For more than half of a century, the Beach Boys have been harmonizing about good feelings, surfing, women, boats, and whatever else exemplifies Florida living. Never mind that they are the quintessential California band. With those kind of lyrics, any waterfront abode will do. And if you're not seaside when the Beach Boys come on the radio, you're wishing you are.
In 1966, the ensemble practically invented the modern pop song with hits like "God Only Knows" (seriously try not to feel something when you hear that song) off the album Pet Sounds. With that release, the Beach Boys perfected another mainstay of modern music: the psychedelic rock opus. And the list of the classic act's songs that most people can sing along to without brain-strain is as long as A1A.
In spite of a revolving door of membership (the band has included around 40 members throughout its history), the Beach Boys keep going. Every few years, they actually release new material. In 2012, the band put out That's Why God Made Radio to mark its 50th anniversary. Not surprisingly, the album reached number three on the Billboard 200. That's crazy vitality for any act, let alone one that's been around since your parents were in diapers.
And it keeps on touring. On Thursday, the Beach Boys are back in town, at Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach. There will be no Al Jardine or any Wilsons in attendance, since Brian, the genius behind Pet Sounds and arguably the most notorious unreleased album in rock history, Smile, was not invited back to join the gang after the 50th anniversary tour.
You will, however, get a chance to see Mike Love and Bruce Johnston, and that's almost more than enough at this late date. You'll probably also get to hear "Sloop John B," "Surfin' USA," "Kokomo," and "Barbara Ann" as performed by the professionals who perfected the tunes instead five drunk frat boys at a beach-bar karaoke night during spring break. Put on your most colorful Hawaiian shirt and make your way to this concert to start your year off with some good vibrations.
Beach Boys: Fifty Years of "Fun, Fun, Fun." 8 p.m. Thursday, January 8, at Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach. Tickets start at $30 plus fees. Call 561-832-7469, or visit kravis.org.
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