Until very recently, it was not necessary to point out that the Beach Boys who were on tour were not necessarily all of the surviving Beach Boys. Alas, we're spoiled: Last year's totally unexpected new album and tour brought the warring Beach Boys factions together for some extremely poignant (and occasionally uncomfortable) performances and a really-pretty-good album. But that tour -- like summer, in every Beach Boys ballad -- is over, and now The Touring Beach Boys are a Mike Love-led affair, with an assist from Bruce Johnston.
That's the band that will play a Mother's Day Brunch in Flagstaff's Pepsi Amphitheater, to benefit Flagstaff Medical Center, on May 12. You could do worse than two out of five surviving Beach Boys, but as of pretty recently, you could also have done better.
If you're wondering what kind of Beach Boys show Mike Love and company deliver, consider this slice of press release:
Since lead singer and rock's quintessential frontman Mike Love penned the lyrics to The Beach Boys' first hit, "Surfin'" (1961), the band has had a string of chart-topping songs and albums that spans the career and includes eternal anthems of American youth: "Surfin' USA," "Surfer Girl," "Fun, Fun, Fun," "I Get Around," "California Girls," "Help Me Rhonda," "Barbara Ann," "Good Vibrations," "Wouldn't It Be Nice," "Rock and Roll Music," and "Kokomo."
No mention of Brian Wilson (or Bruce Johnston, for that matter); specific mentions of "Kokomo" and "Rock and Roll Music." This isn't exactly inappropriate for May, and Mother's Day, but these guys will be playing the Good-Times Rock-and-Roll Kids Beach Boys Hits, not the Pensive "Until I Die" Beach Boys Hits.
Read More: All the Beach Boys came to town last year (PHOTOS).
To some extent, every Beach Boys show is about seeing Brian Wilson while you still can, but the real loss on this tour is Al Jardine, whose voice has held up stunningly well, even live. Here he is on "From There to Back Again," one of the standouts from That's Why God Made the Radio:
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Love and Wilson -- much as they represent the existential Beach Boys struggle -- are probably the shakiest vocally in 2013.
The Beach Boys Fan Club is detail-oriented enough to actually separate the various touring versions of the Beach Boys.
The other original members of the Beach Boys -- Wilson, Jardine, and David Marks -- will be playing with Wilson's SMiLE band on a short tour in July, which will, perhaps because it's July, not come through Arizona.