Yesterday I had the fine pleasure of seeing the legendary Beach Boys live at the Chateau Ste. Michelle in Woodinville, WA. Though I’m always hesitant to see a “Nostalgia Act” it’s hard to resist when it’s one of the greatest American bands of all time. So in honor of the show and the band’s 50th anniversary, here’s 50 things I learned from seeing The Beach Boys live.
1. “Do it Again” isn’t a very exciting opening song.
2. Brian Wilson almost exclusively sits behind a grand piano for the band’s set. Even on songs where he doesn’t appear to be playing piano.
3. Some guy named Jeff Foskett now does all of Brian Wilson’s falsetto parts.
4. 90% of Mike Love’s audience banter revolves around the fact that they’re really old.
5. The Beach Boys play a lot of covers including; “Then I Kissed Her”, “Come Go with Me”, “Why Do Fools Fall in Love” and “Rock and Roll Music”.
6. Al Jardine’s vocals hold up the best.
7. Al Jardine looks like he’s 4’ft tall.
8. The Beach Boys backing band is good… A little too good. I get the feeling they’re carrying too much of the original band.
9. The Beach Boys play way too many of their early songs.
10. The Beach Boys have trouble playing “When I Grow Up to Be a Man”. They messed up the vocals and drums and had to start over.
11. Brian Wilson’s voice sounds strained, but there’s still something magical about listening to him sing.
12. Despite it’s terrible name Bruce Johnston’s “Disney Girls” is a good song.
13. If you are young and go to a winery concert alone older people will offer you snacks out of pity.
14. It’s weird to hear 70 year old men singing about being “True to Your School”.
15. During “Be True to Your School” the video screen behind the band flashes images of school logos (including UW and Wazzu).
16. No one seems to know who David Marks is.
17. No one seems to know who Bruce Johnston is.
18. The people behind me weren’t sure who Brian Wilson was.
19. The Beach Boys play all their songs about vehicles back-to-back.
20. The drums on “I Get Around” are MF’n awesome.
21. Some people feel the need to assemble an entire wooden table for snacks. I do not approve.
22. Some people do not shut up.
23. Mike Love says Abraham Lincoln is one of their biggest fans (Get it? Cause they’re old!)
24. “Help Me Rhonda” is the best singalong song in The Beach Boys set.
25. I wish the band played more from the SMiLE album.
26. David Marks is a competent guitarist. His lead guitar work on the title track to Pet Sounds was great.
27. It doesn’t matter what band is playing. If you have a show at a winery half the audience will get drunk.
28. “Heroes and Villains” doesn’t get enough love from the audience.
29. Brian Wilson singing “I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times” sends shivers down my spine.
30. None of the songs played after “Wouldn’t it Be Nice” equalled it.
31. The best part of a Beach Boy’s show is anything from Pet Sounds.
32. I wish the band would just play Pet Sounds in it’s entirety.
33. I don’t give a shit about the song “Sail on, Sailor”
34. The band plays deceased Beach Boy Dennis Wilson’s song “Forever” by playing along with a video of Dennis Wilson.
35. The band plays “God Only Knows” by playing along with a video of Carl Wilson. I like Carl, but I wish Brian Wilson had sung it for the show.
36. “Good Vibrations” doesn’t sound that great live.
37. The only song Brian Wilson stands up to play bass on is “Barbara Ann”.
38. People like “Kokomo” more than they should.
39. John Cowsill from the 60s family band The Cowsills is currently The Beach Boys drummer.
40. I wish The Beach Boys had played their song “Still Cruisin'” from Lethal Weapon 2.
41. As much as I like Mike Love I wish he’d sing lead on less songs.
42. The Beach Boys cover of “Rock and Roll Music” rocks more than you think.
43. The Beach Boys don’t play enough songs from Sunflower.
44. No one wants to hear any of The Beach Boys new songs… Including me.
45. Some drunk people choose to dance by waving lawn chairs in the air.
46. This show was the shortest I ever had to wait for a band to come back out for an encore.
47 “Fun, Fun, Fun” isn’t a very good closer.
48. The Beach Boys’ set is almost 50 songs long!
49. The Beach Boys still seem to enjoy playing live.
50. Although it was incredibly crowded, had an annoying audience, and a band that is definitely past their prime, I had a good time.