“Surfs Up” – Al Jardine comes to the MIM

Jeff Alan Ross, Al Jardine, Matt Jardine - "Postcards From California"

Review and photos by Fred Kuhlman
Venue: Musical Instrument Museum (MIM)
Date: Tuesday January 30th, 2018

I grow up listening to the Beach Boys.  So, whenever I get a chance I love to see them.  Al Jardine was a founding member of the Beach Boys and for 2 nights at the MIM, he presented A Postcard from California with his son Matt Jardine and Jeff Alan Ross.  I saw Brian Wilson do his Pet Sounds tour two years ago and Matt was with the group and provided the High Notes that Brian was no longer able to provide.  I saw the second night’s show at the MIM and you could see that AL and the guys were working out all of the kinks.  One of Jeff’s jobs besides keyboards was to run the slide show that accompanied the songs.  A couple of time he got so into playing with Al and Matt that he forgot to start the slide show.  One time, Al had him start the slide show and then they replayed part of the song.  Al played acoustic guitar for the main set and then for the encore he played electric guitar.  Matt played acoustic guitar and percussion.  Al and Matt sang all of the songs with Matt providing Brian typical vocals.

Jeff Alan Ross, Al Jardine, Matt Jardine – “Postcards From California”

This was a night of both classic music but also story telling.  I never knew that in 1964 when Brian was having some problems, they asked a session player they knew to replace Brian and sing.  This session player was Glen Campbell.  AL also told the story about how Dennis wrote a song for high school music class and the teacher gave him a “D”.  Then about 1 month ago Dennis went back to the school, they upgraded his grade to an “A”.  The song was the hit, “Surfer Girl”.  AL also told us about the time Brian converted the music studio to a giant vegetable smash pit.  They lined the floor and walls with plastic.  They went to the local farmer’s market and bought a lot of vegetables.  They through the vegetables on the floor and started to smash them and recorded it.  They then overdub their vocals over the sound and produced the song “Vegetables”.

It was a great evening of classic Beach Boy’s music.  Al is still a great musician and Matt does a great job of providing the “Brian Wilson” vocals for the songs.  Al told us that they might be touring again with Brian and might be back in the valley later this year.  If you like Beach Boy music then you really need to either see Al’s show or go to Brian’s show.  The only bummer of the even was after the show when people were waiting in line to get items they purchased signed by Al.  MIM management had to come out and let the fans know that Al was not feeling well and that he would not be coming out.  They offered to refund and purchase, but much to my wonder, no one took them up on the offer.  Looking back at the show, I saw Matt constantly tell Al to drink water during the show.  Also, at the end of the encore, I saw that Matt helping Al a little.  I can only assume that Al was dehydrated.  This is common for people here in Phoenix area.  I wish Al all the best and hope he is better.

Photos © Fred Kuhlman 2018

Al Jardine’s Setlist:
Surfin’ Safari
Surfer Girl
Don’t Worry Baby
I Get Around/Little Deuce Coupe
God Only Knows
California Girls/California Saga
Good Vibrations
Lookin’ At Tomorrow
Heroes and Villains
A Postcard From California
Surfin’ USA
Barbara Ann
Help Me Rhonda


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