Ocean Grove, NJ –
As you know the drummer of the Beach Boys is the one and only John Cowsill. On a rather humid/hot night in the sleepy little town of Ocean Grove, NJ on August 22, 2009, there was a second drummer of the Bye Bye Birdie kind. You guessed it, John Stamos made last minute plans to surprise the sold out crowd with his musical presence on a stage with the legendary Beach Boys. named the “Great Auditorium” the show was just that. Ok, back up. John who has been studying and rehearsing for the upcoming Broadway revival of “Bye Bye Birdie” on Broadway made his way south of New York to Ocean Grove to meet with his good friends the Beach Boys. People were lined up around the block a few times over as much of the concert was set up in a “first come first serve” format, hence the long lines. The theater seated 5,000 people and about an hour prior to the show, was completely sold out.
Time for the highlights and lowlights of the night:
Blessings – Those who welcomed everyone to the auditorium on the stage started off the evening with a prayer asking for everyone to enjoy the concert. We liked this addition.
Help Me… Rhonda! When John Stamos sits in with the Beach Boys he takes over on the drums for “Help Me Rhonda” while John Cowsill comes to the front of the stage to perform. What a treat, it’s great to watch him work that stage.
2+ Hours! That’s right, this concert was over two hours long, they played so many songs. Randell’s angelic voice was so beautiful to hear.
Forever Yours – We finally had the chance to hear John Stamos sing “Forever” live. I know, surprising we haven’t heard it before, but it’s true. All that rehearsing for Broadway is really helping to strengthen John’s voice, we can tell.
Two encore songs – Usually the encore for the band includes just “Fun Fun Fun” however this time they added another song in there, “Summertime Blues.” Scott’s guitar solo is something to watch for the next time you hear this song.
Accoustics – I know there wasn’t any air conditioning, but this building had some fantastic accoustics, with the sound being more crisp and clear than you might hear in most other theaters. Perhaps they should just go there in the fall rather than the summer?
The Vibe – We took our 13 year old cousin to see the show and she had a blast. When Christian started singing his solo in “Good Vibrations” she looked at us and said, “wow, he’s really good.” We agree.
No Air Conditioning – Most people who are from the northeast know that August nights can be rather humid here. Well this night was not any different. Expect an ocean breeze? I don’t think we felt it. The theater did not have any air conditioning. It is a 100+ year old church made completely of wood. The announcements included the extreme prohibition of smoking or lighters of any kind. CBS FM 101.1 was kind enough to offer free paper fans for everyone to use. As you looked around the theater you just saw a sea of CBS FM fans moving back and forth. It was hot!
Security – I think it’s important for every show to have security but I found it sad when the groups of people who did get up to dance near the front of the stage were shooed away by the security guards at the front. The music usually induces dancing in most people, why stop their fun or at least not be so harsh about stopping it?
Scary Drum Moment – Perhaps the place was bouncing too much or there was too much quick movement on the stage? At one point as John Cowsill was on the drum kit behind the plastic shield as you will see with many drum sets, something happened causing the shield to fall on him, knocking the microphones down. The stage crew along with John Stamos and Scott Totten ran to help him while keeping the concert going.
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