GIG: The Beach Boys
DATE: Friday 28th September 2012
VENUE: Wembley Arena, London
COST: £55 plus wildly extortionate booking fee of £7.88
OUR VERDICT: Phenomenal final show


It was quite bittersweet that the first Beach Boys concert Minty went to (circa 1986) was at Wembley Arena and tonight’s concert, at the same venue was the very last time we would be able to see the surviving members playing together in harmony. The last time Minty saw The Beach Boys play Wembley Arena, (around 1989), half of the venue had the seats blacked out and the arena was less than half full. Tonight there was hardly an empty seat (including the VIP seats in the first 20 rows that didn’t sell and were released for general sale a couple of weeks before the gig at half price!).

The Arena was packed

Mike Love
 Just to remind you all, the front line is the five surviving Beach Boys, Brian Wilson, Mike Love, David Marks, Al Jardine and Bruce Johnston, along with Scott Totten, from the Mike and Bruce touring band,  and Jeff Foskett who toured as a Beach Boy during the 80’s, and is also Brian Wilson’s right hand man in his own touring band set up. The back line have a real musical pedigree, with members of Brian Wilson’s touring band, Darian Sahanaja, Mike D’Amico, Probyn Gregory, Scott Bennett, Nelson Bragg, Paul Von Mertens and the drummer from the Mike & Bruce set up, John Cowsill.

Not a bad picture considering how far away we were!
Our seats were up in the Gods, but that meant we had the option of standing or sitting down, unlike those on the main arena floor who had no choice but to stand for the full length as those at the front stood up, out of their seats from the very first drum beat to “Do It Again” pounding through the sound system.

The backdrop to the stage showed some great video - this one of the waves

The set list was only marginally shorter than last night with just a mere fifty five tunes  -  “Little Girl I Once Knew”, “Marcella”, “Good Timin’”, Still Cruising”, “Our Prayer” and “Let Him Run Wild” being omitted tonight.

Sometimes had to use the screens....
Once again, the sound was awesome, and the two screens either side of the stage showed the film being shot of the concert, so for those of us up in the Gods, we could see some close up views. We are at great risk of repeating what we wrote about last night’s Albert Hall gig, and we would be spot on if we were to just copy and paste that review!

Brian Wilson
Highlights for us tonight were Brian’s vocal on “Please Let Me Wonder” and “You’re So Good To Me”. He really got into “Heroes And Villains” and he beamed all the way through “California Dreaming”. 

"Add Some Music" never fails to disappoint us, and Brian was very comfortable performing this tonight.

Mike Love was the quintessential front man, dressed in his gold sparkly jacket, but with a white shirt tonight. His vocals sounded spot on through the Wembley sound system. Bruce was a bit weak on “Wendy” but “Disney Girls” got a rapturous applause.  

Darlin' by Darian Sahanaja

Darian Sahanaja singing “Darlin’” was just wonderful again and yesterday’s lump in Minty’s throat turned to glassy eyes as the videotape for “Forever” and “God Only Knows” with Dennis and Carl on the leads was played for the last time.

Dennis Wilson - Forever

Carl Wilson - God Only Knows

The songs from the new album “That’s Why God Made the Radio” and the new single “Isn’t It Time” really shone through and the album’s final track, “Summer’s Gone” made it into the main set tonight, sounding awesome once again. The videotape projected on the big screen above the stage of a setting sun was so fitting.

During the encore - Fun Fun Fun

People around us laughed as The Beeb sang the “hum de dums” on Good Vibrations but again, no-one else joined in! There was certainly a lot of love in that arena tonight and a lot of fun had on stage, including Scott Bennett jumping on the grand piano for a bit of “Surfin’ USA”.

First Half
1.    Do It Again
2.    Little Honda
3.    Catch A Wave
4.    Hawaii
5.    Don’t Back Down
6.    Surfin’ Safari
7.    Surfer Girl
8.    Please Let me Wonder
9.    This Whole World
10. Wendy
11. Getcha Back
12. Then I Kissed Her
13. You’re So Good To Me
14. Kiss Me Baby
15. Isn’t It Time
16. Come Go With Me
17. Why Do Fools Fall In Love
18. When I Grow Up To Be A Man
19. Dance, Dance, Dance
20. Darlin’
21. Disney Girls
22. It’s OK
23. Cottonfields
24. Be True To Your School
25. Ballad Of Ole’ Betsy
26. Don’t Worry Baby
27. Little Deuce Coupe
28. 409
29. Shut Down
30. I Get Around

Second Half
31. Pet Sounds
32. Add Some Music
33. Sail On Sailor
34. Heroes & Villains
35. I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times
36. California Dreaming
37. California Saga
38. In My Room
39. All This Is That
40. That’s Why God Made The Radio
41. Summer’s Gone
42. Forever
43. God Only Knows
44. Sloop John B
45. Wouldn’t It Be Nice
46. Good Vibrations
47. California Girls
48. All Summer Long
49. Help Me Rhonda
50. Rock & Roll Music
51. Do You Wanna Dance
52. Surfin’ USA

53. Kokomo
54. Barbara Ann
55. Fun, Fun, Fun

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