BANGOR, Maine — Though a torrential downpour earlier in the evening threatened a wet concert, the atmosphere was all sunshine, bikinis and, yes, good vibrations as The Beach Boys made their Bangor stop on their 50th anniversary tour. Mercifully, the weather turned sunny and breezy, and an audience boasting both original Beach Boys fans and hip 20-somethings responded with loud, excited cheers.
Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and David Marks delighted the crowd with a nearly three-hour show, packed with nonstop hits and high energy. The stage was set with surfboards and a video screen projecting images of big waves, big cars and big fun. Everything from “Surfin’ USA” to “Little Honda,” “I Get Around” to “Be True To Your School” was played, to thunderous applause. Backed by a 10-person band, made up of many of the members of California power pop band the Wondermints, The Beach Boys did not disappoint a near sellout crowd.
“I grew up on The Beach Boys,” said Linda Phipps, of Portland, who came with her husband Steve. “I know all their songs by heart. I’ve only seen them once before, so this is a real treat. I’m so happy to be here. Their music is made to make people happy.”
It goes without saying that The Beach Boys are one of the most iconic and beloved pop bands of all time, accompanying only The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Through personal turmoil and public scandal, the band has remained a powerful influence on countless other bands — from their earlier surf-rock hits, to the era-defining psychedelic pop of “Pet Sounds.”
The group — in its first tour that includes all surviving members of the band — may be, as Mike Love said onstage, “a used band,” but the energy and fun projected did much to convey the contrary. Sure, they have been at it for half a century — but there’s a reason songs such as “Surfer Girl” have remained popular. There’s a timeless quality to them that can’t be changed by age.
Up next on the Waterfront is a Fourth of July concert and fireworks show on July 4, Shinedown and Papa Roach on July 5, Rascal Flatts on July 6 and Styx and REO Speedwagon on July 8.
For tickets and information, visit waterfrontconcerts.com.