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December 05, 2016
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arts & leisure

Bethel Woods opening salvo explodes with excitement

Lady Antebellum's band was in the zone at Bethel Woods on opening night

After performing interesting choices like Santana’s “You’ve Got to Change Your Evil Ways” and Rundgren’s poppy hit “Bang the Drum all Day,” Starr mused aloud by saying “And now, I think I’ll do a song from that other band I used to be in” before launching into “Boys” from the Beatles’ “Please Please Me” album, released in 1963. Keeping with the theme, Ringo suggested that “If you don’t know this one, you’re in the wrong place” as the first notes of “Yellow Submarine” wafted through the cool night air, drifting toward the stars illuminating the Milky Way overhead.

After a solid one-two punch, Sunday provided another glorious sunset as sixties superstars The Beach Boys took center stage to celebrate their 50th anniversary Global World Tour, sounding as if they were still in their heyday. Original members Brian Wilson, Mike Love and Al Jardine were joined by on again-off again group vocalists Bruce Johnston and guitarist/singer David Marks as they belted out hit after hit, including “Fun Fun Fun,” “Surfer Girl,” plus “And Then She Kissed Me” to name but a few of this incomparable troupe’s endless array of chart toppers. Wilson, who referred to the groups “Surfs Up” album as having “hit the airwaves a while back, in 1862” was self-deprecating to a fault, poking fun at himself and his compatriots, while gratefully acknowledging their fans “unwavering support through the years”.

In addition to a slew of solid gold hits, the boys performed a few numbers from their brand new album “That's Why God Made the Radio,” which promptly debuted at number three on June 5, soaring to Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart a week later, which makes it the highest charting start for any Beach Boys album. Uber-fans Monica and Gary Takourian, of White Lake, who drove into the lot in their 1966 Cadillac Eldorado, sporting surfboards and a Beach Boys 50th anniversary placard on the hood, were a shining example of the Beach Boys never-ending phenomenon. In an ironic turn of fair play, it’s not commonly known that Beach Boy Bruce Johnston actually wrote the Barry Manilow hit “I Write the Songs,” but everyone knows who sings them. Long live the Beach Boys.

If the past week is any indication, The Bethel Woods Center for Performing Arts (already ranked among the top 15 in the country) will once again provide a backdrop for “Good Vibrations” all summer long and far into the future. For tickets and information, visit www.bethelwoodscenter.org or call 866/781-2922.