The Beach Boys - Verizon Theatre - 4/26/12

Categories: Last Night

beachboys.jpg
Eric Grubbs
The Beach Boys
The Beach Boys
Verizon Theatre
Thursday, April 26

In the past few decades, various incarnations of the Beach Boys toured the oldies/county fair circuit, rehashing the popular hits over and over again, usually for a cheap ticket price (or even free). Alas, with Brian Wilson back in the fold, the result was an incredible evening of two-plus hours of music.This certainly wasn't the version of the band you saw on Full House. Rather, the production was more on the scale of Wilson's solo tours in the last ten years.

Starting the show at 7:30 p.m. and not leaving the stage until 10 p.m., the surviving members, including Al Jardine, Mike Love, David Marks, and Bruce Johnston, were joined by no fewer than ten (!) backing musicians. The most recognizable was keyboardist/percussionist Darian Sahanaja, who has worked with Wilson on a number of projects, including the re-recording of Smile. With this many people, it was much easier to recreate the Wrecking Crew house band sound from the original recordings.

Despite the guitar overload (six guitars was a little too much), the focal point of the house mix was the gorgeous vocal melodies the band has been known for since the beginning. While certain elder statesmen in the band don't have the same vocal strength as they used to, they still pulled off the classic Beach Boys sound. You know, the kinds of harmonies that hit your heart and make the hair on your neck point towards the ceiling?

The mostly-packed Verizon audience, where men wore Hawaiian shirts, sang along to the few dozen familiar hits. But the deeper cuts from the band's catalog stood out, and they didn't make people head for the bathroom or concession stands. From Johnston's "Disney Girls" to Wilson's "Sail On, Sailor," there was space for the ripe new song, "That's Why God Made the Radio."

Also of note were two songs in tribute to the deceased Wilson brothers, Dennis and Carl.They performed "Forever" with Dennis' recorded vocals and "God Only Knows" with Carl's, as video montages played in the center of the stage. Certainly heartfelt, and probably way more sincere than what TLC is planning to do on their upcoming tour.

With a 20-minute intermission in the middle the show, the band came out for three more songs at the very end, and seemed a little out of steam by then, but it didn't really matter. Mike Love sang less and less, talking more through his vocals. Wilson, at times, looked like he was sitting in with the band on his white piano, but when it was time for him to take the lead, he did. Major kudos to him for just being there, if you know a little about his long story.

For a band that plays to the inner-teenager of everyone, you're not going to find a better live version of this music anywhere else. This was the real deal Beach Boys, and this tour is certainly not something to be overlooked in the band's winding and tumultuous 50-year story.

Personal bias: There was one summer growing up where my mother wouldn't stop playing a Beach Boys greatest hits compilation tape in the family minivan. I grew to hate many of the songs about surfing, cars and girls. By the time I worked for KLUV between 2002 and 2004, the hate had lightened up. Certainly helped that I fell in love with Pet Sounds by then.

By the way: Speaking of KLUV, Mike Love gave the station a shout-out before going into "California Girls."

Set list:
"Do It Again"
"Catch a Wave"
"Don't Back Down"
"Surfin' Safari"
"Surfer Girl"
"The Little Girl I Once Knew"
"Wendy"
"Then I Kissed Her"
"You're So Good to Me"
"Why Do Fools Fall in Love"
"When I Grow Up (To Be a Man)"
"Cottonfields"
"Be True to Your School"
"Disney Girls"
"Please Let Me Wonder"
"Don't Worry Baby"
"Little Honda"
"Little Deuce Coupe"
"409"
"Shut Down"
"I Get Around"
"Sloop John B"
"Wouldn't It Be Nice"
"California Dreamin'"
"Forever"
"Sail On, Sailor"
"Heroes and Villains"
"In My Room"
"All This is That"
"God Only Knows"
"That's Why God Made the Radio"
"California Girls"
"Dance, Dance, Dance"
"All Summer Long"
"Help Me, Rhonda"
"Rock and Roll Music"
"Do You Wanna Dance"
"Barbara Ann"
"Surfin' USA"

Encore
"Kokomo"
"Good Vibrations"
"Fun, Fun, Fun"

My Voice Nation Help
18 comments
Alice Hoffman
Alice Hoffman

The new Album comes out in a month and i think it will do so much better thantheir last effort, Summer in Paradise.They are on tour at the moment in the USAand tickets are cheap at Ticketexecutive .. They soundreally really good for a band where all the members are around 70 years old. 

GA Ellingsen
GA Ellingsen

I miss Let Him Run Wild... Anyway; really looking forward to see them perform here in Norway in July!! 

Bethy
Bethy

Without Brian Wilson, they are not The Beach Boys.So wonderful to hear/read this!  Thank You!!!

KelliN
KelliN

My sister and I were there last night, and your superb review sums it up well. Of all of the concerts I have attended in life, this one has become my all-time favorite!

