Show Review: The Beach Boys

Published in Drum Media (WA) | 13.09.12 | Issue # 305



6 September, 2012


After 50 years, 30 studio albums, numerous line-up changes, countless hits and a big dose of band politics, the five surviving, original members of Rock And Roll Hall of Fame superstarsThe Beach Boys found themselves in Perth to round out the Australian leg of their 50th anniversary reunion tour.

As their backing musicians took position (all nine of them), the stage lights were replaced by a booming kick drum and a dark silhouette welcomed the legends to the stage one by one: David Marks, Bruce Johnston, Al Jardine, Mike Love and, the man behind the music, Brian Wilson. For a band whose members couldn’t stand to be in the same room as one another at one point, they gelled instantly with Do It Again.

Only after tune number six, Surfin’ Safari, did they have a brief pause to allow vocalist Love to have a crack at saying “G’Day”. Love then took on the role of backing vocalist to allow his cousin, and foundation of the band, Wilson to take control with Surfer Girl, the title track off the album released in 1962. While substance abuse in his heyday has unfortunately taken its toll, and despite a lack of energy, it was still surreal to see Wilson in his element. Some more vocal swapping throughout the band and after 30 songs, they took a quick, well-earned intermission, “followed by a nap”. Part two was kick started by guitarist Marks unleashing a lengthy guitar solo before they gathered around Wilson’s piano for an intimate rendition of Add Some Music To Your Day. Tracks from this year’s That’s Why God Made The Radio album were nice additions to the set but don’t shape up to the classics from albums such as Pet Sounds.

Two hours into the set, Wilson spoke to the crowd for the first time – introducing his two brothers, Dennis, who passed away in 1982 and Carl, who passed away in 1998. Forever andGod Only Knows allowed each brother to take the spotlight via the huge screens either side of the stage. A best of ending to the set – Good Vibrations, Help Me, Rhonda, Surfin’ USA,KokomoBarbara Ann and Fun Fun Fun – and they were gone. The fact they played for well over two and a half hours with such relentless energy cements just how incredible this band is. Anyone who missed this show may not get another chance to witness this magic live. But, no one expected this tour, so anything could happen.

Written by Daniel Cribb