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We Need To Talk About The Beach Boys

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Brian Wilson has just announced a concert at Dublin’s Bord Gáis Energy Theatre on July 25th.  Two months earlier, on May 21st, Mike Love’s Beach Boys Band will play the same venue.

Brian Wilson’s band includes original Beach Boy Alan Jardine, along with ’70s Beach Boy Blondie Chaplin.  Mike Love’s band includes non-original, but long-term, Beach Boy Bruce Johnston.  In otherwords, there’ll be more actual Beach Boys on stage with Brian Wilson’s band than with the touring Beach Boys band.  Regardless, it’s a good summer for Beach Boy fans.

Mike Love, yesterday

In concert, Mike Love’s band concentrate primarily on the years 1962 – 1965, when The Beach Boys were rarely out of the charts with their simple songs about teenage love, cruising around in their cars, and, of course, surfing. Feeling constricted by these subject matters, and fuelled partly by a skinful of drugs, by 1965 Brian Wilson started to branch out, composing multi-layered instrumentals topped off with more nuanced lyrics which reached their zenith with the Pet Sounds album in ’66.   Completely off his nut on Class A’s, which did nothing for his already-fragile mental health, Brian abandoned Pet Sounds’ follow-up, SMiLE,  and zoned out for about fifteen years.

It’s these more ambitious songs that make up much of Brian Wilson’s setlist.  Indeed, the tour is billed as Brian Wilson Presents Pet Sounds, the album to be performed in its entirety, along with, of course, other Beach Boy hits. The presence of Blondie Chaplin in Brian’s band means that hearing the 1970s-era Beach Boys greatest song, Sail On Sailor, is practically a no-brainer (Chaplin sang lead vocal on it).

So while there may be some overlap in songs performed, these two shows will complement each other very well. Mike’s is a “good-time” show, focusing on the clean-cut Beach Boys era while Brian’s concerts encompass much more of the overall catalogue.  If you want Surfin’ Safari, Be True To Your School and Kokomo, Mike’s is the show for you.  If you want Heroes And Villains, Love And Mercy and Sail On Sailor, Brian’s your man.  In truth though, if you love The Beach Boys, both are a must-see.

Brian, Mike, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and David Marks stopped hating each other long enough to undertake a Beach Boys 50th Anniversary Tour back in 2012, and there’s a live album available from that tour, the setlist for which is near perfect.  Have a listen below:

Tickets for Mike Love’s Beach Boys at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre are on sale now

Tickets for Brian Wilson Presents Pet Sounds at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre go on sale on February 23rd at 9am