The Beach Boys Concert Review, Mohegan Sun Casino Arena, May 12, 2012

The Beach Boys 50th Anniversary Reunion Tour

Mohegan Sun Casino Arena

May 12, 2012

My music dream came true last night. I finally got to see The Beach Boys live in concert with Brian Wilson. It was the most entertaining and comprehensive concert I ever saw. The love in the room was genuine between artist and fans. The warm harmonies of The Beach Boys melted in my soul all night.

The evening was split into two parts, Beach Boys the early days and post 1965. The concert was inter-woven around several musical themes, beach music, doo-wop, cars, Pet Sounds, and of course the hits.

There were also six songs that were completely new to me, which I loved hearing. I love when a music artist reaches deeper into their catalog and features songs they believe strongly in performing for their audience.

Mike Love made a special point to thank and appreciate the Mohegan Sun audience for being the first concert date to sell out for the tour. You couldn’t help but feel that this energized and further validated The Beach Boys tour plans.

Brian Wilson sat at a beautiful white grand piano. His presence was commanding and respectful. I watched him intently all night long. I enjoyed seeing him wave to the audience and blow them a kiss at one point. His happiness could be felt strongly throughout the evening.

The second set started with The Beach Boys standing around Brian Wilson on piano singing their rich harmonies, “Add Some Music To Your Day“. The feeling of The Beach Boys commiserating in the studio came across as I reflected on countless studio session photographs I have seen over the decades. The closeness they all warmly share was the  perfect way to begin the second part of the show

You could feel the love and sentiment for Dennis Wilson and Carl Wilson as they were included in the evening’s music vision. I was struck by the Dennis Wilson video segment. The inclusion of Dennis Wilson singing “Forever” as the group joined in gave me goosebumps. I especially liked how last night’s show came full circle for us as the live concert footage of Dennis Wilson was filmed the last (and only other) time we saw The Beach Boys live in Central Park in July of 1971. This formed a magic connection with The Beach Boys across space and time.

It was especially poignant that Brian Wilson was watching his brother Carl sing “God Only Knows. The sentiment in his face spoke of his heart for Carl. I really love the religious aspect of The Beach Boys. Their music is a vessel of God to us. It was loving to share Carl Wilson with a live appearance and the video memories as part of the evening.

If I had to choose one song of the 45 songs they played for us that was the most memorable the one I am still hearing in my heart would be “Heroes and Villians” from The Smile Sessions. The lush studio recording techniques were recreated admirably. I was spellbound throughout the song.

They fit the new single from the forthcoming new studio album, “That’s Why God Made The Radio” in perfectly. It matches and accents their sound magnificently. Here is a YouTube Video a fan shared of that point of the show.

They played The Beach Boys song I wanted to hear most as the first of the three song encore, “Kokomo” and it sounded grand.

We left feeling very satisfied and fulfilled by this momentous night of music by America’s greatest rock and roll group, The Beach Boys.

The Beach Boys At Mohegan Sun

The Beach Boys’ Set List

Part 1 – 22 Songs

“Do it Again,” “Catch a Wave,” “Hawaii,” Don’t Back Down,” “Surfin’ Safari,” “Surfer Girl,” “Please Let Me Wonder,” “You’re So Good to Me,” “Wendy,” “Marcella,” “Then I Kissed Her,” “Why Do Fools Fall in Love,” “When I Grow Up (To be a Man),” “Cotton Fields,” “Be True To Your School,” “Disney Girls,” “Don’t Worry Baby,” “Little Honda,” “Little Deuce Coupe,” “409,” “Shut Down,” “I Get Around”

Part 2 – 20 songs 

“Add Some Music to Your Day,” “California Dreamin’,” “Sloop John B,” “Wouldn’t It be Nice,” “I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times,” “Forever,” “Sail on, Sailor,” “Heroes and Villains,” “In My Room,” “All This is That,” “This Whole World,” God Only Knows,” “That’s Why God Made the Radio,” “California Girls,” “All Summer Long,” “Help Me, Rhonda,” “Rock and Roll Music,” “Do You Wanna Dance?” “Barbara Ann,” “Surfin’ USA ,”

Encore – 3 songs

“ Kokomo ,” “Good Vibrations,” “Fun Fun, Fun.” 

Hanging With Michael Moore and Occupy Friends Last Night

We saw the stage début of Michael Moore at The City Winery last night as he capped off a celebration of artists who will be appearing on the Occupy This Album 4 CD recording. He was an energizing force for the core Occupy participants who assembled in the house.

Thank You Sandi Bachom for filming this segment and adding to our memories of this historic event.

The Occupy This Album Record Release Party was a two and one-half hour celebration of the Occupy movement. Music and art now establishes an important voice for Occupy.

We witnessed a diverse cavalcade of artists with unique performing styles and textures. Reflecting today on who we saw and heard, as several performances were striking and novel.

First artist we got our groove on with was Taj Weekes & Adowa, funky reggae party, alright.  A little later we caught the legendary David Amram for the first time. His music is timeless and he is a wonderful multi-instrumentalist.

