Beach Boy Mike Love caught some Villages’ vibrations Friday during two sold out shows at The Sharon. The aging surfer dude was ready to trade in his little Honda and hang ten driving a golf cart.
“We wrote ‘Little Honda,’ a long time ago,” Love, the original lead singer of the Beach Boys, said after singing the song. “But now we’re in The Villages. We should write a song about golf carts around here.”
The group put on a spirited 90-minute set that covered the band’s historic, half-century career. That meant just about every hit from the vintage “Surfin’ Safari” to the more contemporary “Kokomo.”
The current Beach Boys featured Bruce Johnston on vocals/keyboards along with Jeffrey Foskett, who sang the falsetto numbers and played guitar. Also on stage was John Cowsill, percussion; Brian Eichenburger, bass; Tim Bonhomme, keyboards and Scott Totten, who did a masterful job on lead guitar.
Missing were Brian Wilson, the creative force behind the band, who tours on his own and has rarely appeared with the Beach Boys over the past three decades. His brothers, Carl Wilson and Dennis Wilson have passed away, and both were honored in musical, video tributes during the concert.
A highlight came when Carl Wilson was shown on screen singing Brian Wilson’s classic “God Only Knows,” as the live band on stage accompanied.
“We all miss Carl and Dennis,” Mike Love said. A video of Dennis Wilson singing “Dance, Dance, Dance” was also played.
It didn’t take long for Love and company to make the summer come alive inside the packed Sharon. A video of the band’s history was played on a large screen behind the stage. Love spoke how the Beach Boys provide a musical “oasis where people can get away from their problems for a while” but listening to our songs and coming to our concerts.
Baby boomers found a time-warp,
Top 40 refuge as the Beach Boys opened with their first national hit, “Surfin’ Safari” followed in hard-rocking order by: “Do It Again,” “Catch A Wave,” “Little Honda,” and “Surfin USA.”
Some of the Villagers in in the crowd looked like they were ready to ditch their pickle ball racquets and start waxing down surfboards.
“The Beach Boys set a mood with their music,” said Villager Glenn DeForge, who attended the concert with his wife, Sue. “These songs still sound great; they still have emotion and it’s been that way for 50 years.
“The Beach Boys were the sound of my time. And with that harmony and music, they keep making good sounds all the time. “
Glenn and Sue DeForge took a trip off the Florida Keys a few years ago.
“We went sailing and I kept thinking of the Beach Boys’ song, ‘Kokomo,” he said. “I looked out on the water and I just thought, ‘man, that song is so cool.’”
Villagers Arthur and Sherri Cohen have a more personal bond with the Beach Boys.
“Our first date was at a Beach Boys’ concert in 1971,” he said. “There music is special because they combine rock and roll, and harmony.”
“And the lyrics mean something, especially on the slower songs,” Sherri said. “This is the music we grew up with and it still matters.”
The band brought back memories performing slower numbers like “Little Surfer Girl” and “Don’t Worry Baby.” Then, Love said, “it’s time to wire up the hot rods.”
The Beach Boys shifted their rock and roll gears into high as they ripped through, “Little Deuce Coupe,” “409” and “Shut Down.”
The crowd stood up and sang along with a rousing, “I Get Around.” The same thing happened when Love led the group in singing another early standard, “Be True to Your School.”
Towards the end of the concert, the Beach Boys hit their stride with a stirring version of “Good Vibrations.” The left the stage to a standing ovation and returned for two encores: “Barbara Ann” and a hard rocking, “Fun, Fun, Fun.”
The fans stood, cheered and sang along as the Beach Boys brought their endless summer to The Villages.