Rar111
Rar111

Good review! Surprised they came off that great. But now I wish I'd gone.

Tompeak
Tompeak

Kudos To Fred Vail.. Former Beach Boys Manager... This Ones For You.. The Legendary Beach Boys.. Have Reclaimed Their Title Of Americas Band... They Are Truly Rock..N.. Rolls Best!!!

PeGee
PeGee

Since I was a little kid,this goes right to my heart! I fell in love to this music and it will never die I guess

Tony Sharpe
Tony Sharpe

I love their setlist too. I'm 34 and a huge fan of the band with all of their albums. ''Sunflower'' from 1969 - 1970 (released) is such a well produced album that includes superb vocals from all members of the group. Brian's falsetto changed a lot since early 1967 but still sounded sweet in early 1970. They have done so well to last 50 years, I cannot wait to hear their new album that will hopefully be released in June 2012.

Fred Vail
Fred Vail

I've read three reviews of the 50th Celebration--all are pretty much glowing. All have mentioned Brian, Mike, Al, Bruce and David. At least two have highlighted the band, including Jeffrey Foskett's key role on lead or background vocals. I look forward to seeing my old friends somewhere on the road this summer. Wish I had seen the kickoff in Tucson but this Verizon show sound equally successful. I am truly blessed to have been a friend and associate of The Beach Boys for 49 of their 50 years. I promoted the very first show that featured them as 'headliners' in a large concert venue--the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium, May 24, 1963. I was invited to join their organization shortly after that show. I was 19. I am honored to have been with them when they wrote--and recorded--many of their classics, including "Fun, Fun, Fun," "Warmth of the Sun," "When I Grow Up To Be A Man," "Good Vibrations," and more than a few others. I have visited with all of them in the past few years--all three bands--Mike and Bruce, Al (along with Dean Torrence), and BW's band, featuring members of "The Wondermints." I am so pleased that 'the boys' paid tribute to their fallen bandmates, Denny and Carl--my brothers-in-spirit for the majority of their lives. I miss them each and every day and it must have been an emoitonal moment to see pictures of DW and CW--along with their lead vocals--at the surviving BB's added their magical harmonies. The only thing that might have made it an even better evening--short of DW and CW being with us--would have been to include Dennis' son, Carl, and Carl's son, Justyn, on stage filling in for their Dads on drums and guitar! I love that they included a few of the more obscure songs--"All This Is That" and "You're So Good To Me." I wish they'd included "Add Some Music To Your Day." It's message is as vibrant now, as when it was released in 1970 on their often overlooked album, "Sunflower." I know that this tour will bring a whole new generation to appreciate the 'boys of summer,' my friends from Hawthorne, California, the fabulous Beach Boys. Fred VailTreasure Isle Recorders, Inc.Nashville, TN -- Music City, USA

Keviv113
Keviv113

I agree, the son's of Carl & Dennis would have been fantastic...!

just sayin'
just sayin'

I looked at the set list and was damn impressed with the songs that they played and, more importantly, that there was no "Kokomo". Then I'll be damned if they didnt play it in the encore.

Mike Bartolowits
Mike Bartolowits

This is an accurate set list..Someone else posted a setlist containing This Whole World which was not played to my recollection...This was a very well produced show. A good blend of Mike Love's band and Brian's band, with perfect harmony and many talented musicians. The highlights for me were the two videos of Denny on Forever and Carl doing God Only Knows.  THE new song "Thats why God Made the Radio" sounded great in full harmony. All This is That really was nice heart felt TM song.   The rest of the hits were loved by the casual Beach Boys fans...Mike Love was in charge and loving every minute of it as usual..All the guys on stage and the crowd seemed to really be enjoying the performance...I started at age 10 in 1968 going to Beach Boys concerts at Will Rogers Auditorium where they performed with Bob Segar System and Spirit...The next year at Will Rogers Coliseum they were with Buffalo Springfield, Stawberry AlarmClock and Bobby Goldsboro lol...THey have survived all these years and still nobody celebrates the Spirit of Summer and Rock n Roll than the Beach Boys.(ps Glad Jeff Foskett was there contributing hugely on the falsetto sound)

david mclaughlin
david mclaughlin

Hi MIke, I know you from psml. Wish I had known you were there. I was on row 2. VIP tix and got  to meet them all. First time meeting Brian. It was awesome. And great show!

Cooljim
Cooljim

the set list in dallas was the same as tucson with one switch -- they dropped brian's this whole world and added do you want to dance.

Steve Jones
Steve Jones

Do you know which songs Brian sang lead on?

David
David

I am 66 years old and smiled thru the whole performance wondering where the last 50 years went. Last night was an incredible journey

mike
mike

:)  ----first record I ever owned...Surfer Girl

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Dallas Event Tickets
Loading...