The Beach Boys 50: Live in Concert
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Live release from the American Pop legends containing 21 classic Beach Boys hits performed live in Phoenix AZ on the bands 2012 - 50th anniversary worldwide tour. This live performance features the surviving members of the band (Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, David Marks and Bruce Johnston) aided by additional musicians who have played with various members of the band for years.
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1. You won't see the touching tributes to the late Carl and Dennis Wilson in which the band backs up video footage of each deceased member singing "God Only Knows" and "Forever" respectively.
2. You won't see a performance of "Add Some Music to Your Day" in which all five core members of the group sing around Brian's piano.
3. You won't see David Marks play the title track from "Pet Sounds" solo.
4. You won't see Brian Wilson sing "I Just Wasn't Made for These Times" and "Please Let Me Wonder."
5. You won't hear some of the classic ballads like "Surfer Girl" or "In My Room."
These are the most glaring omissions in my opinion but those aren't the only performances missing from this video. That's not to say this video still isn't enjoyable. There's enough here to love including great performances of "Heroes and Villains," "Sloop John B," "Sail On, Sailor" and "Wouldn't It Be Nice" among other hits plus two songs from the somewhat obscure 1972 Carl and the Passions album which are surprising but welcome inclusions. The band is shown in good form and the video itself is well-shot.
There are no bonus features and the DVD lacks a chapter menu so if you want to hear a specific song, you have to press "Play All" and use the skip button on your remote. This might bug some people.
Overall, this is a fine sampler but should not be seen as the definitive document. The band deserves better and the fans deserve better. Hopefully in the future, we will see another release from the tour that gives these songs the presentation they deserve and a full concert would be nice.
Now on to the issue at hand, this DVD of songs from The Beach Boys 50th Anniversary shows. I have seen it, and I love it! I first went to a Beach Boys concert in 1971 (December 4th in San Diego). I've been to dozens of Beach Boys concerts since, as well as a number of Brian and Al's solo shows, and the Beach Boys 50th show I attended in Irvine, CA was one of the very, very best (I would have been happy with mediocre, just to see the guys all together again, but as this DVD attests, I didn't have to settle).
The Beach Boys like the Beatles always have to strike a balance between satisfying the more casual fan and the devotee in their releases. You would see this on this tour in the set lists, in which the hits were juggled with back catalog classics like "Marcella," "All This Is That," and "This Whole World." The Beach Boys themselves couldn't see eye to eye on what to include or exclude, and of course Beach Boys fans can't either.
THE POSITIVES: The video and audio quality is, to my eyes and ears, excellent. The boys sound great. To me, the vocals of Al Jardine are the strongest of the Beach Boys these days. Now, I like many Beach Boys fans, can quibble about which songs should have been included or not. Yes, I'd like one or two of the ballad hits, "In My Room," "Warmth Of The Sun,"etc., and would love to have "409" replaced with, say, "Surfin' USA." But, every one of the 21 songs on this DVD sounds great. And for me it's worth the price of admission just to have the "Do It Again" intro with Jeff Foskett introducing the boys as they come on-stage and then rip into the song; and the beautiful "All This Is That," one of the lesser known tracks that WAS included (along with "Marcella"). I'm also glad they included "Isn't It Time" and the title track from "That's Why God Made The Radio." A price of $10-$12 for an excellent quality DVD with 21 excellent songs is a great deal, as is $15 for the blu-ray.
THE NEGATIVES: Sure, I'd love all 50 songs from the full 2 1/2 hour show. And while I'm at it I'd love for them to include a bonus of a set by sometimes opener California Saga (nine of the Beach Boys adult kids singing amazing versions of the Beach Boys back catalog). I'll buy a full concert version if that is released.
To sum up, this DVD is an excellent momento of one of the best shows I have ever seen.