“America’s Band” The Beach Boys played the Hollywood Bowl for three consecutive nights (7/2-4) to celebrate the 4th of July. Originally scheduled for 2020, the show was canceled during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Beach Boys played with the L.A. Philharmonic conducted by Thomas Wilkins. The philharmonic opened the show paying tribute to the armed forces of the United States. As each theme was played, a different division stood up to be recognized for their dedication and sacrifice for our country. Members of the Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Air Force, and Navy were in attendance.
2023 marks the 60th anniversary of the first time The Beach Boys played the Hollywood Bowl and also John Stamos’s birth year. It has also been 11 years since The Beach Boys played the Hollywood Bowl on their 50th anniversary tour which brought back all surviving members including Brian Wilson, Al Jardine and David Marks playing under the Beach Boys name in a number of years. The Beach Boys Formed in Hawthorne, CA in 1961 and became America’s biggest group with 36 Top 40 hits and over 100 million album sales worldwide. In the band’s nearly 62 year history, there have been many lineup changes but lead vocalist Mike Love has been the only consistent member to this day from the original group and keyboardist/vocalist Bruce Johnston has been a member since 1965. Johnston was originally brought in to become Brian Wilson’s replacement on the road. The touring group consists of Love’s son Christian on guitar and vocals, keyboardist Tim Bonhomme, Randy Leago (Sax/Flute/Harmonica), bassist Keith Hubacher, and newest member drummer Jon Bolton.
Joining the Beach Boys were Full House star John Stamos who has toured with the group on and off for nearly 40 years and Sugar Ray frontman Mark McGrath. McGrath recorded “Do It Again” with Stamos for Mike Love’s solo album Unleash the Love released in 2017 which was a combination of re-recorded Beach Boys hits and originals. After an intermission following the orchestra, out came the Beach Boys, McGrath, and Stamos opening with “Do It Again.” In total there were 22 songs performed which were all big Beach Boys hits. McGarth left the stage after “Surfin’ U.S.A.” and would return later. “Surfer Girl” was dedicated to Love’s granddaughter Stella. Love introduced Johnston as “the only member of their camp to win a Grammy” which was for Barry Manilow’s “I Write the Songs,” however Johnston performed a Beach Boys song he wrote and sang lead on which was “Disney Girls (1957). This was followed by back to back tributes to the band’s co-founders Dennis and Carl Wilson. First came “Forever” which Dennis Wilson had sung lead on until his passing in 1983. This song was featured in “Full House” and has been performed by Stamos over the years and this time it was not only a tribute to Dennis but also his Full House co-star Bob Saget, and Stamos played it on a guitar Saget owned. The next song was “God Only Knows” which was sung by Carl Wilson originally and up until his passing in 1998. Christian Love provided lead vocals.
McGrath returned for “California Girls.” The final songs before the finale were “Help, Me Rhonda”, “Kokomo,” and “Good Vibrations.” The Beach Boys left the stage for the fireworks as the orchestra performed several John Philip Sousa compositions like “The Washington Post March,” and “Stars and Stripes Forever.” The Beach Boys returned to play “Fun, Fun, Fun” and close out this historic night.
- Do It Again with Mark McGrath
- Surfin' Safari with Mark McGrath
- Catch a Wave
- Surfin' U.S.A. with Mark McGrath
- Surfer Girl (dedicated to Stella Love on her birthday)
- Don't Worry Baby
- Little Deuce Coupe
- I Get Around
- Be True to Your School
- Getcha Back
- Disney Girls (1957)
- Forever with John Stamos
- God Only Knows
- Sloop John B ([traditional] cover)
- Wouldn't It Be Nice
- California Girls with Mark McGrath
- Barbara Ann (The Regents cover)
- Help Me, Rhonda
- Good Vibrations
- Fun, Fun, Fun