The Beach Boys in their dotage surf a fine line between retirement home rocking and elder statesmanship. But while core veterans Mike Love and Bruce Johnston looked like they had just stepped off a Palm Springs fairway, the musical canon they were celebrating still sounded eternally youthful – and hopeful, as they offered up The Warmth of the Sun in solidarity with the pop fans of Manchester.
The Beach Boys ****
Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow
There was a business-as-usual momentum to their opening salvo of hits, all early odes to the joys of Californian beach life, lovingly recreated by their band of young(er) bucks under the musical directorship of Scott Totten.
But there was space among the standards to take a couple of scenic diversions into the lesser performed corners of their catalogue. There were welcome outings for the kitschy prom night fun of Be True to Your School and Johnston’s superior Disney Girls from Surf’s Up, while the 50th anniversary of their Wild Honey album was marked with the joyous power pop of Aren’t You Glad and the glorious Darlin’, led by their trusty wingman Jeffrey Foskett.
ER actor and occasional dabbler John Stamos was also unexpectedly along for the ride, contributing guitar, percussion, rousing speeches and a passable stab at Dennis Wilson’s Forever. Brother Carl was remembered using an archive vocal on the spine-tingling God Only Knows. But the air of remembrance extended too far with Pisces Brothers, Mike Love’s mawkish tribute to George Harrison, which was the one blatant bum note of the set.