The Beach Boys 50th Anniversary Reunion Tour is a thing of the past. The tour and their latest studio album, That’s Why God Made the Radio, were better than any fan of the band could have hoped for or imagined. What the future holds for the band is unknown, but with Mike Love now back fronting his own version of the group, their future is filled with “what ifs” at the present time.
What we are left with is the residue from their extended anniversary tour, which no doubt will be issued in a number of different formats and configurations as the years pass.
I prefer to watch or listen to entire concerts, without interruption or studio tinkering, that present the good and the bad as it was at a specific point in time. Hopefully some entire concerts will come in the future but for now fans of the group will need to be content with this piecemeal approach.
The band members have all reached retirement age and their voices are not as supple as they were 40 years or so ago and Carl and Dennis Wilson are still missed. Having said that, they still sound pretty good and the harmonies remain intact. When needed, they fill in the sound with other voices.
As with their concerts, the song list combines many of their big hits with some of their lesser-known songs. “I Get Around,” “Surfer Girl,” and “In My Room” share space with “Pet Sounds,” “Marcella,” and “Hawaii.” Throw in such songs as “Don’t Back Down,” “Wendy,” “409,” “Shut Down,” and “Add Some Music to Your Day” and you have a wonderful trip down memory lane. “Good Vibrations,” “California Girls,” and “Help Me Rhonda” are performed in a row. If you are a fan of the Beach Boys, it doesn’t get any better than that.
There are about two hours of music, which is more than worth the price of the CD. My only major complaint is the lack of any liner notes, extensive or otherwise, which would have provided some prospective to the performances.
The Beach Boys have always been a part of the eternal summer of American culture. Much of their music emanates from a time that never will be again (and in many ways never was) as it was just beyond the horizon. Still, The Beach Boys’ Live – The 50th Anniversary Tour allows one to travel back in time one more time, while listening to some fine music along the way.