Live In Concert: 50th Anniversary (DVD)

The Beach Boys

Blast Music, 2012

REVIEW BY: David Bowling


Fifty years ago The Beach Boys caught a wave and rode it into the American consciousness. Their songs of surfing, cars, and romance combined with impeccable harmonies and catchy melodies to create a summer without end. While that eternal summer was just beyond the horizon and never really attainable, they at least kept the possibility alive.

In celebration of their golden anniversary, the surviving Beach Boys created a wonderful studio album, That’s Why God Made The Radio, and embarked on an extensive 75 stop world tour. Their new DVD, Live In Concert: 50th Anniversary, my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 presents a glimpse of their tour.

The good news is the 21 tracks are excellent and a testament to the lasting virtuosity of the band. Yes, they are older and their voices show some wear and tear, but the harmonies are still present and the disc is a fine ride through some of their well known and lesser-known songs. The bad news is what is missing. Many of their concerts were divided into two sets, which stretched out to 50 songs to match their 50th anniversary. Their Phoenix concert came close to that mark and songs such as “Please Let Me Wonder,” “Pet Sounds,” “Don’t Worry Baby,” “Add Some Music to Your Day,” “Don’t Back Down,” “Why Do Fools Fall in Love,” “Little Honda,” plus close to 20 others were performed but not released on the DVD. If you are going to release a concert, then my feeling is include everything.

What is here is very good and worth the price of admission. From the opening “Do It Again” to the closing “Fun Fun Fun,” they appear engaged, relaxed, and happy. Yes, there are supporting musicians to fill in the gaps, including long time guitarist Jeff Foskett, but the focus is mostly on the main members and they come through in fine style. The playing, the singing, and the general atmosphere they create are better than I expected.

Such eternal hits as “Good Vibrations,” “California Girls,” “I Get Around,” and “Little Duece Coupe” share the stage with new songs, “That’s Why God Made The Radio” and “Isn’t It Time.” Throw is deeper cuts like “Hawaii,” “Marcella,” and “Sail On Sailor” and you have a ride through their 50-year career.

Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, David Marks, and Bruce Johnston reunited for what may or may not be a final ride. If you just focus on what is here then Live In Concert: 50th Anniversary is a worthwhile purchase. They prove that the eternal summer is still out there somewhere.

Rating: B

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© 2012 David Bowling and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Blast Music, and is used for informational purposes only.