow. The set list consisted of what Fred called "a lot of old, a lot of new, and a lot of woo-hoo," and the audience was on its feet and dancing during reliable party anthems "Strobe Light," "Private Idaho," and of course, "Love Shack." Chants for "Rock Lobster" rose up, and the band obliged.

Of course, not everyone's idea of a party has a 9 p.m. encore that leads into the Brooklyn borough president discussing government elder-care options. But a last-minute lineup switch allowed the headlining B-52's to play first, meaning that we could skip the scheduled opener and head home for an early bedtime. —Emily Biuso