“Let’s go Ducks! Let’s go Ducks!” The crowds at the Cuthbert Ampitheater chanted. Mike Love, frontman for The Beach Boys, had just acknowledged that his little brother Stan Love played basketball for the Ducks from 68′-71. He led the Pac-8 in scoring for two consecutive years (he is also the father of Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves). Stan Love stood up from his seat near the stage and the fans cheered wildly when they found out that The Beach Boys were connected to their community in this way. That’s when the chanting began. When it died down The Beach Boys began singing their 1963 hit song, “Be True to Your School”.
Mike Love knows how to whip a crowd into a frenzy and get everyone excited, after all, he’s been performing along with the other band members since 1961. The Beach Boys formed in Hawthorne, California and found success quickly. By 1966 they released one of the most influential rock albums of all-time, Pet Sounds, which landed a #2 ranking on Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” list.
The Beach Boys brought their soothing harmonies and surf sounds to Eugene as part of their 50th Anniversary Tour. The band has been through a lot together over the last 51 years: the death of Dennis and Carl Wilson (two of the original band members), Brian Wilson’s battles with mental instability, their 1988 Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame induction, 21 albums, and their performances at the Super Bowl and The White House. Add a double-decade long touring hiatus on top of that, and when you consider how well Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston, and David Marks performed, their voices smooth as ever, it’s a testament to this band’s unsurpassed longevity and enduring legacy.
On Saturday July 14, droves of supercharged fans of all ages poured into the Cuthbert to experience the soothing harmonies and surf sounds of The Beach Boys. The atmosphere was nostalgic. Grey-hair clad couples danced and sang the songs they grew up with in the 60’s and 70’s while younger generations of fans followed suit. It was warm too, just the right temperature for an outdoor concert.
Augie Enriquez, who has been a fan since 1963, came to the show with his son. During the intermission he reminisced about listening to the band in their heyday, “The sound that they had at the time was different. I bet I still have 20 of their singles. You can’t even find them anymore. During the time when we were in high school and college you would hear the songs all the time and they’d get in your head.”
The Beach Boys played hits like “409”, “Surfin USA”, “In My Room,” “Little Duece Coup”, Wouldn’t it be Nice, and “Help me Rhonda” to name just a few.
The band also played new songs from their album “That’s Why God Made the Radio”, which is their first album in 16-years. The album features one single with the same title as the album. It was released in June.