While there are many bands I've seen live in concert over the years (too many to even count), I still carry a pretty large musical bucket list of bands I have loved but have never seen live. And there is nothing better than getting to cross one of those bands off that list. This week (at my local county fair of all places), I was able to cross the legendary Beach Boys off that list.
I freely admit as a California girl, born and bred, I may have a slightly biased opinion on The Beach Boys. Growing up here, a majority of Beach Boy songs are pretty much ingrained into your head in the womb. So they've been a part of my childhood soundtrack forever. Seeing them live was a huge deal to me, and thankfully they did not disappoint.
Mike Love and Bruce Johnston were at the top of their game kicking off the set with some of the classics like "Surfin'," "Catch a Wave," "Little Honda," & "Do It Again." And a hot California night was the perfect setting to move right into "Surfin' Safari" and "Surfer Girl."
They dug deep into the catalog and had the crowd jumping during "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" and "Then He Kissed Me."
I was curious how they would cover some of the Brian Wilson library (some of my personal favorite Beach Boys tunes) and found the answer in guitarist Jeffrey Foskett. Having previously worked with Brian before moving over to the Beach Boys, Foskett won over the crowd while singing“God Only Knows,” as a touching tribute to Carl Wilson.
They closed out the set keeping the crowd on their feet with “California Girls,” “Help Me, Rhonda,” “Barbara Ann,” “Surfin' U.S.A.,” and an encore that included “Kokomo” and “Fun, Fun, Fun.”
The crowd sang every song and kept dancing throughout. I couldn't keep from smiling at the diversity of the crowd from older men in their Hawaiian shirts to kids and teens and every age in between.
As the California sun set behind us, I stood dancing with a huge crowd of fellow Californians singing the songs that define our state and I relished the moment.
Moments like that are what live concerts are all about, and I could not imagine a better way to kick off summer.
What bands do you plan crossing off your bucket list this summer?