Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Concert review- Beach Boys Atlanta 4-28-12

These concert tickets were a birthday gift to my soon to be 12 year old son Connor.  We were both pretty excited to catch this tour live and see the boys do it again as part of their 50th Anniversary.  The weather was great so we arrived early in time to hear the soundcheck.  They ran through several numbers including "Do It Again", "Forever", "God Only Knows" and their latest single (and title cut from their forthcoming album) "That's Why God Made The Radio".  Since this was the newest track, they spent more time perfecting this one during soundcheck.  Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and David Marks all seemed in good spirits with plenty of laughs and smiles to go around.  Their band is top notch consisting of Jeffrey Foskett, Scott Totten, Nicky Wonder, Darian Sahanaja, Probyn Gregory, Scott Bennett, Paul Von Mertens, Mikey D'Amico, John Cowsill and Nelson Bragg.

They kicked off the first set with "Do It Again" as each of the 5 Beach Boys members were introduced.  Highlights from the first set included "Surfin' Safari", "Surfer Girl", "Cottonfields", my personal favorite "You're So Good To Me", Mike having fun with "Be True To Your School" (talking about it being for people in uniform...cheerleader uniforms to be exact) and Bruce doing a beautiful lead on his "Disney Girls".  They heated it up with a blistering set of "Little Honda", "Little Deuce Coupe", "409", "Shut Down" and "I Get Around" before a 20 minute intermission.

The second set picked up where they left off with Al Jardine starting off "California Dreamin'" with Brian Wilson taking the 2nd verse.  "Sloop John B" was especially rocking tonight and you could feel the band having fun with this one.  "Sail On Sailor" saw Brian taking lead again on this classic.  They had a wonderful video tribute of Dennis Wilson singing "Forever" as the band played and sang along.  Later in the 2nd set they did a similar tribute with Carl Wilson singing "God Only Knows".  The video footage of both Wilson brothers along with select photo stills was very tastefully done and a wonderful way to remember these brothers who left us way too early (Dennis in 1983 and Carl in 1998).

As much fun as it is to hear their hits, it's nice to see what album tracks they decided to dust off for the tour.  "All This Is That" is a bit more of an obscure track from their Carl & The Passions: So Tough album.  Mike mentioned how they have rarely played that one.  I imagine many will walk away from this tour seeking out this song.  After hearing them souncheck "That's Why God Made The Radio", it was great hearing it in full production during the 2nd set.  If the title cut is any indication of how great the whole new album will be, then Beach Boys fans are in for a real treat.  The vocal harmonies alone in this one will be worth the price.  The opening notes of "California Girls" immediately got everyone back on their feet and ready for a high energy set of massive fan favorites like "Help Me Rhonda", "Rock N Roll Music", "Do You Wanna Dance", "Barbara Ann" and "Surfin' USA".  The latter 2 saw Brian step away from the piano and strap on a bass guitar to jam and harmonize with his fellow bandmates.

Everyone could feel the encore was going to be huge as we knew of some songs they had NOT performed yet but HAD to before we let them leave.  The encore set included 3 of their biggest songs of their career- "Kokomo", "Good Vibration" and "Fun, Fun, Fun" which was an appropriate reminder of what their music was and still is all about- FUN.

Full set list-

Do It Again
Catch a Wave
Don't Back Down
Surfin' Safari
Surfer Girl
The Little Girl I Once Knew
Then I Kissed Her
You're So Good to Me
Why Do Fools Fall in Love
When I Grow Up (to Be a Man)
Cotton Fields
Be True to Your School
Disney Girls
Please Let Me Wonder
Don't Worry Baby
Little Honda
Little Deuce Coupe
Shut Down
I Get Around

California Dreamin'
Sloop John B
Wouldn't It Be Nice
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
All Summer Long
Help Me, Rhonda
Rock 'n' Roll Music
Do You Wanna Dance?
Barbara Ann
Surfin' USA 

Good Vibrations
Fun Fun Fun 

"That's Why God Made The Radio"

"I Get Around"