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Story and Photos By Andy ArgyrakisAs the best selling band in American history, The Beach Boys' track record speaks for itself, and even if the members have shifted many times over the years, the touring nucleus consisting of singer Mike Love and co-vocalist/keyboard player Bruce Johnston is still preserving the sounds of summer. With the group's 50th anniversary around the corner, reunion rumors with fellow survivors Brian Wilson and Al Jardine have been swirling across the internet, though the current incarnation had no trouble packing out Ravinia even in the middle of the week.
In fact, the group plays annually at the treasured outdoor venue with this year marking a slight twist to the plot thanks to guest drummer/guitarist/harmony vocalist John Stamos (of "Glee," "Entourage," "ER" and "Full House" fame). No matter the size of his celebrity, the focus was still on the band's timeless catalogue, with no less than 40 tunes spanning the past five decades.
Though the start of September means summer's almost over, the group's hit parade helped it linger a little longer, from the seasonally themed "Catch a Wave" and "Little Honda," to a tightly packed segment of surf songs (including "Surf City," "Surfin' Safari" and "Surfer Girl"). Despite the main players' age, they and a plethora of younger backers had no trouble nailing the harmonies to "Don't Worry Baby" or "I Get Around," while Stamos even stepped up to the microphone to demonstrate fairly impressive chops on the long lost but not forgotten rarity "Forever."
However, it was material from the band's *Pet Sounds* pinnacle that truly cemented the band's legendary status with cuts like "God Only Knows," "Sloop John B" and "Wouldn't It Be Nice," striking the perfect balance between artful exploration and mainstream sensation. While a full-fledged reunion of the famed players to play that epic project in its entirety would be the ultimate dream come true for rock n' roll fans across the globe, The Beach Boys' current collective is still delivering plenty of "Good Vibrations" and "Fun Fun Fun."
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