Sunday, May 27, 2012

Concert Review: The Beach Boys At The Chicago Theater

Last week, our daughter Nicki had the chance to see The Beach Boys' 50th Anniversary Tour live in concert at The Chicago Theater.  (No, we didn't get to go ... but we're living vicariously through her review ... and sharing it with you today!)

For those of you who have been following Forgotten Hits for the past several years (this is our 13th, you know!), you're already well aware of Nicki's long affection for (and connection to) The Beach Boys.  Do a Forgotten Hits website search for The Beach Boys and you'll see some of those stories recounted here ... all you have to do is click or scroll back to read them.

She saw her very first Beach Boys concert at the ripe old age of four!!!  And we sat in second row seats to see them!  (When "The Boys" came back through town again nine months later, I scrambled like mad to get second row seats again so she could relive the experience!)  During that first show, Mike Love actually presented her with a beach ball from the stage.

Of course by then she was already a seasoned Beach Boys fan ... a member of their fan club (she even had a Beach Boys bumper sticker on the back of her bicycle!!!) ... and knew virtually all of their hit songs by heart and could sing them at will ... and along with the band during their concerts, which caught Love's attention from the stage.

Then, at the age of six, she declared that she wanted to marry Mike Love. (I wasn't too concerned ... because by then, knowing Mike's taste in women, she was probably already too old for him!  lol)  He was always her favorite ... and while, until last week, like me, she had never seen Brian perform with The Beach Boys either, she WAS able to catch Brian Wilson's solo show last summer at The Arcada Theatre in St. Charles.  (Brian's back-up band, most of them from The Wondermints, is worth the price of admission alone ... add a top form Brian Wilson to the mix and you're going to see a concert every bit as good or better than ANY Beach Boys show you've ever seen ... and that's exactly what we were treated to that night!)  Many of those same musicians are part of this very special 50th Anniversary touring band as well.

She has seen The Beach Boys numerous times since that first concert so many years ago ... ALL good shows, she says ... but it sounds like this special reunion concert was amongst the very best.

Here is her review:   

If you’ve ever questioned whether the Beach Boys still got it, after listening to the first 30 seconds of their 50th Anniversary Tour you’ll have your answer. Fittingly opening the show with “Do It Again”, original members Brian Wilson, Mike Love , and Al Jardine, along with David Marks and Bruce Johnston, proved to Chicago that despite how long it’s been, they could in fact get back together and do it again. And they did it gooooooood.

With beach balls bouncing throughout the audience and each member of the group adorned in a Hawaiian shirt, the Beach Boys proved that age will not prevent this group of 70 year old men from putting on a great show.

Brian stayed at the piano for most of the night, acknowledging his constant applause with occasional waves and smiles. He even got up at the end of the show and held a guitar! Mike looked comfortable front and center and also acted as MC. Al and Bruce each got a chance to sing their own song, and they both sounded fantastic! But I also have to give credit to Jeffrey Foskett, who sang all the falsetto notes that the band can’t hit anymore and he totally killed on his performance of “Don’t Worry Baby”.

Jeffrey isn’t the only person from Brian Wilson’s band on this 50th Anniversary Tour; we recognized that about half of the Beach Boys’ band is a part of Brian’s individual tour band. Kudos to the entire band for putting on an amazing show!

All in all, I’d say this show was worth every penny, and I think the entire audience would agree based on its reaction to each song. 
They made us laugh while trying to act like teenagers by jumping and kicking on stage … 
They made us cry during the tribute to Dennis and Carl Wilson …
They made us wonder what the heck was going on while showing pictures of their merchandise on the JumboTron during intermission … But most importantly, they made us SMiLE.
-- Nicki (Kotal) Carlson

(photo by Nicki Carlson)

For another GREAT review of The Beach Boys' concert at The Chicago Theater, be sure to check out Jeremy Roberts' latest column.  (You'll even find the complete set list here!)  Sounds like it was a FANTASTIC show!  

Click here: The Beach Boys add plenty of music in Chicago: Backstage with author Mike Eder - National Pop Culture | Examiner.c

And one more from Chicago Tribune columnist Greg Kot ... which is also where we copped this cool, on-stage photo, taken by Nuccio DiNuzzo ...

Click here: Beach Boys concert review; Beach Boys at Chicago Theatre reviewed -  

You could've left at intermission and you still would've got your money's worth. 
Wild Wayne  

For a little taste of what it must have been like, check out this link featuring their live show in Texas.  (Like the note says, "be patient" ... this sucker took FOREVER to load when I tried to play it!)

Hey Kent ...
Happy Memorial Day. 
We recently took a trip to Bethlehem, PA, to see The Beach Boys' 50th Anniversary Tour. Al Jardine was kind enough to make it possible for us to attend the soundcheck and spend time backstage before and after the show. I highly recommend seeing their show. It was an emotional experience for me, and many others in the arena. With fifteen musicians onstage, there was not one part left out of any song they performed. It was flawless. I've attached a photo of Richie Rotkin, myself and Freddy Brog posing with The Beach Boys after their VIP photo sessions, with thanks to Photographer Jeff McEvoy for taking the photo. It was good to see Bruce Johnston and Richie talking about the old days, and great spending time with Al. Good Vibrations for sure.
Mitch Schecter / The Rip Chords