Sunday night, the Beach Boys brought the sandy surf of California to Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica. Complete with two of the original members — Mike Love and Bruce Johnston — the band performed hits like "Catch A Wave," "Surf City," "Surfin Safari," "Wendy," "Why Do Fools Fall In Love" and "When I Grow Up To Be A Man.”
Frontman Mike Love made a joke about needing an intermission or a nap after only having played a handful of songs. They then played "Surfer Girl" as images of vintage surfer girls appeared on the screen behind them. Since the venue is right on the water, the backdrop of boats sailing by was perfect for their aquatic theme, heightening the tropical aura of the night. Keeping with the beach party vibe, Love wore a paisley Hawaiian shirt and mango khaki pants. The rest of the band was dressed similarly, as if they had all just come from a giant shopping spree at Tommy Bahama.
Love waxed nostalgic about his first car, a 1949 Chevrolet, while introducing the song "Ballad of Old Betsy." The screen then showed a picture of Love with his current cherry red car; much to Love's horror as he said it looked like it was one of those funhouse mirrors and then asked if he could be photo-shopped out of the picture. He then patted his stomach and asked the crowd, "It's not that bad, is it?” and that got a big laugh.
The dreamiest number was ballad "In My Room,” which the guys sang as the moon shone over the venue while fog machines sent a light ethereal mist over the stage.
Love told the crowd, "John Stamos will be 50 on August 19th. He makes fun of me for how I sing, and I make fun of him for his mullet." A classic 1980s picture of Stamos flashed on the screen. The crowd ate it up. Love mentioned Stamos because of the episode of "Full House" when The Beach Boys and the cast of the sitcom performed "Be True To Your School" on the show, which the band then performed.
They went on to sing "Don't Worry Baby", and the band made everyone get on their feet for "Little Deuce Coupe", and the crowd kept dancing for "Get Around".
The Beach Boys then took an uncustomary half hour intermission. Many people were unsure if they were even returning to the stage, but since the staff didn't begin kicking people out, the crowd mingled around during the break.
Once the band returned, they delivered big hits "Kokomo" and "Help Me Rhonda." People of all generations were enjoying the music together, truly having a great time. Patrons were very friendly, talking to each other and making new friends. The Beach Boys songs are so feel good that you can't help but connect with those around you. Beach balls bounced in the air, and the crowd kept them going by spiking them as high up as they could. This also provided for some unintentional comedy when the feather-light beach balls would hit unsuspecting fans in the head.
Once they got to "Surfin' USA," it really became evident that nearly every song is a hit, and mostly a hit about surfing. The family friendly, G-rated performance took a bit of a strange turn when they allowed some female fans onstage to dance and sing with the band. A bit too much grinding went on when the guitarist put his guitar on a young woman, and then stood behind her and played the guitar.
But the squeaky clean fun returned once the women left the stage, and we were back to dancing to hits like "Cool Head Warm Heart," "California Dreamin'," "Wouldn't It Be Nice" and "Then I Kissed Her".
During "God Only Knows," Carl Wilson footage played on the screen as a tribute to the deceased member of the original band. The feeling of loss and respect for their friend was heavy in the air.
Love did well at interacting with the crowd, and he told more old people jokes at their own expense. At one point, he called Cleveland "groovy cool."
Before performing "Warmth of The Sun,” Love explained that he co-wrote it with Brian Wilson about loving someone who doesn't love you anymore. The band then thanked the crowd and left the stage.
They quickly returned for an encore with "Wild Honey." Their upbeat hit "Fun Fun Fun" closed the show, which had the entire crowd dancing along. A beautiful young blonde in a wedding dress appeared on stage to dance along with the band. Fans sang along to lyrics, "And she'll have fun fun fun till her daddy takes the T-Bird away." And everyone did have fun as they hugged each other goodbye, high from the harmonious nostalgia of a beach party with pure music legends.
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