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THE BEACH BOYS
Written By: Gary Crouthamel
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THE BEACH BOYS
THE BEACH BOYS
THE BEACH BOYS
THE BEACH BOYS
THE BEACH BOYS
THE BEACH BOYS
THE BEACH BOYS
THE BEACH BOYS
THE BEACH BOYS
Susquehanna Bank Center, Camden, NJ
Saturday, June 16th 2012
 
        Finally, my first show of the season back at my favorite outdoor venue. And this one had a few different vibes right from when I picked up my press credentials. First I was told they sold no lawn tickets but the permanent seats under the pavilion were sold out at 7,000. I'm sure this was in part with the fact that Kenny Chesney was playing across the Delaware river at Philadelphia's Lincoln Financial Stadium to a sold-out 60,000 fans. Next I noticed that when people bring in certain things that aren’t allowed in the pavilion or lawn they have to check them in at customer services. Well, tonight was a shocker. I noticed people checking in wheelchairs, walkers and even oxygen tanks with spouces (NO, just kidding on that one). Back to the show. When the band, Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston, and David Marks, took the stage at 8:00pm backed by a nine-piece band and a huge video screen behind them and opened with "Do It Again", "Little Honda", and "Catch A Wave", that set the tone for the 2 1/2 hour 48 song set (yes, 48) for the rest of the night. It was a stunning journey through a great songbook. After the third song, Mike Love was already mentioning they needed to go back stage and take a break, as he joked about the aging thing all night. He also addressed the crowd saying that the show was divided into two sets. The first half is set 1, he said, and the second is set 2; everybody follow that!! After another run of hits including (sorry, but this week I have not enough space to list all the songs) "Surfin' Safari", "Surfer Girl" and "Wendy", by the time we got to the 16th song, "Disney Girls", with Bruce Johnston on vocals, Love tells the crowd, "this next song is from our Surf's Up album, which came out in 1872". Now, off of their just released new album That’s Why God Made the Radio, (he said it hit number three on the billboard top 200, but please buy the new album so it hits number one) Love introduces "Isn’t It Time" to the crowd before ending their first set with a strong run of "Little Duece Coupe", "409", "Shut Down" and "I Get Around."
    After a twenty-minute intermission all five original members gathered around Wilson's piano for an acoustic version of "Add Some Music to Your Day", then the rest of the band came back and they started with "Heroes and Villains", "Sloop John B", "Wouldn't It Be Nice", "I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times", with Wilson on vocals, "Sail on, Sailor", a rarely ever played song, and "In My Room", and "All Is That", with once again featuring Wilson's most effective vocals of the night. Then the title track of the new album Thats Why God Made the Radio. Now Love introduces the original four remaining members of the band but says there are more Wilson's that are not with us anymore, just in spirit, and gives tribute to the late great Dennis Wilson as they rolled footage of him on the screen singing one of his originals, "Forever", while the band played along. Next was a tribute to Carl Wilson, where footage of him singing lead in the studio of "Only God Knows". These two songs struck just the right tone and may have been the emotional highlight of the show.
    To close out their second set they brought out all the power hits with "Good Vibrations", "California Girls", "Help Me, Rhonda", Chuck Berry's "Rock and Roll Music", "Do You Wanna Dance", and "Surfin USA", and that’s only the first 45 songs!!
    For the encore, and after all those hits, they still managed to end on a higher note with the ‘80s comeback single "Kokomo" a rousing “Barbara Ann” (with Brian Wilson coming out and playing bass for the final two songs) and closer "Fun, Fun, Fun” before hitting the front of the stage where they took their final bows of the evening.

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