Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Beach Boys
Molson Amphitheatre
Toronto ON

Saw Brian Wilson in the cozy confines of Massey Hall a couple of years ago. That was nice. This was great. They are The Beach Men now but who among us is what they were 50 years ago? With Lake Ontario at our backs on this hot, muggy night on the cusp of summer, this is as close to a surfin' safari as I'm likely to get.

First and foremost this is an emotive band. Not in the 'emo' way the current generation of shoe-gazers have hoisted on us. There was  time , BC (before cobain), when music stirred positive emotions in people.

The Boys were a terrific flashback. Some of the lyrics have changed know, the passage of time. "Help Me Rhonda, help me get her outa my heart" is now "Help Me Rhonda, help me get up offa this couch," the Little Deuce Coupe is now a Little Deuce Scooter©, Good Vibrations is all about marital aides.... most of that I could accept. Thought they stretched the bounds of decorum when they closed with, "we'll have gums, gums, gums, when my baby puts her dentures away." I jest.

Highlights of the evening: Opening the second set with the surviving members huddled around Brian's piano to sing Add Some Music to Your Day. Brian's rendition of  I Just Wasn't Made for These Times was powerful.

The back and side screens were filled with ancient pictures of young versions of the boys. Special tribute was paid to Dennis and Carl Wilson during Forever and God Only Knows.

The surf songs and pop hits were all met with wild screams and dancing in the aisles.

Sloop John B is one of my favourite songs by this band and together with Good Vibrations, really made the night for me.

One thing that occurred to me is that as I get older my hearing seems to be slowing down.

All night long I had Billy Joe Armstrong in my head, evoking the band to PLAY FASTER.

Set One
Do It Again
Little Honda
Catch a Wave
Don't Back Down
Surfin' Safari
Surfer Girl
Then I Kissed Her
(The Crystals cover)
Kiss Me, Baby
Getcha Back
Why Do Fools Fall in Love
(Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers cover)
When I Grow Up (to Be a Man)
Disney Girls
Please Let Me Wonder
Isn't It Time
It's OK
California Saga: California
Cotton Fields
(Lead Belly cover)
Be True to Your School
Don't Worry Baby
Little Deuce Coupe
Shut Down
I Get Around

Set Two
Add Some Music to Your Day
Heroes and Villains
Sloop John B
Wouldn't It Be Nice
I Just Wasn't Made for These Times
Sail On Sailor
In My Room
All This Is That
That's Why God Made the Radio
God Only Knows
Good Vibrations
California Girls
All Summer Long
Help Me Rhonda
Rock and Roll Music
(Chuck Berry cover)
Do You Wanna Dance?
(Bobby Freeman cover)
Surfin' USA
Barbara Ann
(The Regents cover)
Fun, Fun, Fun

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