Live Review: The Beach Boys, Glenn Shorrock, John Paul Young & The Allstar Band

23 November 2015 | 6:13 pm | Steve Cribb

The crowd in the dance area and scattered around the grounds danced joyfully to the soundtrack of summers from their youth spent at the beach.

More Glenn Shorrock More Glenn Shorrock

Seventies pop idol John Paul Young (aka JPY or "Squeak", with his Allstar Band) was an inspired choice to welcome the crowd to Kings Park on a hot Saturday afternoon as support act for The Beach Boys.

His "latest" and most enduring hit, 37-year-old Love Is In The Air, had the crowd singing along enthusiastically, and then laughing along with his self-deprecating humour as he finished with Yesterday's Hero.

Fellow Aussie pop icon Glenn Shorrock took over as the sun set behind the Kings Park trees kicking off with crowd favourite A Little Ray Of Sunshine from his time as a member of seminal Aussie group Axiom in the 1970s. Then as the crowd settled in he had them Reminiscing through the back catalogue of hits from the Little River Band.

And then it was time for The Beach Boys.

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

This iteration of the group was lead by founding member and lead singer Mike Love and included the almost original member Bruce Johnston along with long-time collaborator Jeff Foskett. Previous members Brian Wilson, Alan Jardine and David Marks departed the band in acrimonious circumstances following the triumphant 50th anniversary tour in 2012.

Tonight they were introduced by a '60s style radio announcer via an old style radio on the big screen, setting the tone for a night of heavy nostalgia. The DJ's introduction was followed by six rapidfire surfing songs to start the show, almost as a medley, before the band members even had a chance to draw breath. 

The three previous band members were joined by four (relative) younger members who injected a level of energy and enthusiasm to the performance. In fact Love's voice seemed to be strained by the rigours of leading the old and news Boys through a hectic touring schedule. But this mattered not to the crowd in the dance area and scattered around the grounds, who danced joyfully to the soundtrack of summers from their youth spent at the beach.

A spectacular light show accompanied Surfer Girl as Love encouraged crowd members to use their mobile phones as torches, perhaps showing his age by referencing "cellphones" and needing a roadie to turn his on.

Wisely the vocals workload was evenly shared across the older and younger members of the group with highlights including the falsetto effect added by Johnston singing Good To My Baby and Little Deuce Coupe.

If surfing was an early passion of the group members then old automobiles, roadsters and hot rods was clearly another. A set of supercharged motoring numbers including Ballad Of Ole' Betsy and 409 were accompanied by old black and white footage of vintage cars and hot rod races.

The show then turned to a series of tributes and memorials. Warmth Of The Sun, which was written by Love and Wilson on the day JFK was assassinated in November 1963, was added to the setlist for the Perth show and poignantly performed in memory of Danny Domroe, the Perth-based promoter who sadly passed away last month.

This was followed by a tribute to Carl Wilson who died in 1998, with the band supporting a recording of Carl singing the Pet Sounds' classic God Only Knows on the big screen. Love then performed his own poignant tribute to Beatle George Harrison, Pisces Brothers, accompanied by nostalgic footage of young Beatles and The Beach Boys in India.

Interestingly, the most famous The Beach Boys classic of all Good Vibrations was performed at the end of this set of tributes and was one of the few times that Love referred to the musical genius Brian Wilson, introducing him as the co-writer of the classic. Footage of the young Wilson brothers, Love and others on the big screen was perhaps a way of Love paying homage to his long-time, but estranged, collaborator.

From there the hits and classics followed. Sloop John B had the crowd singing along, as did California Dreamin' and California Girls. Then they were on their feet and dancing for the final climactic bracket of songs which started with Do You Want To Dance and Rock And Roll Music and reached a peak with Help Me Rhonda and Barbara Ann.

The main set finished with the classic Surfin' USA (again, surfing) before the band stayed on stage for sustained applause. The three-song encore culminated in Fun, Fun, Fun (again, cars), summing up the experience for all who attended.