What is summer without a good playlist and go-to album? Music makes me happy, and I can come up with a song for almost every occasion. Summer 2016 is no exception to this, especially when I scored tickets to a concert I never thought I would have the chance to see. This summer’s playlist was determined within the ten minutes it took from the ticket sales opening to the confirmation email. In an instant, The Beach Boys was playing non-stop, all day, every day. Not that this was anything new, but with the concert a few months away, I wanted to be on my A-Game. My excitement was through the roof, and so the countdown from April to July was on.
Some may be wondering how I, being born in the mid-nineties, could understand and appreciate the timeless and iconic music of The Beach Boys thirty-four years later. I can thank the endless reruns of Full House for this one. There is no denying that Full House was my favorite childhood show, and to love Full House meant loving family, friends, Elvis Presley, and of course, The Beach Boys. From the Tanners going to a concert and joining in on “Kokomo” and “Barbara Ann,” to Mike Love singing “Be True To Your School” during the “‘We Love Our Children’ Telethon ’90,” The Beach Boys made their presence memorable to a young generation. And I cannot go on without mentioning the famous “Forever” serenade made by Uncle Jesse at his wedding or the basement jam session with Mike and Bruce singing “Surfin’ USA.” It was moments like these that developed my love for this music, and they proved that no matter the age, everyone could relate somehow to The Beach Boys.
I can remember getting my first CD of The Beach Boys. It was right before a trip to Indiana for a family reunion, and after my parents caught on that I was beginning to form my own musical preferences, they bought me The Greatest Hits: The Beach Boys—20 Good Vibrations album. It is a wonder I did not wear that disk out. It was played on repeat to the point my parents were wishing they had packed a Walkman for me to listen to my favorites through headphones in the backseat. That CD was and still is near and dear to me. Likewise, with mine and Jen’s road trip up north, the obvious choice for our listening enjoyment was the 50th Anniversary album. Those forty-two songs kept us happily entertained for hours on end.
Ever since I can remember, Jen and I thought of “Fun, Fun, Fun” as our friendship anthem. Anytime we have something to look forward to, one starts with, “and we’ll have fun, fun, fun,” while the other follows with, “til daddy takes the T-bird away.” After I got my own car, I would swap out T-bird for Focus once in a while, but the ring just was not the same.
Well, enough with the history of my fandom. Let me get to the long-awaited day that finally had arrived. My excitement kept me distracted from the weather forecast, and regardless how it turned out, nothing was going to ruin the night. Like typical girls, Jen and I took forever getting ready and had a pre-concert jam session. With everything we do, there is never a dull moment, and that is only half of the fun we have. While dark clouds rolled in, we headed out for dinner. As we watched the rain come, we could only hope it would stop before the concert, and if the rain made the air ten degrees cooler, that would okay too. Soon the rain stopped, the sun came out, and a dash to the car had us on our way to Centennial Terrace for a music-filled evening under a perfect July night sky.
Seated in the front row, Jen and I eagerly waited for the grand appearance of The Beach Boys. I was ready to party like it was 1961. Soon, the lights began flashing, music was playing, and the members emerged on the stage. I felt like I was in a dream and could not believe that I would be in the presence of founding member, Mike Love, and original member, Bruce Johnston, for the next two hours. The greatest hits of The Beach Boys’ musical vault were nothing less than perfect. And sitting in the front row, I would like to think that each wave and wink in our direction was a sign of acknowledgement from Mike Love, himself.
Nothing compares to a concert under the stars and listening to live music. The music of The Beach Boys is timeless, and there will never come a day when it does not bring a smile to my face. Mike and the other Beach Boys did not disappoint; nothing had changed, except age. Mike still had his laid-back surfer moves, and Bruce still sported his million-dollar smile. The energy on the stage was as if time had stood still for decades. The legacy of The Beach Boys will forever live on. I left the concert an extremely happy person hoping no one would pinch me to snap out of this dream come true. So many memories came from that night, and all I was feeling was good vibes in summer times.
©Inquisitive Perspectives 2016