The Beach Boys 50th Anniversary Reunion Tour
Mohegan Sun Casino Arena
May 12, 2012
My music dream came true last night. I finally got to see The Beach Boys live in concert with Brian Wilson. It was the most entertaining and comprehensive concert I ever saw. The love in the room was genuine between artist and fans. The warm harmonies of The Beach Boys melted in my soul all night.
The evening was split into two parts, Beach Boys the early days and post 1965. The concert was inter-woven around several musical themes, beach music, doo-wop, cars, Pet Sounds, and of course the hits.
There were also six songs that were completely new to me, which I loved hearing. I love when a music artist reaches deeper into their catalog and features songs they believe strongly in performing for their audience.
Mike Love made a special point to thank and appreciate the Mohegan Sun audience for being the first concert date to sell out for the tour. You couldn’t help but feel that this energized and further validated The Beach Boys tour plans.
Brian Wilson sat at a beautiful white grand piano. His presence was commanding and respectful. I watched him intently all night long. I enjoyed seeing him wave to the audience and blow them a kiss at one point. His happiness could be felt strongly throughout the evening.
The second set started with The Beach Boys standing around Brian Wilson on piano singing their rich harmonies, “Add Some Music To Your Day“. The feeling of The Beach Boys commiserating in the studio came across as I reflected on countless studio session photographs I have seen over the decades. The closeness they all warmly share was the perfect way to begin the second part of the show
You could feel the love and sentiment for Dennis Wilson and Carl Wilson as they were included in the evening’s music vision. I was struck by the Dennis Wilson video segment. The inclusion of Dennis Wilson singing “Forever” as the group joined in gave me goosebumps. I especially liked how last night’s show came full circle for us as the live concert footage of Dennis Wilson was filmed the last (and only other) time we saw The Beach Boys live in Central Park in July of 1971. This formed a magic connection with The Beach Boys across space and time.
It was especially poignant that Brian Wilson was watching his brother Carl sing “God Only Knows. The sentiment in his face spoke of his heart for Carl. I really love the religious aspect of The Beach Boys. Their music is a vessel of God to us. It was loving to share Carl Wilson with a live appearance and the video memories as part of the evening.
If I had to choose one song of the 45 songs they played for us that was the most memorable the one I am still hearing in my heart would be “Heroes and Villians” from The Smile Sessions. The lush studio recording techniques were recreated admirably. I was spellbound throughout the song.
They fit the new single from the forthcoming new studio album, “That’s Why God Made The Radio” in perfectly. It matches and accents their sound magnificently. Here is a YouTube Video a fan shared of that point of the show.
They played The Beach Boys song I wanted to hear most as the first of the three song encore, “Kokomo” and it sounded grand.
We left feeling very satisfied and fulfilled by this momentous night of music by America’s greatest rock and roll group, The Beach Boys.
The Beach Boys’ Set List
Part 1 – 22 Songs
“Do it Again,” “Catch a Wave,” “Hawaii,” “Don’t Back Down,” “Surfin’ Safari,” “Surfer Girl,” “Please Let Me Wonder,” “You’re So Good to Me,” “Wendy,” “Marcella,” “Then I Kissed Her,” “Why Do Fools Fall in Love,” “When I Grow Up (To be a Man),” “Cotton Fields,” “Be True To Your School,” “Disney Girls,” “Don’t Worry Baby,” “Little Honda,” “Little Deuce Coupe,” “409,” “Shut Down,” “I Get Around”
Part 2 – 20 songs
“Add Some Music to Your Day,” “California Dreamin’,” “Sloop John B,” “Wouldn’t It be Nice,” “I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times,” “Forever,” “Sail on, Sailor,” “Heroes and Villains,” “In My Room,” “All This is That,” “This Whole World,” “God Only Knows,” “That’s Why God Made the Radio,” “California Girls,” “All Summer Long,” “Help Me, Rhonda,” “Rock and Roll Music,” “Do You Wanna Dance?” “Barbara Ann,” “Surfin’ USA ,”
Encore – 3 songs
“ Kokomo ,” “Good Vibrations,” “Fun Fun, Fun.”
- The Beach Boys In Concert, Now and Then (musicofourheart.me)
- Music Review: Beach Boys at Beacon Theater (nytimes.com)
- Beach Boys Appearing This Saturday at Mohegan Sun (musicofourheart.me)