A beautiful cool evening on the shores of theJones Beach Theater, made for a perfect setting for the Beach Boys 50th Anniversary Tour. Last time I saw the band was at Live Aid & at this same venue way back in 1984.
This current show blew me away, it was an incredidible celebration of a fantastic musical library the Beach Boys posses. The surf songs, the party songs, the love songs, the psychaeldic songs, the car songs & the timeless summer sixties music we all have grown up on. Of course how can you mention the Beach Boys without talking about their incredible harmonies. Those harmonies were so good they even inspired the Beatles & tonight they were right on cue.
The music was great as a nine piece band backed the original four surviving members. I did not expect this show to be so good, even more so it was great. It can be safe to say that the Beach Boys have provided us with an incredible soundtrack to beach & summer memories throughout our lives, tonight was just another dose of just that added in.
The Beach Boys 50th anniversary Tour band consisted of its original surviving members: Mike Love who's vocals are still fantastic, he has a good stage presence as he slowly moves about the stage giving the band most of its movement. Love is a cousin of the Wilson's and sang lead on a majority of the bands hits. Love was one of the first rock musicians to get involved with meditation & he accompained the Beatles to India in 1968 to study meditation under the Maharishi. Love continued to tour with the Beach Boys doing most of the lead vocals as Carl Wilson took charge of the musical arrangements, After his passing Love kept touring by leasing the Beach Boys name & using mostly backing band members.
My man, little Al Jardine (the only original non relative Beach Boy) may have stole the show with his fantastic lead vocal on Help Me Rhonda. It was a major highlight, as he got the fans dancing & singing real loud. The multi instramentalist brings good life on stage playing his guitar & having a good old time, doing it. He & Bruce Johnston's enthusiasm just rolls off into the crowd.
Bruce Johnston joined the band in 1965 (after the departure of Glen Campbell) he was very livley on stage behind his keyboards, always smiling while leading the crowd in sing along & hand clapping. He looked to be having a great time as well. Mike Love joked about Johnston being the author of the sappy Barry Manilow tune, I Write the Songs. Johnston cracked back something like "yea & Kokomo is any better".....
And of course Brian Wilson, the creative writing genius of the band who's advanced visions of music in the sixties may have actually led to his downfall. Brian has suffered from mental illness, drug, alchohol & weight problems. In the sixties he stopped touring with the band to create more of their music. His master piece was the Pet Sounds, album inspired by the Beatles Rubber Soul. In 1966 The incredible ground breaking song Good Vibrations took months & $50,000 to record.
But it hit number one on the charts & is considered one of the greatest po/rock songs of all time. It & Pet Sounds inspired Paul McCartney during the Sgt. Pepper period. When Brian heard A Day In The Life, he was devestated telling himself he could never top that. His work on his next masterpiece SMiLE was abandon & would not get completed until 2004. Recently with his problems behind him, he has had a sucessful solo album & tours.
Brain Wilson's presence is apparanet on the stage, he is to be respected & respected. But it seemed at first he is just sitting there. Is he actually playing the piano at all? Often I saw his hands hanging by his side. He doesnt talk much or look at the crowd. Is he involved at all. With my binoculars I kep trying to figure him out. But Then all of a sudden he will sing an incredible harmony or backing vocal. In the second set after the instrumental, Love, Jardine Johnston all huddle around the piano backing Brian as he leads them on an incredible version of Add Some Music To Your Day. Then Brian continues to be masterful on my favorite Beach Boy songs Sloop John B. & Good Vibrations. Other Wilson highlights were Heroes & Villans & Sail on Sailor. The only time he got up was during the encores Kokomo.
There were two touching tributes to the two other Wilson Brothers who have since passed on, Dennis & Carl. There were two seperate video clips of the two singing lead vocals (Dennis on Forever & Carl on God Only Knows) with the band on stage playing behind them as a back up. This was also an incredible addition to the show celebrating the bands history, a real touching tearful tribiute.There were also photos through the years added in the video montage.
Dennis Wilson the only real surfer in the band was the bands drummer & also a rhaspy backing vocalist. He was the wildest of the Wilson Brothes who was actually friends with Charles Manson & the Family until he realized what they were all about. Luckily he broke free from the bunch just in time. Dennis drowned in 1983 at age 39.
Carl Wilson was the youngest brother, a fine guitar player who also played a variety of instruments as well as produced. His vocal work on Good Vibrations, God Only Knows & I Can Hear Music are among his vocal highlights. Carl helped keep the band together in the days of Brians departure. The very spiritual Carl Wilson passed away after a battle with cancer in 1998 at age 51.
Do It Again
Catch A Wave
Don't Back Down
Please Let Me Wonder
Then I Kissed Her
Kiss Me, Baby
Why Do Fools Fall in Love
When I Grow Up (to Be a Man)
Isn't It Time
Cotton Fields Be True to Your School
Don't Worry Baby
Little Deuce Coupe
I Get Around
Pet Sounds (Instrumental)
Add Some Music to Your Day
Heroes and Villains
Sloop John B
Wouldn't It Be Nice
I Just Wasn't Made for These Times
Sail on, Sailor
All This Is That
That's Why God Made the Radio
In My Room
God Only Knows
Help Me, Rhonda
Rock and Roll Music
Do You Wanna Dance?
Fun, Fun, Fun