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Cherry Pop

Concert Reviews
The Beach Boys
(Caesars Windsor, Canada - July 10th, 2009)

The Beach Boys are as American a band as any other band known to the business. Formed in 1961, the group gained popularity for its close vocal harmonies and lyrics reflecting a Southern California youth culture of cars and surfing. Sure, Brian Wilson's growing creative ambitions later transformed them into a more artistically innovative group - one that earned critical praise and influenced many later musicians - but tonight all we heard was sweet surfin' music as if time had stood still!

As one would expect, the next two hours were filled with all their classics and so much more. And so as the sounds of a recorded song sang the lyrics to 'Surfin' on strolled the band - who then proceeded to sing live the remainder of the song! Harmonizing like it was only yesterday for them 'Catch a Wave' was followed by 'It's OK,' 'Hawaii,' 'Little Honda' and 'Two Girls for Every Boy.'

"How about that drummer," finally exclaims Mike Love. "Some six or seven songs without stopping. Wow, anyway," he now says to the crowd, "thank you all for showing up tonight." Next came the mandatory cell phone-waving song, 'Surfer Girl' before Bruce Johnston came to the fore on keyboards with his own beautiful song, 'Disney Girls.' A cover of The Students' doo wop song 'So Young' (sung by the guitarist) was next and was followed by 'Don't Worry Baby', sung in turn by the bassist this time.

Playing to the truly multi-generation crowd tonight, this second show in the run here at Caesars, whether The Beach Boys sang their surf songs, car songs, or relationship laments, the enthusiastic crowd was dancing in their seats and (soon enough) the aisles to the classic sounds.

'Still Cruisin' is next and is followed by another couple of the aforementioned car songs in both 'Little Deuce Coup' and '409.' The wonderfully-written 'Little Old Lady From Pasadena' - complete with Love turning his mic stand into a walking cane - is followed by 'Shut Down' which in turn is followed by the fan favorite of the night so far, 'I Get Around.' "Thank you," says Love, "my fine people of Canada and the USA." Introducing the lead guitarist before he sang the next song, Love mentions that he's going to sing a very important song. And that there's only ever been one group ever to have done a love song about a car - and he was in that very same band! 'Ballad Of Ole Betsy' is brought forth and wow, what a great song it is. "A moment of silence for Pontiac, Love halfheartedly says at the end of the song, before admitting, "I used to have a GTO for Christ's sake!"

"This is a patriotic song for cheerleading," Love explains, sometimes behind the keyboardists attempts to do as many hockey game time organ sounds as possible for the Canadian crowd! 'Be True To Your School' is that song, and is followed by another mandatory cell phones out song, 'In My Room.' Bruce Johnston's wonderfully sung 'God Only Knows' (dedicated on the night to Carl Wilson) is followed by the drummer singing 'California Dreamin' and a stirring version of 'Sloop John B.'

'When I Grow Up To Be A Man' is then matched with a doo wop version of 'Why Do Fools Fall In Love' sung by the one guitarist, with the other one stage left then taking the vocals on 'Then I Kissed Her.' 'Wouldn't It Be Nice' is next with both 'California Girls' and then the song made especially for the film 'Cocktail' is next, 'Kokomo.' But, and to my mind, the best was saved for near last as a simply pulsating, nerve tingling, rousing rendition of 'Good Vibrations' is sung like it always has been down the years.

Bringing the long set to a close with the bouncy 'Help Me, Rhonda,' the guys waved goodnight and left the stage. Coming back a few minutes later we got 'Barbara Ann,' where they invited a handful of pretty gals up on stage to dance with them! 'Surfin' USA' is next and has the crowd in fits of surf dances, knocking inflated beach balls for six as they came raining down on them! And, for the final, final encore they covered Eddie Cochran's 1958 song, 'Summertime Blues' before ending with 'Fun, Fun, Fun' ... and trust me, yes it was, was, was!

Review and Photos by: Russell A. Trunk

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