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The Beach Boys Present a Love Fest to Remember at the Ryman

by Rich and Laura Lynch

There was a whole lot of "Fun, Fun, Fun" at the sold-out Beach Boys concert on Sunday, February 6, 2022 at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee. But, there was also a bit of seriousness and sadness at the seriously good show that turned out to be a lot more complex and contemplative than we expected going in.

Mike Love and The Beach Boys rocked the Ryman in Nashville.

Heck, my last time seeing The Beach Boys it was late summer in the year that I graduated from high school with college looming just two weeks away. So, I had some cares in the world but on that night the Boys were doing a post-match concert at Giants Stadium on the pitch that the New York Cosmos had just emerged victorious on. More than 30,000 fans danced giddily in circles around the upper tier during the encore and the fine music and good vibrations helped ease any anxiety about my immediate future. For the band this was an encore performance as they had flown in to the tri-state following an afternoon slot at Hermitage Landing in Nashville - just a few miles away from the Mother Church.

Fast forward thirty-nine years and the band was back in the Volunteer State doing another double duty of sorts presenting an unparalleled catalog of hits and rarities over two sets for the raucous faithful in Music City. The concert was very much a family affair with a lot of Love in the air. Mike Love was the confident octogenarian out front fully comfortable and capable in his role as frontman of the famous group.

Secret weapon and part-time Beach Boy John Stamos added a shot of star power in Nashville.

He was joined by his wife Jacquelyne with whom he shared a dance with. The spotlight soon found his daughter Ambha doing a nice job singing "The Warmth of the Sun" - perhaps only slightly nervous within the weighty confines of the city's most famous venue. Son Christian Love took a rightful place stage left on guitar and vocal duty and carried the lineage forward when he delivered the always thoughtful "God Only Knows" originally sung by his relative Carl.

In fact, the band made it a point to note that it was the anniversary of Carl's death having passed on the same date back in 1998. But, the spirit of the Wilson family was alive and well in Nashville through their music and use of ample images of the famous trio of brothers that also included Brian and Dennis who helped launched their beautiful variety of surf centric rock 60 years ago.

Ambha Love and Christian Love - pictured top and bottom left - made it a family affair.

Part-time Beach Boy John Stamos added a jolt of star power to the lineup as he served as foil and stage hand throughout the concert. Stamos shined on drums and up front adding guitar and vocals to the mix. He got to sing lead on "Forever" that he dedicated to his best friend and Full House co-star actor and comedian Bob Saget who only recently passed from this plane. This selection reprised the song that The Beach Boys backed up Stamos on back in the day on his television show. Stamos called the opportunity to play the Ryman "cathartic" as he struggled to hold back tears for his departed pal.

The reminiscing wasn't quite over yet, however. Mike Love took a moment to play one from his solo work that he revealed was inspired by his friend George Harrison and the life changing trip they made to India in 1968 at the invitation of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. "Pisces Brothers" was a nod to the fact that both the Beatle and the Beach Boy shared the same horoscope sign and the song was accompanied by many visuals from the spiritual journey from long ago that - for Love - still resonates with vegetarianism and TM still being a big part of his life today.

If there was any doubt about the lasting cultural impact of the "Beach Boys" well then the band had a little surprise up their sleeve as they brought out country superstars LOCASH. The likeable duo introduced their new song of the same name that promises to bring "the Beach Boys to the country" when the catchy track that pays homage to the harmonious hitmakers hits Country Music Radio a little later in the year.

Surprising modern country guest stars LOCASH helped bring The Beach Boys to the country;
John Cowsill on drums added a lot to the show.

The evening's 38 total numbers were mostly familiar classic tracks from the band's back catalog but the guys are still making new music and they called the first part of the encore "This Too Shall Pass" their pandemic song. This was the group's take on the in studio zoom creations that many artists were compiling in the early days of the lockdown and the Stamos produced video was shown on screen as the band played the tune live. Thankfully, the sold-out mostly maskless crowd seemed to prove Love and company quite prophetic as - in Nashville at least - the recent dark days seem to be fading for now in the rear view as a distant memory.

The current iteration of The Beach Boys is led by Mike Love alongside long-time member Bruce Johnston. They are joined by a large band that includes - musical director Scott Totten, Brian Eichenberger, Christian Love, Tim Bonhomme, John Cowsill, Keith Hubacher and Randy Leago - who help fill out the amazing harmonies and musical legacy that the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers have created over a career that is soon entering its seventh decade. For now, they are gearing up for their 'Sixty Years of the Sounds of Summer' tour which will find them bringing their distinctly American music to the shores of Europe for a series of highly anticipated and celebratory dates in June and July.

Longtime Beach Boy Bruce Johnston, John Stamos and Mike Love in Nashville.

SETLIST: Set 1 | Do It Again | Surfin' Safari | Catch a Wave | Hawaii | California Sun | Little Honda | Rockaway Beach | Surfin' U.S.A. | Surfer Girl | Getcha Back | You're So Good to Me | Dance, Dance, Dance | When I Grow Up (to Be a Man) | Darlin' | Be True to Your School | The Warmth of the Sun | Don't Worry Baby | Little Deuce Coupe | 409 | Shut Down | I Get Around | Set 2 | California Dreamin' | Sloop John B | Wouldn't It Be Nice | California Girls | Forever | Disney Girls | God Only Knows | Pisces Brothers | Here Comes the Sun | Do You Wanna Dance? | Help Me, Rhonda | Kokomo | Barbara Ann | Good Vibrations | Beach Boys | Encore | This Too Shall Pass | Fun, Fun, Fun

The Beach Boys were a big band in Music City.

Related Links: For more information on THE BEACH BOYS and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - The Beach Boys | John Stamos | LOCASH | Ryman Auditorium


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