Nothing quite goes with a hot summer day like The Beach Boys. Of course, when I bought my tickets nearly a month ago, I had no idea the temperatures would be a breathtaking 100 plus, and by breathtaking I mean the "suck the air right from your chest" kind of heat and humidity. Yet, it still seemed like the perfect combination for a Sunday evening and with the way the open air venue of Freedom Hill is positioned, a consistent breeze fended off heat exhaustion.
Before the capacity crowd got down to some fun fun fun in the sun, we were treated to the 9 House Band. They are a pretty familiar face on the Detroit club circuit and are fronted by one-time Boston Bruin, Kraig Nienhuis.
They revved up the crowd with their renditions of a wide selection of music, everything from "Folsom County Blues" to "Born to Run" to "Signs" to a scorching hot Queen medley. They burned up the stage with their entertaining antics, rocking style, and enthusiastic delivery for a forty-minute set that left the crowd anxiously awaiting the main attraction.
Before leaving the stage they announced they would be playing in the Hillside Club for an hour and a half after the concert for anyone who wasn't ready for the party to be over, or if you just wanted to give time for the traffic to clear before taking to the road. I was so impressed with their performance I considered hanging out, but declined because of the two-hour drive home I had ahead of me. Those who did stay not only got to rock out with this great band, but were treated to a special bonus when The Beach Boys' special guest for the evening, John Stamos, showed up and sat in on drums.
After the 9 House Band left the stage, it was only a short twenty minutes before the stage was reset and the legendary Beach Boys came out. Joining founding member Mike Love and long time member Bruce Johnston on stage were the usual touring members of recent years: Randell Kirsch, Scott Totten, Christian Love, John Cowsill, and Mike Kowalski. Also bringing an exuberant energy to the stage was long time special guest John Stamos (who has played choice dates with the band for twenty plus years).