Nostalgic Fun for all Generations: The Beach Boys at Wolf Trap
Great music and good weather brought audiences out in droves to Wolf Trap for an unforgettable afternoon with the iconic band, The Beach Boys last night. The sold-out performance was the hottest ticket in town for this eclectic audience. From the littlest “Surfer Girl” to the “Fun, Fun, Fun” – loving boomers, the show had something for everyone.
The Beach Boys are one of the defining bands in American pop music and pioneers of the ‘California Sound’ that captured the innocence of American teen-hood of the time. Drawing on early rock-and-roll, jazz, and doo-wop influences, their upbeat lyrics and stunning multi-part harmonies came to define their signature style. Eighty of these Rock and Roll Hall of Famers’ singles made the charts worldwide, thirty-six of which made the American top-forty.
The band features Mike Love and Bruce Johnston supported by Tim Bonhomme, John Cowsill, Randell Kirsch, Jeffrey Foskett, and Scott Totten.
The high-energy show began with “Surfin!” which kicked off an amazing forty-two-song set. While the band played some of their greatest hits including “Catch A Wave” and “Surfin’ Safari,” a screen above them scrolled retro images of bathing beauties, classic cars, and So-Cal surfers. The screen was also used to show video, which at one point poignantly screened footage of late, great, Carl Wilson, singing “God Only Knows” while the band accompanied him below.
Other highlights of the afternoon included lively performances of “California Girls,” “Good Vibrations,” and “Help Me Rhonda,” which brought the audience to their feet, while songs like “Little Deuce Coupe,” “409,” and the “Ballad of Ole Betsy” allowed them to reminisce about the first taste of freedom behind the wheel of a car.
The middle of the show was given “A little more gravitas…” Beach Boy, Mike Love, told the audience, “…with a song inspired by people in uniform.” As he said it, a picture of George Mason University Cheerleader appeared on the screen above him. “A Cheerleading uniform.” Love said, as they launched into a spirited version their hit “Be True to Your School” to the delight of the crowd (especially any GMU Patriots in the stands).
“Don’t Worry Baby” was another audience favorite, and also used video to screen perfectly-synced television footage of The Beach Boys playing the song upon it’s first release in 1964. “Surfer Girl” inspired a few romantic couples to dance cheek-to-cheek while being serenaded by the band.
Whether you lived through the sixties, or just wish you had, the music of The Beach Boys is an experience to be had, and to be shared with all generations.
Running Time: 2 hours, with no intermission.
The Beach Boys played for one afternoon only on Sunday, August 23, 2015 at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts– 1635 Trap Road, Vienna, VA. To see a list of upcoming events at Wolf Trap and to purchase tickets, click here.