24 January 2020 (gig)
29 January 2020
Beach Boys leader, Brian Wilson, brought the summer sounds of the band he founded to the chilly northeast, which was a rescheduled show originally slated for May 2019, and was intended to include a performance of the iconic Beach Boys' "Pet Sounds" album in its entirety. The idea was abandoned in favor of a greatest hits set and Wilson and a crack backing band (which included original Beach Boy, Al Jardine, and latter day member, Blondie Chapin), brought the vibes of the beach and summer days to a brisk night at the Lynn Auditorium in Lynn Massachusetts on January 26, 2020.
Opening with a brief version of "River Deep, Mountain High," the band began a barrage of feel-good tracks of summer, girls, surfing, beach, cars, dancing, and the sun, with "California Girls," which set the tone (even if some still envision David Lee Roth's solo version, and his over-the-top video in 1985) for an onslaught of Beach Boy classics: "Dance, Dance, Dance, "I Get Around," "Shut Down," "Little Deuce Coupe," "Little Honda," "Salt Lake City," "Surfer Girl," and possibly their most brilliant song ever, "Don't Worry Baby," (a love song with haunting harmonies, but with dash of looming danger with the protagonist worried over an upcoming drag race he got himself into).
An sweet moment came when Wilson did a superb take on "Darlin'," (where his late brother, Carl Wilson, had sang on the original cut) which led into "Heroes and Villains, a hit from the Beach Boys' "Smiley Smile" album.
Around the mid-set of the show, Chapin got to shine on a trio of songs, and manned the lead spot on "Feel Flows," "Wild Honey" and the amazing, "Sail On, Sailor."
A majestical version of "I Can Hear Music," originally done by The Ronettes, led into a sampling from "Pet Sounds" with "Wouldn't It Be Nice," the sea chantey, "Sloop John B", and an especially moving, "God Only Knows" (another song Carl Wilson had sung lead on).
The light-psychedelia of "Good Vibrations" gave way to the ever youthful Jardine, who did a marvelous job on "Help Me, Rhonda" (the rebound anthem for all time). The sing-a-long favorite "Barbara Ann" was fun, but was out-shined by the Chuck Berry re-write, "Surfin' U.S.A.", and the bad girl anthem "Fun, Fun, Fun."
A sole encore of "Love and Mercy," was the only solo song Wilson did all night. "Love and Mercy" is Wilsons greatest recorded moment from the 80's and a perfect way to end the show for the man who made summer so much more fun for us all, and gave so much of himself for the music.