Quick Notes About The Beach Boys Tour

The opening night was last night, and while I wasn’t there (I repeat, I *wasn’t there*, this is not a review, I’ll be posting my own reviews in July, when I go to Italy to see the tour), a LOT of people are hitting my blog looking for information, so I thought I’d post a quick summary. Most of this comes from ‘Prodigal Son’ on the blue board, plus bits of information from newspaper reviews etc.

Apparently all the band were in good voice. Brian was nervous in the first half, but more relaxed in the second. It was a 42-song set, and the songs they played were essentially a normal Beach Boys set, plus the following songs that either Mike & Bruce don’t normally play in the US or never play at all:
The Little Girl I Once Knew, This Whole World, You’re So Good To Me, Cottonfields, Disney Girls, Please Let Me Wonder, Forever, Sail On Sailor, Heroes & Villains, All This Is That, That’s Why God Made The Radio.

The band were pretty much exactly what we’d been hearing for a while, with the odd addition of Mike D’Amico rather than Brett on bass (odd because Mike is a drummer). David Marks took almost all of the lead guitar. The rest of the band were Scott Totten (guitar and co-musical-director), Paul Von Mertens (woodwinds and co-musical-director), Darian Sahanaja (keyboards), Nick Walusko (guitar), Probyn Gregory (everything), Mike D’Amico (bass), Nelson Bragg (percussion), Scott Bennett (keyboards), Jeff Foskett (guitar) and John Cowsill (drums).

Oddly, and I’m worried that this could be very tacky, but reports from people who were there say it worked, Forever and God Only Knows had the lead vocals performed by videos of Dennis and Carl, with the band backing. Jeff Foskett took lead on Don’t Worry Baby, and Darian sang Carl’s part on All This Is That, but otherwise all lead vocals (other than the falsetto parts) were by one of the band members.

Again, I wasn’t there, but it sounds like while it wasn’t exactly what I’d have liked to see (I would have liked them to come out, do the whole Love You, Smiley Smile, Smile, and Friends albums, in order, then encore with Mt Vernon And Fairway.) it was done well enough, and with enough stuff to keep people like me happy (as well as people who just go to throw beach balls and shout for Kokomo) that it’ll be worth the trip to Italy.

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10 Responses to Quick Notes About The Beach Boys Tour

  1. TAD says:

    The BeeGees did something simliar on their latter tours, when they had a pre-recorded Andy Gibb sing parts of “Our Love (Don’t Throw It All Away).” It worked well, although it was a bit odd (in my opinion). Personally I’d rather hear the song sung live by someone, but I can understand the sentiment behind it.

    What do you think of the full TWGMTR single, now that it’s been released?

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      I think as a song That’s Why God Made The Radio is pretty poor, but as a record it’s the best thing they’ve done as a band since LA (Light Album).

      Having now heard audience recordings of ten of the tracks from the show last night… they’re sounding fantastic. Brian’s in better voice than I’ve heard from him in years.

  2. TAD says:

    I have to say, I agree with you on TWGMTR. The song is okay (at best), but it’s more of a catchy production (stacked harmonies) than it is a good song. And I also agree, it’s the best-sounding recording they’ve done since the late 70s. You were right that there was a bridge in the song (not included in the promo). They should have had Mike sing it though. Can you hear other Beach Boys in the backing vocals? I hear Bruce a bit, but I still can’t hear Mike, and I don’t think I can hear Al either.

    I hope you’re right about Brian. I thought his vocals had gotten quite a bit weaker (especially live) in the past 3 or 4 years. I expect the tour to be excellent though, regardless of how Brian sounds. I’d love to hear All This Is That!

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      Al’s there on the “In my car… in my car” part, especially. Mike’s much more buried, but in the tag if you listen to the “That’s why god made… that’s why god made…” he’s one of the singers on that bit. It’s just he’s singing in his mid-range Kokomo voice, rather than his nasal tenor or his bass range.

      I think Brian’s helped by not having to be the sole focus of the show — and, of course, he might just be excited by it being the first night. That said, when I saw the Gershwin tour last year, he was *VERY* good on the Gershwin songs, but basically slept through the hits portion — it might just be that giving those songs to someone else to sing lets him keep his interest.

      • TAD says:

        I know what you mean. Brian might be better suited to just being “one of the occasional lead singers,” rather than singing lead on every song. He’s probably more than happy to disappear into the background for a lot of the songs, anyway.

        Relistening to TWGMTR……

  3. adavidw says:

    In your list of musicians, you forgot Scott Bennett on keys. He was there last night. 10 musicians in the backing band.

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      You’re quite right. I’ll fix it straight away. Must have got confused by there being two Scotts.

  4. TAD says:

    Have you heard if Al is doing additional lead vocals (in concert), or are the leads split mostly among Brian and Mike? Ideally, Al should probably be doing 1/3 of the lead vocals, in the sense that he’s easily the band’s best singer at this point.

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      Of the 42 songs, Al’s doing Then I kissed her, Cottonfields, Wouldn’t It Be Nice, California Dreaming and Rhonda. David Marks is doing Wendy and Do You Wanna Dance. Brian’s doing Surfer Girl, Little Girl I Once Knew, This Whole World, You’re So Good To Me, Please Let Me Wonder, In My Room, Sail On Sailor, Heroes & Villains, That’s Why God Made The Radio and Good Vibrations. Bruce is doing Disney Girls, Foskett’s doing Don’t Worry Baby, and the rest are either Mike or group performances.

  5. TAD says:

    Al’s definitely being under-utillized, then. I’m not surprised, but it would be a better show with Al performing more leads. Oh well.

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