Tuesday, July 16, 2024

The Beach Boys and John Stamos Rock Ravinia Festival

On Sunday night, The Beach Boys and special guest John Stamos brought their Endless Summer Gold tour to Ravinia Festival just outside Chicago. With Mike Love at the helm, they proved why their music has been and continues to be the quintessential sound of summer and sunshine for over six decades. 

Photo: Amber Patrick/The Travel Addict
Photo: Amber Patrick/The Travel Addict
Photo: Amber Patrick/The Travel Addict
Photo: Amber Patrick/The Travel Addict

To kick the night off, a brief intro video played before the band took the stage. As the guys got to their instruments, Bruce Johnston playfully stepped toward the crowd to get them hyped up for the fun to be had. Stamos was nothing but smiles as he ricocheted around the stage on guitar during opener “Do It Again”. Hits “Surfin’ Safari” and “Catch A Wave” followed. “Hawaii” showcased the crystalline voice of musical director and guitarist Brian Eichenberger.

Photo: Amber Patrick/The Travel Addict
Photo: Amber Patrick/The Travel Addict
Photo: Amber Patrick/The Travel Addict
Photo: Amber Patrick/The Travel Addict

Stamos stood at the drumkit to introduce “Surfer Girl”. He echoed Mike Love in saying the song was dedicated to the ladies in the audience, and added that he was sending it out to some of the men, too. He ditched his jacket and took a seat behind the kit to join in on the song. 

Mike Love handed the reins over to his son, Christian, to perform “Sum Sum Summer” off his debut solo album. As the band played the infectious pop tune, the music video directed by Stamos played behind them. 

Photo: Amber Patrick/The Travel Addict
Photo: Amber Patrick/The Travel Addict
Photo: Amber Patrick/The Travel Addict
Photo: Amber Patrick/The Travel Addict

As Love was talking about the year “Be True To Your School” came out during the song’s introduction, Stamos interjected to say that 1963 was also the year he was born. Love lightning-quick retorted, “You don’t need to remind me when you were born; your mom and I had some great times.” Stamos chuckled and said “Dad?” before the band got to work. Mike Love and Bruce Johnston play-acted as if Love got sucker punched by someone during the song’s beginning. The trilling piccolo and Stamos’ extensive drum break really captured the bombastic energy of the classic tune. 

Photo: Amber Patrick/The Travel Addict
Photo: Amber Patrick/The Travel Addict
Photo: Amber Patrick/The Travel Addict

“Don’t Worry” showed off Eichenberger’s vocal prowess yet again. “Deuce Coup” had the crowd singing along as clips of the band performing it played in the background. Multi-instrumentalist Randy Leago ripped the baritone sax solo on “Shut Down”, and later on “Kokomo”. 

Photo: Amber Patrick/The Travel Addict
Photo: Amber Patrick/The Travel Addict
Photo: Amber Patrick/The Travel Addict

As “I Get Around” began, the whole crowd finally gave the band the standing ovation they deserved. Throughout the song, the energy was high – from the synchronized dance of the guitarists to Johnston’s kick jump as he headed back to his keyboard. 

In a heartfelt moment, Mike Love shared a story about the time he spent with Maharishi, as well as John Lennon and George Harrison. The next tune, “Pisces Brothers”, was dedicated to Harrison. “I Can Hear Music” showed off drummer John Bolton, who not only killed it on the set and kept the energy high with all his performance antics, but also has an angelic voice.

Photo: Amber Patrick/The Travel Addict
Photo: Amber Patrick/The Travel Addict
Photo: Amber Patrick/The Travel Addict
Photo: Amber Patrick/The Travel Addict

Later in the set, Stamos took the lead on “Forever”, dedicating the song to his father who passed away 23 years ago. As the band played the song, the crowd saw images of Stamos’ dad, as well as clips from Full House and the band. Christian Love crooned on “God Only Knows”. During a cover of the Mamas and the Papas’ “California Dreaming”, Bolton took the lead on singing duties again and showed off just how long he could spin his drumsticks. 

As beach balls flew around the crowd on the lawn, The Boys played “Wouldn’t It Be Nice”, a cover of Bobby Freeman’s “Do You Wanna Dance?” and “Help Me Rhonda”. Some of the crowd was pulled onstage for “Barbara Ann” and the band danced right along with them. 

Photo: Amber Patrick/The Travel Addict
Photo: Amber Patrick/The Travel Addict
Photo: Amber Patrick/The Travel Addict
Photo: Amber Patrick/The Travel Addict

The projections on the screen throughout the night were a beautiful addition to the show. From showcased memories from the band’s expansive career – album covers to behind the scene images captured and video clips of live performances — to clips of surfers and Hollywood starlets, it really added an elevated element to the night. The band mentioned their recently released Disney+ documentary, which premiered in May.

The Beach Boys have more tour dates scheduled throughout October, with Stamos joining them on select events. For more information, visit www.beachboys.com.

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