The crowd felt the ‘good vibrations’ from the first note the Beach Boys harmonized, at the Friday night performance in the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. Their trademark style sounded as strong as it did five decades ago, as they embark on their 50th Anniversary Reunion Tour. The crowd was more than pleasantly surprised. It was as if the near-capacity crowd felt they had been transported to the Pavilion via the ‘wayback machine.’
Even more surprising was the extent of the set list, an amazing 47 songs consisting of both their classic hits and new material on their recently released album titled, “That’s Why god Made The Radio.” (The entire set list for the tour can be viewed at http://bit.ly/MkiFj9)
Brian Wilson has rejoined the band from a long hiatus, and was in large part, responsible for the retro sound on their new album. He not only produced the album, but co-wrote 11 of the album’s 12 tracks. His musical genius helped to recreate their timeless signature without sounding like a nostalgic retread. Brian Wilson said the tour and the new album are dedicated to the memory of his two brothers: Dennis, who drowned in 1983, and Carl, who died of cancer in 1998.
The album marks the band’s 29th studio album, and first in twenty years. In addition to Wilson, the surviving members who appear on the tour include Mike Love, the other co-writer on the album, and Al Jardine. Early band members, David Marks and Bruce Johnston, have also joined the tour.
Many in attendance were just at the Pavilion a week ago for the Jimmy Buffett ‘Lounging in the Lagoon’ concert. Amazing that two concerts that played to the same demographic audience that close together, would have had such large crowds. But this concert had its fair share of younger Beach Boy fans, who were young enough to be the Beach Boys’ grandchildren. Out of curiosity I asked several why, and many said because they grew up listening to the Beach Boys music with their grandparents. A true testimony to the positive influence of grandparents.
No one in the crowd seemed perturbed with the light shower that rained down on them as they left the Pavilion. Many danced in the rain singing a refrain to the band’s encore, “Fun, Fun, Fun.” That’s probably the best way to describe the evening.