Several weeks ago we had the opportunity to attend a performance by the Beach Boys at the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts in Virginia Beach.
It is the first concert that the ‘Ole Buckeye and I have attended since I retired. The ‘Ole Buckeye is not a fan of concerts or crowds, but having taken our grand girls to an event at the Sandler Center several weeks earlier, we were aware that it was the perfect venue to enjoy a performance.
We had seen the Beach Boys at an outdoor concert in the early 80’s at Poplar Creek Music Theater in Illinois. We sat on the lawn and sang along. It was great fun.
I must admit that I was a little leary about seeing the Beach Boys now, these many years later. The group was in its prime in the 60’s and early 70’s and there has been drama over the years. I also knew that only Mike Love from the original group continued to perform, although Bruce Johnston joined the group in 1965, so he has been a member of the band from almost the beginning. Al Jardine, an original member of the group, continues to perform intermittently, but did not appear for this booking.
My additional concern was that we are truly invested in their music. After all, the band came together in 1961 and was at it’s prime during my high school and college years. The fact that music is the soundtrack of life is absolutely true. Many of my memories include “In My Room”, Fun, Fun, Fun”, “Good Vibrations”, and a particular favorite “Wouldn’t It Be Nice”. I was concerned that the group would not sound the same and the evening would be a disappointment.
My concerns were soon laid to rest. It was obvious to both of us as well as the rest of the audience that the members of this group worked very carefully together to create and maintain the sound of the original group. The act did not disappoint in any way.
They sang all of the hits with some very special additions focusing on the talents of younger and newer members. Extremely enjoyable. Their voices were backed by terrific instrumentals and videos of not only California girls and beaches, but also of the “original” Beach Boys performing. One number “God Only Knows” was done as a tribute to the late Carl Wilson (1998) who was “edited in” to be the lead singer on the number via old video in sink with the on stage production.
I am so glad we went. Not only was it a wonderfully enjoyable performance, but it brought back so many incredible memories of carefree times and young love.