The animals of the Oregon Zoo might as well be living in Guantanamo Bay—or at least in the town from Footloose. Within the animals' gilded cages, rock 'n' roll is contraband: A sign at the zoo's entrance warns that all "noise devices" are strictly prohibited, with illustrations of a speaker and a guitar provided as examples of banned items. This is grossly unfair. Every summer, plenty of "noise devices" are allowed beyond the gates, as part of the zoo's Summer Concert Series. Apparently, inside the walls of this maximum-security menagerie, the right to party applies to humans only. No one even bothers to consult the residents on what they'd prefer to hear.
That's why, on a soggy afternoon, we risked banishment by smuggling in a portable speaker and treating these furry prisoners to the sounds of three upcoming zoo performers—yuppie-rock icon Huey Lewis and New Wave darlings the B-52s and the Go-Go's—and observing their reactions to gauge who, if any, they're most excited to be hosting.
Conclusion: Gazelles fear Belinda Carlisle.
Conclusion: Giraffes are basically your dad.
MALAYAN SUN BEAR
Conclusion: New Wave never came to Southeast Asia, apparently.
Conclusion: Elephant genitals are frightening.
Conclusion: Mandrills dig the B-52s. Makes sense: Their snouts look like one of the band's album covers exploded in their face.
Conclusion: Frankly, cougars are probably most excited about Chris Isaak coming in August.
SEE IT: Huey Lewis and the News play the Oregon Zoo, 4001 SW Canyon Road, 226-1561, on Saturday, July 6. 7 pm. Sold out. The B-52's and the Go-Go's play Sunday, July 7. 7 pm. $41.50-$61.50. All ages.