The crowd filing into the King Center For The Performing Arts in Sunday evening, Feb. 16, was about what one would expect for a musical production celebrating over 50 years of performances: a lot of grandparents. And most of them wore Hawaiian, or at least floral, shirts. The Beach Boys, however, showed up in flannel shirts - no flowers to be found!
When the band assembled on the stage, it was painfully obvious who the original members were: they looked at least forty years older than the rest of the group. But Mike Love and Bruce Johnston could more than hold their own. Mike Love, especially, still maintains his clear, strong voice. And he kept it up for two hours, with a short intermission. Pretty impressive for a guy in his seventies.
Behind the band was a screen that featured some vintage video and photographs from the early Beach Boys days, as well as the beginnings of the surfing phenomenon. The presentation added to the concert, however; some of the photography was breathtaking.
Mike Love was lead vocal but everyone else on stage contributed. Especially notable was the drummer. A four-part 'a cappella' number, originally done by The Four Freshmen, called " Their Hearts Were Filled With Spring ", brought the entire theater to their feet for a long standing ovation.
Rolling Stone magazine lists The Beach Boys as number 12 in the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. According to Billboard, in terms of singles and album sales, The Beach Boys are the No. 1-selling American band of all time. And they brought everything they are known for to the King Center. Especially popular were Good Vibrations and Kokomo.
As the audience filed out, this writer heard nothing but praise for a wonderful concert. The Beach Boys were warm, friendly, and went out of their way to communicate with the audience. True, the songs were a trip down Memory Lane. But there was also a great deal of respect for two senior citizens who were lucky enough to continue doing what they loved without looking like they thought they were younger than they were. This show had something for all ages, musically, and the group dynamic was spot on.