I was happy to see my Facebook friend Dylan Chambers, with his Dad, Lester Chambers of Chambers Brothers fame perform together.

Nanci Griffith did a fun song for us entitled, “Hell No (I’m Not Alright)”.

A band by the name of Ace Reporter rocked my socks off. Great energy.

Matt Pless played twice for us last night.

Much credit goes to Jason Samel, founder and executive director at Music for Occupy. We are grateful recipients of free tickets for last night’s event.

Jason, I placed our pre-order this morning, can’t wait to get the Occupy This Album 4 CD set.

Beach Boys Appearing This Saturday at Mohegan Sun

We are excited to attend The Beach Boys 50th Anniversary Tour at Mohegan Sun Casino Arena on Saturday, May 12th. (Sold Out!)

Should be a rocking time with classic hits from America’s greatest group. Here is a snapshot of the concert poster I took on my iPhone from the Mohegan Sun Electronic Poster Board.

Pat Metheny’s Unity Band

One thing is certain, Pat Metheny continually reinvents himself through the music he performs either solo, pneumatically assisted with the vast electronics of Orchestrion or with his next jazz ensemble. I love the journey his creativity enables in my psyche. 🙂

Unity Band members

Chris Potter, Antonio Sanchez, Pat Metheny, Ben Williams

Pat Metheny is actively working a new jazz quartet called the Unity Band. The band consists of Chris Potter on saxophone (saw him play live with Herbie Hancock), who exudes an excellent phrasing and presence. The Unity Band features one of my favorite accent drummers, Antonio Sanchez who I have seen live twice with Pat Metheny. Antonio is a phenomenal drummer who draws me further in with his percussive stylings. Ben Williams on bass is the new musician to my ears. I am eager to hear his interplay and contributions with the Unity Band.

They have a new recording Unity Band available on June 12th from Nonesuch Records. The only way that you can hear the Unity Band right now is to pre-order the Unity Band CD. You will receive an instant download of the opening track, “New Year” and an autographed print from the album art which is suitable for framing. 😉

Pat Metheny Unity Band with Chris Potter, Ben Williams, and Antonio Sanchez

Queen Extravaganza Tour – June 9th, 2012, Oakdale

We’re going to take a chance on the Queen Extravaganza event. I like what I am reading and seeing about this Queen Tribute Show. It’s rare when original members of a rock superstar group go to this length to arrange for this level of extravaganza. Never having seen Queen when they performed together, back in the day, its nice to have this opportunity to witness this event. Plus the Oakdale Theatre in Wallingford, CT is just a stones throw away so we must attend 🙂

The pairing of Roger Taylor and Brian May with American Idol proves to be a striking combination. If this segment is just a hint at the 2 hour, 40 song tribute show, then we’re in for a fascinating entertainment experience.

Two of Queen’s original band mates and songwriters—legendary guitarist Brian May and iconic drummer Roger Taylor—are the masterminds behind The Queen Extravaganza. Roger Taylor, Queen’s drummer is the show’s producer and music director.

To guarantee that the touring show matches the fabled design and excitement of Queen at its live best, Taylor has enlisted a heavyweight production team headed by stage designer Mark Fisher. Fisher has been responsible for some of the most memorable rock concerts ever staged, including The Wall for Pink Floyd and every Rolling Stones show since 1989.

“The Queen Extravaganza will not be like a traditional tribute show,” says Taylor. “It is a brand new show specially designed to enable these new fans, together with fans of old, to celebrate the music of Queen in a heart-stopping event. It’s going to be very spectacular, it’s going to be very visual, there are going to be some shocks and some tremendous surprises. It will be a rock celebration in the Royal tradition.”

Santana Then and Now

My first of 16 live Santana concerts over the years took place on a cool fall evening in Portchester, NY at Howard Stein’s Capitol Theater on October 14, 1970. We attended the late show and rocked from the balcony that night.

Reel it forward 42 years as Santana starts their next two-year Las Vegas engagement tonight, May 2nd at the House of Blues, Mandalay Bay. An Intimate Evening With Santana, Greatest Hits Live, Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

Wishing Team Santana much success as they kick off an exciting series of concerts in their new, intimate,  interactive venue. We look forward to seeing the live representation of this set and stage design utilized on the Shape Shift Tour 2012 at the Comcast Theater in Hartford, Ct. on July 28th!

East Coast Shape Shifter Tour 2012, Co-Headliners Santana and The Allman Brothers Band

Santana and The Allman Brothers Band will be co-headlining a six date East Coast tour this summer. They have a tour stop in Connecticut at the Comcast Theatre, Hartford, Ct. on Saturday July 28, 2012. Imagine the guitar wizardry of Carlos Santana, Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks all on the same stage on one night. We’ll all be shape shifting for sure.

Speaking of Shape Shifter, the date draws closer for the May 15 release of Shape Shifter the recording. Here is the video, inside the making of Shape Shifter.