I grew up listening to 50’s and 60’s rock & roll and have spent the last few years trying to see as many of my musical heroes as possible (before it’s too late). I’ve accomplished a lot, thus far, and seeing The Beach Boys counts as a definite highlight.
Celebrating their 50th Anniversary, Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and David Marks were all in good spirits last Friday night in Houston, TX. And they sounded pretty incredible too. I’m not going to pretend that they all sounded perfect (mostly noticeable on songs I wasn’t familiar with) but their harmony was as powerful as ever. They played for nearly three hours and covered their vast catalogue, including favorites like “Surfin’ Safari,” “Surfin’ USA,” “When I Grow Up (To Be A Man),” “Be True To Your School,” “I Get Around,” “Sloop John B,” “California Girls,” “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” and so on. And of course everyone was excited to hear “God Only Knows” and “Good Vibrations.” The full setlist can be viewed here.
The highlight of the show, for me, was the beautiful version of “Don’t Worry Baby” which might top my list of favorite Beach Boys tunes.
Even though the songs were spot on, the between song banter was a little awkward at times. The Beach Boys were selling their new album, That’s Why God Made The Radio, for $5 a pop (a “Houston Only Special” with a surprise M&G to the lucky 50 who received signed copies) and made sure to hawk the release at every opportunity. It took me a bit to realize that it was because their album released last week and they were trying to make the charts (and beat Adele, as they said).
Even though the sky threatened rain throughout the entire show, it held back. That is, until The Beach Boys left the stage and returned for their encore. Then the sky let loose. Since we were on the lawn, we were substantially soaked. Usually I’m a bit of a baby about being caught in rain, but the opening notes of “Kokomo” started and I no longer cared that I was getting drenched. Man, I loved that song as a kid. To finish it off, they ended with another favorite from my youth, “Fun Fun Fun.”
Overall, it was quite the show and I feel lucky to have seen such legends in my lifetime. The only disappointment was the lack of John Stamos. Despite several references to “Uncle Jesse” and a few articles hinting that he was touring with the band, he was nowhere to be found. But there’s a pretty great video of him playing congas along to “Kokomo” in our Weekly Theme.
– Submitted by Jessica Reed, Social Media