The Beach Boys

“Live: The 50th Anniversary Tour”



In 2012 the surviving Beach Boys put aside their longstanding differences to tour the country in honor of the 50th anniversary of their first Capitol singles, “Surfin’ Safari” and “Surfer Girl.” The band had recorded those tunes a year earlier for a small label, Candix.

With a solid orchestra behind them led by Brian Wilson’s longtime accompanists, guitarist/vocalist Jeffrey Foskett and keyboardist Darian Sahanaja, the Beach Boys could relax and concentrate on their legendary harmonizing. Even though they are all over 70, Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, David Marks, and Bruce Johnston did a great job in rewinding the clock. While the lead vocals were not as powerful as we remember from the original recordings, they still sounded quite good while the tight background vocals were reminiscent of Beach Boys concerts of the ‘60s and ‘70s.

What I remember about the Beach Boys show that I caught at the Beacon Theater during the tour was how the band nicely mixed their Mount Rushmore hits such as “Good Vibrations,” “Help Me, Rhonda,” “I Get Around,” and “California Girls” with more obscure songs which were just as good if not better than their gigantic hits. If your Beach Boys knowledge is more or less limited to the 1974 “Endless Summer” album, you’ll be in for a pleasant surprise to discover “The Little Girl I Once Knew,” “All This Is That,” “Marcella,” “Getcha Back,” and “Add Some Music To Your Day.”

A new song, “That’s Why God Made The Radio,” was written just for this tour and sure enough it sounds like it could have been a top 20 hit back in the Beach Boys’ hit-making heyday.

These fine musicians are far more than a nostalgia act as this live album clearly proves.