Review and Photos by Fred Kuhlman
Venue: Higley Center For The Performing Arts, Gilbert, AZ ( http://higleycenter.org/ )
Date: March 18th, 2022
Tour: Al Jardine’s Endless Summer Tour
Al Jardine was one of the founding members for the iconic classic rock band The Beach Boys. If you grew up in the 60s, there were three main musical influences in rock music, the British Invasion, Motown and US rock bands. A number of the bands from the US came out of California. One of the greatest was The Beach Boys. Their surf music was intoxicating for a lot of people in the Midwest (where I grow up) due to the beach, sun and bikini clad women. It also helped that Disney made a number of movies about the beach scene with the gorgeous Annette Funicello. The Beach Boys even performed in one of these movies, The Monkey’s Uncle where they sang the theme song with Annette.
Al Jardine is touring this year in three different band configurations. They started the year with Al Jardine Family & Friends Tour featuring Carnie and Wendy Wilson of Wilson Phillips and Al’s son, Matt Jardine. The other show was where Al and his son Matt were joined by Debbie Shair in a more interment show where they interacted with the audience tell stories about the different Beach Boy songs. This is the show I saw and I am reviewing. Later this summer, Al and Matt with Blonde Chaplin will join Brain Wilson for the Beach Boys 60th Anniversary tour. This will be a large band setup playing larger venues. Here in the Valley of the Sun, they will be with Chicago at the Ak Chin Pavilion on June 7th.
I have seen Al a number of times both when he was with the Beach Boys, Brian Wilson’s 50th Anniversary Pet Sounds tour and when Al performed his Endless Summer tours. Each time I see Al doing his Endless Summer shows, I learn something new about his life and the Beach Boys. These shows are a combination of storytelling, videos and music. Did you know that Glen Campbell was a Beach Boy? He joined the group on a tour when Brian took a leave. Did you know that the Beach Boys did a song about vegetables? And that Paul McCartney was also part of the song?
Al was joined by his son Matt Jardine and Debbie Shair. Matt was Al’s technical assistant, played percussion instruments and sang. Matt performs the high vocals that Brian Wilson was famous for. Matt does this for both these shows and when they tour with Brian Wilson. Debbie plays keyboards and also runs all of the videos.
As a special treat, we were lucky enough to see three generations of Jardine’s perform at tonight’s show. Al and Matt were joined by Matt’s daughter, Olivia. This was Olivia’s first professional performance with her father and grandfather. She sang on a number of songs. It was nice hearing the three generations of Jardine’s harmonize.
I really enjoyed the show. Like the other Endless Summer shows I saw in the past, I always come away feeling great. I grow up listening to the Beach Boys and wore out a number of their albums. Music is designed to arouse an emotional response. So, when I hear this music, it brings back great memories and make me feel happy. This music is pure escapism and will take you to your happy place.
If you get a chance to see any of the Al Jardine shows, I most heartily recommend it. Introduce your kids to it, they might even enjoy it.
Photos by Fred Kuhlman, All Rights Reserved