Beach Boys Hit Westbury, NY
We had a fun end to the summer season with a Beach Boys concert. The Beach Boys once again brought a taste of the west coast, it’s sunshine, beaches and surf sounds to the northeast on a sunny August day. We arrived at the theater early and were surprised to see that the parking lot already had a parade of cars filing in. The North Fork Theater in Westbury, NY, is a popular theater venue for the Long Island area (which for out of towners) is the island to the east of Manhattan, a very busy island too, quite notorious for its traffic jams on the famed “Long Island Expressway.” So it was time for a taste of the summer as August was winding down with Autumn right around the corner. The crowd seemed to increase in size as it came closer to the start time for the concert. Usually this theater likes to invite an opening act, however this was not the case for this Beach Boys concert. Instead they started right on cue at 8:00 pm and had a short intermission in the middle of the show instead.
There is something different with the stage at the North Fork Theater compared to others. It is round, (the entire theater is round) and also revolves 360 degrees, slowly enough though so it won’t be dizzying. The band walked out on to the stage to loud cheers, the lights went down and it was time for the show. They opened with a great rendition of “California Girls.” There is that oh so recognizable drum sound as it brings in a slowing melody, then suddenly Tim Bonhomme plays that little chord melody on the keyboard that always brings along lots of clapping as everyone is ready to hear California Girls. This starts a marathon of songs as they move from one to the next. The audience listens intently, claps along, and just enjoys the sounds.
Let’s take a look at some of the highlights and lowlights of the night in Westbury, NY with the Beach Boys on August 26, 2008.
Highlights and Lowlights
* This was the second time we were able to hear “Ballad of Ole Betsy” with the spotlight on Scott Totten’s voice. The song is about the love of a car, which was such a symbolic part of the time period. You have to hear Scott sing this song. His voice really gives such feeling and emotion to it and we think you’ll really enjoy it.
*A rare performance of Bruce Johnston’s “Disney Girls.” This is a highly requested song. We were happy to hear it was part of the night’s songlist and it didn’t disappoint. Bruce took the spotlight this time with a sweet solo of the song. The lyrics told the story of how there is a yearning for the more innocent times, for the times when young people were surrounded with happiness and joy rather than dangerous behaviors. Bruce’s voice brings this song just what it needs, and the accompaniment of the keyboard is just right for it.
*”Their Hearts Were Full of Spring” this one is a very rare number for the band to play. It is actually an acapella song that includes only certain members of the band. The song was written quite a while ago by the original Beach Boys. It is a song with pretty melodies. However, it seemed as though something was a bit off with the sounds, as it started off slow and had trouble as far as cohesion. However, as it moved on it became more cohesive.
*”Help Me Rhonda” is of course John Cowsill’s solo song. In July of 2008 we saw John take the reigns with this song and have a ton of fun with it as he moved all around the stage. This time John was at the drums and even though he is such an energetic drummer he was still able to sing and play at the same time. This song had everyone moving and really feeling that energy. John is such a blast to watch and at times he would put the microphone out into the audience inviting the audience to join in.
*”Cool Head Warm Heart” is Mike Love’s song, a song about keeping yourself “cool” while acting and thinking more with your heart. It is very true and this song is such a beautiful part of the concert.
*The crowds. There was a short intermission during the concert so it was time for everyone to go to the lobby, buy snacks, memorabilia, and so on. The theater is a bit tight as far as the walkways so it made for very slow movement, a little difficult, but it did move eventually! haha
*Cute moment. At one point some young people were invited on the stage for Barbara Ann. A little boy, couldn’t be more than three was also on the stage and Christian Love knelt down by the little boy and sang with him during that song.
The Beach Boys always bring such fun sounds, great rhythms, and music that just instills joy on the inside. The show is one you really need to see and attend. Just listening to this music is so uplifting and we recommend that you check it out when they come to your town!
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