The Beach Boys are one of those bands I’ve always taken for granted. They’ve been around my whole life and I’ve heard all their songs a million times. I remember as a kid attending my friend Eric’s birthday party and singing, “Help Me Rhonda”. Eric had an older sister named Rhonda and I though she was cute, especially when she was wearing her private school uniform. And unlike other bands from the ‘60s they never went away or knew when to go away. I know that sounds rude but sometimes you have to miss something to really appreciate it.
When I was in school every band that played the frat house or any of the neighboring frat houses always played a Beach Boys song or two. A common theme in college for parties was a “beach party” and because of that I overdosed on Beach Boys songs. To be honest, in hindsight I’ve probably heard more bands sing Beach Boys than I heard done by The Beach Boys. My senior year in college The Beach Boys played during Homecoming Week. I didn’t attend then and quite honest only once or twice ever thought about seeing them after all these years. A few years back I saw Brian Wilson in concert and started to get interested again as they hit their 50th anniversary. I knew had to go see them in concert because I had to honestly think how man more chances will I get to go see them?
I decided to go see them at the Tivoli Theatre and did not know what to expect. Mike Love is the only original touring member in the band – or at least I should say founding member. Bruce Johnston, who’s been with the band since ’65 and might as well be considered a founder, was in tow as well. I was still apprehensive about going to the show. It was entitled, “Reason For the Season”, a Christmas themed show. That was fine. I’ve heard a few Beach Boys’ Christmas songs in the past and like them all. I was just worried first of all about the people coming to the show. I equate the fans of The Beach Boys the way I do fans of Jimmy Buffet. Maybe it has been all the “beach” parties I’ve been to over the years. I picture Corona swilling idiots wearing Hawaiian shirts, cheap sunglasses and flip-flops. Fortunately it’s cold outside so people had to dress weather appropriate. Also with 29 albums to their name, the hardcore fans that show up for these shows always want to hear the obscure songs and deep cuts. That pr they want to hear the most stereotypical Beach Boys song there is. However, there are a ton of them.
With Christmas trees adorning each side of the stage the “Boys” took the stage and for the next couple of hours I was a kid again listening to AM Top 40 even catching myself singing along – and checking around me to see if anyone was paying attention to my self-indulgence. They were too busy singing along as well. One after another one song we all seemed to know the words by heart were played by The Beach Boys. One hit after the other – songs even I could sing along to like “Surfin’ U.S.A.”, “Surfer Girl”, “Little Deuce Coupe” and to finish the first set, “I Get Around”.
Being billed as the reason for the season the second set that was dedicated to the Christmas season. The second set started with “Frosty the Snowman” a crowd favorite and continued with other Christmas standards like “White Christmas” and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas (If Only in My Dreams)”. The set included songs seasonal songs written by Love that were performed live for the first time ever this night. Chattanooga was the first to hear “Celestial Celebration”, “Must Be Christmas” and “Finally It’s Christmas”.
After nine Christmas themed songs it was back to the hits. Love brought his son Christian on stage as he told the background story on the song “God Only Knows” and was originally sung by the late Carl Wilson. For this song Christian sang lead for his late cousin as his father joined in backing vocals. From there they finished their second set with “Sloop John B”, “Wouldn’t It Be Nice”, “California Girls”, Barbara Ann”, “Kokomo” and “Good Vibrations”. After a brief break The Beach Boys came out for an encore of “Reason For the Season” that had everyone dancing in the isles and finishing the night with the appropriate for the theme of the night, “Fun, Fun, Fun”.
And I had fun, fun, fun all night and my daddy didn’t take my T-Bird away.
The Beach Boys Setlist
Do It Again
Catch a Wave
Why Do Fools Fall in Love (Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers cover)
When I Grow Up (to Be a Man)
Help Me, Rhonda
Do You Wanna Dance? (Bobby Freeman cover)
In My Room
All the Love in Paris (Mike Love song)
Unleash the Love (Mike Love song)
Don’t Worry Baby
Little Deuce Coupe
I Get Around
Frosty the Snowman (Gene Autry cover)
I’ll Be Home for Christmas (If Only in My Dreams) (Bing Crosby cover)
Celestial Celebration (Mike Love song) (Premiere: First time ever)
Must Be Christmas (Mike Love song) (Premiere: First time ever)
Finally It’s Christmas (Mike Love song) (Premiere: First time ever)
White Christmas (Bing Crosby cover)
The Man With All the Toys
Little Saint Nick
God Only Knows
Sloop John B (traditional] cover)
Wouldn’t It Be Nice
Barbara Ann (The Regents cover)
Reason for the Season (Mike Love song)
Fun, Fun, Fun
– Dave Weinthal