Beach Boys celebrate summer at county fair PDF Print E-mail
Written by DAVID DUPONT | Sentinel Arts & Entertainment Editor   
Sunday, 04 August 2013 00:39
Mike Love, an original member of the Beach Bosy, is seen on stage with the current band August 3, 2013 during a concert at the Wood County Fair in Bowling Green, Ohio. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
Mike Love, an original member of the Beach Bosy, is seen on stage with the current band August 3, 2013 during a concert at the Wood County Fair in Bowling Green, Ohio. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
Saturday was a great night to celebrate summer at the Wood County Fair, warm, not hot, and clear skies, and the perfect soundtrack — the music of The Beach Boys.
Leader Mike Love, the only original member in this seven-piece iteration of the seminal pop band, told the crowd there was “no extra charge for the California-style weather.”
Certainly it was a stark and welcomed contrast to last year’s show when severe storms pushed Gretchen Wilson’s set into the early morning hours of Sunday. SEE MORE PHOTOS
No, Saturday was all sun and stars, and evocations of sand and surf as The Beach Boys delivered a two-hour show packed with their hits.
They opened in surfing mood, hitting the theme in a half-dozen songs before concluding with “Surfin’ Safari,” the first big number of the night, and the first time the audience rose to its feet.
While Love and longtime member Bruce Johnston were the frontmen with Love doing most of the talking, the key to the band’s continued vitality is bringing on musicians who have the depth of skill and experience to realize the Beach Boys’ sound.
Drummer John Cowsill is seen on stage with the Beach Boys August 3, 2013 during a concert at the Wood County Fair in Bowling Green, Ohio. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
Drummer John Cowsill is seen on stage with the Beach Boys August 3, 2013 during a concert at the Wood County Fair in Bowling Green, Ohio. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
Scott Totten, lead guitarist and music director, stepped forward with some, short raucous rock guitar solos that connected groups to rock. He was helped along in that by John Cowsill, who added a crisp driving beat underneath it.
But it is the full vocal sound, piling as many as six voices together that makes The Beach Boys The Beach Boys, and that was on full display throughout the night even as lead vocals were passed along from Love, who sounds just like he did on the early records, to his son Christian, Johnston and Totten.
Love spoke briefly after that first group of surfing songs, joking about the group’s age, a “used rock band,” he quipped. But a newer song “Still Cruisin’” could be the band’s theme. It had Totten grinding out more contemporary hard rock guitar.
Randell Kirsch, who plays bass with the band, delivered the soaring vocal line “Don’t Worry Baby.”
The band then rolled into a string of car related songs, then the band turned reflective including “When I Grow Up” and Love’s more recent song “Cool Head, Warm Heart.”
Love turned serious as he dedicated “Be True To Your School” to the young volunteers in the City Year program, which serves inner city schools. A number to text a donation appeared on the video screen, which usually displayed hot cars or bikini-clad young women.
“The Warmth of the Sun,” recorded shortly after the assassination of John F. Kennedy followed.
The band honored founding member Carl Wilson with “God Only Knows,” which had the band accompanying a track of Wilson’s lead from the “Pet Sounds” album.
Now the countdown was started. With the show past the halfway mark, it was only a matter of time before certain career highlights were hit.
They did some of their most famous covers of other people’s tunes, “California Dreamin’” and “Do You Want To Dance.”
At this point it was a steady progression of monster hits including “Good Vibrations” and “Kokomo” with the audience on its feet ending with “Fun, Fun Fun.”
They came out for a three-song encore that included a recently re-discovered Mike Love original “Going to the Beach,” and closing with the band’s first hit “Surfin’ USA.”
Among the satisfied fans at Saturday’s show was the Hardy family of Pemberville.
Daughter Olivia Hardy, 20, had made a surf board that was used as a prop on the Portage 4H float during the fair parade earlier in the week.
Sitting up front they displayed the board and that caught the attention of Mike Love, who had Hardy’s brother Eric bring it forward so more people could see it.
The whole family loves The Beach Boys, her father, David Hardy, said.
They’ve seen them a couple times before in the area, and have never been disappointed. “We came prepared,” said his wife, Tammy Hardy, That meant bringing a beach ball, that go bounce around and eventually disappeared amidst the crowd.
Tammy Hardy has the band’s “Endless Summer” album which she’s shared with her children, who know all the band’s songs.
While the music is light and fun, she said, it also is very musical with subtle touches that make it special.
For David Hardy the appeal is more basic. “Sun and sand. What’s wrong with sun and sand?”
Last Updated on Monday, 05 August 2013 13:08
 

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