I got in a little late last night (at least by my standards), thanks to the Beach Boys holiday concert at The Grand in Wilmington.
The trip downtown did not come with high expectations. The Mike Love version of the Beach Boys has been touring for decades and there were vague memories of a semi-forgettable concert in hot and humid weather at the long-departed Kahunaville on the Riverfront.
My last contact with the Beach Boys came during a brief tour featuring Love and the legendary Brian Wilson.
The reunion did not last long. The band returned to its former factions with Love and Bruce Johnston working under the Beach Boys name after a much-publicized legal battle that made its way into books and movies.
Brian Wilson and Al Jardine tour on their own and both are currently on the road for holiday appearances while pitching rival holiday albums.
The Grand turned out to be a perfect venue for the Beach Boys as I looked down from the balcony at a sea ofgray hair and a guy sort of dressed like Santa.
Love, 77, was an affable presence as he made a pitch for his Christmas record that features a photo with a Lionel train on the back cover.
Love’s band is on vinyl again via the Christmas album and had a few good lines about record players. Never mind that millennials were the ones who have turned to LPs that along with streaming have made the CD an endangered species.
The nine-member Beach Boys remainedfocused on their long-running setlist as the screen carried nonstop images of surfing, cars, girls, California, andphotos of the band over the decades.
Love’s band quickly served up dozens of hits, not pausing for long guitar or drum solos. The band also offered songs from the original Beach Boys Christmas album as well as Love’s LP.
The band scored extra points with a video of Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles catching the Philly Philly pass at the Super Bowl, with Patriots quarterback falling short on a similar play.
The audience stayed put for a while, but eventually stood up and a few danced and as the band of 70 somethings and younger types, including Love’s son, rolled through the Beach Boys songbook, ending with the Brian Wilson, Mike Love song, Fun, Fun, Fun (‘til her daddy takes the T-Bird away).
It brought back memories ofquick lunch trips in seventh grade to a friend’s Mexican Food restaurant for a taco, a burro and Fun, Fun, Fun on the jukebox.
Never mind that we were 450 miles away from the California surf. The Beach Boys and their Pendelton shirts (California winter wear) were The Band – upuntil the day when those lads with the mop tops and funnyboots landed in the U.S.
Enjoy your weekend, stream the Beach Boys first Christmas album and come back on Monday as this newsletter heads into hits final work week in 2018. – Doug Rainey, publisher.