- Posted May 27, 2012 by
Chula Vista, California
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Photo essays: Your stories in pictures
Beach Boys Bring Good Vibrations on Their 50th Anniversary Tour
- Jareen, CNN iReport producer
I am guilty of an assumption that proved utterly wrong last night when I attended the Beach Boys 50th Anniversary Tour at Cricket Amphitheater in Chula Vista. I thought the audience would be a bunch of old fogeys & faded surf chicks, but I could not have been more wrong.
The Beach Boys, as nostalgic an act as is out there on the road right now, attracted a wonderfully varied mix of people & ages. I saw young kids with their parents, teenagers, hipster twenty-somethings and then of course, there were the well-preserved fossils such as myself who sought to relive their youth by enjoying the tunes they try hard to remember from back in their glory days!!
And Oh, what a glorious reliving it was. Foster the People, a newby band making a name for themselves, opened the show with some catchy songs that are getting lots of radio air play these days. Foster the People had performed on stage at the Grammy Awards earlier this year with the Beach Boys & lead singer Mark Foster spoke very eloquently about the love & respect their band has for their iconic musical elders.
Then it was time to experience "Good Vibrations." Out came the Beach Boys, with a full band backing them up on the backstage. "Do It Again" was an appropriate way to open their reunion tour and "Catch a Wave" & "Surfin Safari" got the crowd into gear. Mike Love then dedicated "Surfer Girl"--full of the lilting melodies the Beach Boys are famous for--to "all the ladies."
Despite a chill wind in the air & an unseasonable breeze that had attendees standing in long lines to buy hot chocolate & coffee, the warmth and hospitality of the show kept freezing people like me able to enjoy the music, despite themselves. This weather was unusual, as inland Chula Vista, where the venue is located, is generally on the balmy side.
Next, Brian Wilson, who stayed seated behind an enormous white piano, sang the plaintive ballad, "Please Let Me." Though Wilson appeared to sometimes be reading the lyrics off a teleprompter in front of him, it still was a glorious moment. Next up: Al Jardine, who did a great job with "Then I Kissed Her."
The hits just kept coming. The band covered a do-wop ditty, Frankie Lymon's "Why Do Fools Fall in Love?" Mike Love's lovely 16-year old daughter appeared on stage to nicely cover "Sail On Sailor".
The Beach Boys took a brief intermission break & urged the audience to use their bathroom break to pick up some anniversary tour memorabilia at their merch table.
Before the break, the Beach Boys played "Little Deuce Coupe," "409," and a slow tempo "In My Room." Every song had "Good Vibrations," including the "state song, California Girls," & some help from Foster the People with "Wouldn't It Be Nice." Very touching: the video tribute to the departed Wilson brothers. Dennis sang "Forever" and Carl, "God Only Knows." The Beach Boys debuted a new song that sounded suspiciously like the old ones. The audience seemed to like "That's Why God Made the Radio."
There was no denying that this Anniversary Show was skillfully produced. It seemed to have a Las Vegas efficiency about it. Still, the music was so sunny & spectacularly bouyant that I felt transported back to my youth, a not unpleasant feeling.
Singing along to these harmony-drenched anthems of high school glory, pretty California girls & surfing adventures took me away from all the "stuff" of today. The Beach Boys offer, not so much escapism, as much as they do unbridled optimism.
As the show wound down, I almost began to dread the moment it would be over. "Do You Wanna Dance" and finally "Surfin USA" summed the good times up.
Surely, the creative influences the Beach Boys have had on the music of today is incalculable but there is no denying the historical significance of attending this tour stop. The Boys are not getting any younger but they managed to put on a very entertaining show that did not skimp-at all-on good music, friendly patter & a vast reservoir of gracious good will. Yes, Good Vibrations, indeed..