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Beach Boys’ shows ‘labor of love’

  • Eagle correspondent
  • Published Friday, Dec. 13, 2013, at 7:27 a.m.


If you go

The Beach Boys

When: 7 p.m. Thursday

Where: Hartman Arena, 8151 N. Hartman Drive, Park City

Tickets: $69.50 and $89.50; cheaper seats are sold out.

Information: 316-927-3999

It’s business as usual for the Beach Boys. The iconic pop-rock band is back with vocalist Mike Love and keyboardist Bruce Johnston at the helm. The Beach Boys, who will perform Thursday at Hartman Arena, will render the hits and holiday favorites. However, the band is once again missing its legendary vocalist-keyboardist-songwriting genius Brian Wilson, who toured with the Beach Boys in 2012.

“We did that last year, and it went well,” Love said. “It was significant.”

Indeed. The band was on its 50th anniversary tour in 2012, and the jaunt was well received and supported. The 50-show run ballooned to 73 dates.

“It was amazing,” Love said. “The demand was huge. We went to Australia, Japan and Europe. It was incredibly cool. It was great to be back with cousin Brian. We sounded great.”

Love isn’t exaggerating. The band even made a solid comeback album, “That’s Why God Made the Radio,” which is full of compact pop songs with rich harmonies and big hooks. All appeared good between the Beach Boys and Wilson, but the enigmatic visionary has left the band again.

“That’s fine,” Love said while calling from Austin. “Brian has his band and we’re doing our thing. I’m looking at the good. The chemistry I had with Brian was back last year. It was just like it was when we were kids growing up together. I’m just pleased that we had the opportunity to work with each other last year, because it’s never easy with Brian. There are always obstacles.”

Love hopes to collaborate and perform againsomeday with Wilson.

“I would love to write another song or two or five with Brian,” Love said. “We have that connection. We’ll have to see what happens in the future. There’s hope, but for right now, we’re going out without him and,like we’ve done in the past, we’re making the best of things.”

Expect a wave of hits from the Beach Boys. During a July show in New Jersey last summer, the group hit fans with a solid two hours of Beach Boys classics.

“We love playing the songs fans are familiar with,” Love said. “I never get it when bands don’t play those big songs.”

“Good Vibrations,” “California Girls,” “Surfer Girl,” “Little Deuce Coupe” and “Surfin’ USA” are some of the staples the Beach Boys typically provide.

“I just love those songs,” Love said. “They take me back to when we recorded them. The great thing is that they still stand up today. It takes me back to 1966 when we were the number one group in England, ahead of the Beatles and Rolling Stones. Take that, you mop tops.”

The competition between the Beach Boys and the Beatles was real. The bands tried to outdo each other. “We definitely paid attention to what they did,” Love said. “It was a healthy thing.”

The Beatles splintered more than 40 years ago, while the legendary surf-rock band continues.

“It’s all a labor of love,” Love said. “I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

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