Archive for Beach Boys to kick off 50th anniversary tour in Tucson AZ

Beach Boys to kick off 50th anniversary tour in Tucson AZ

Posted in Celebrity, Music, Photo with tags on May 2, 2012 by thebestmusicnow

You probably could’ve guessed it was a Beach Boys show just by the shirts the men in the audience wore: Collared, short-sleeved and oversized, with palm trees, hibiscus flowers and nautical gear printed all over them.

At the back of the stage, surfboards were lined up like Grecian columns on either side of a huge video screen. It wasn’t until midway through the band’s second set that Mike Love acknowledged what half the people in the audience must’ve been thinking: “It’s, uh, been a little while since we’ve all been on tour together.”

This year, the Beach Boys turn 50. Until the Grammys this past February, Brian Wilson, the band’s troubled heart, hadn’t been on stage with the rest of them since 1996. The tour kickoff last night at the Anselmo Valencia Amphitheater in Tucson was, in that sense, a milestone: not only a marker of their anniversary, but of a public reconciliation between Wilson and the band’s other surviving original members: Al Jardine, Bruce Johnson, David Marks and Wilson’s cousin, Mike Love.

It’s not until a band like the Beach Boys runs through their hits back-to-back in rapid succession that you realize just how many hits they’ve had. Over the course of nearly two and a half hours, they played an astonishing 42 songs, many of them medley-style, with nearly no banter in between. Amid the most familiar stuff — “California Girls,” “Surfin’ Safari,” “Good Vibrations” — were a healthy number of deep cuts and covers, including “Why Do Fools Fall in Love” and Phil Spector’s “Then He Kissed Me,” which Jardine probably wisely rephrased as “Then I Kissed Her.” There were also two uncanny video appearances by Carl and Dennis Wilson, both of whom died years ago. (Dennis “sang” “Forever,” while Carl took on “God Only Knows,” a song Brian wrote for him on 1966’s Pet Sounds.) And about halfway through the second set, something new showed up: A reflective midtempo ballad called “That’s Why God Made the Radio” — a moment that, like so much of the band’s best music, elevated the adolescent to the divine.

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