Under overcast skies, The Beach Boys brought sunny “Good Vibrations” — and the usual recognizable hits — on Wednesday to the Grand Rapids outdoor amphitheater. (Recap, photo gallery)
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Pulling from one of the most recognizable catalogs in music history, the sold-out concert — the fifth straight year the band has played the amphitheater — consisted almost entirely of crowd-pleasing hits. Rock-solid rhythms and many a harmonized “Oooh” were complimented by an impressive video display of California imagery and footage of the band in its heyday.
Fully engaged and spirited from start to finish was Mike Love, the only Beach Boy from the band’s original lineup, who now leads the group along with longtime keyboardist Bruce Johnston.
With the voice that helped define the sound of The Beach Boys, Love powered through classics such as “Do It Again” and “Surfin’ USA,” and sang the praises of both Michigan and the venue (the band has been somewhat of a summer staple at Meijer Gardens the past few years).
Bruce Johnston praised Michigan, too, dedicating his ballad, “Disney Girls,” to Interlochen Center for the Arts, which he attended as a boy.
The mood of the evening even was enhanced by the demeanor of Meijer Gardens staff, many decorated in Hawaiian lei and dancing.
The rain held out as the band performed two sets jam-packed with impeccable harmonies and “Good Vibrations.” And while The Beach Boys are shy a Wilson (or three), it seems there will always be a Grand Rapids crowd happy to sing and dance and indulge in its legacy.
The band plays the Michigan Lottery Amphitheater at Freedom Hill in Sterling Heights tonight (Thursday).
PHOTO GALLERY: The Beach Boys at Meijer Gardens
Photos by Jamie Geysbeek