Nothing quite says summer in Rhode Island than a Beach Boys concert on the waterfront. The legendary band was in town Wednesday at a new venue, Bold Point Park (on the waterfront) in East Providence. They played an excellent set of classics with a few rarities splashed in before 2,000+ adoring fans.
Bold Point Park
Still in development, Bold Point Park has a slightly unfinished feel – all-the-more retro for a band that got its start over 50 years ago. Clearly most in attendance seemed quite pleased with the new venue, with a handful of complaints about parking. (Management promises new lots soon.) Overall, the event ran quite smoothly, with no major problems according to police and staff.
Prior to the show, a special ceremony was held to commemorate the band’s celebrated September 1977 concert at (the now defunct) Narragansett Park Race Track in Pawtucket, where the band played the largest concert ever in Rhode Island. Over 40,000 attended that show, including a few in the crowd on Wednesday. Thanks to the efforts of Beach Boys fans and promoters Al Gomes and Connie Watrous, a street in Pawtucket where the stage stood was re-named “Beach Boys Way.”
The goal of a Beach Boys concert is to have “Fun, Fun, Fun” and the band provided that and more Wednesday evening. The show featured numerous classics including “Don’t Worry Baby,” “Sloop John B,” and “California Girls” along with more recent hits like “Kokomo.” Rhode Island native John Cowsill of the Newport family band The Cowsills did a superb job on lead vocals on the lost classic “Sail On, Sailor.”
Led by founding member Mike Love and Bruce Johnston, who took over touring for Brian Wilson in 1965, the band appeals to multiple generations of fans. Their strength lies in their timeless lyrics and stunning four-part harmonies. And you pretty much can’t miss when you sing perhaps the greatest song of all-time, “God Only Knows,” and later “Good Vibrations,” possibly the second greatest song of all-time in the same show.
Opener John Fuzek, a popular RI singer-songwriter christened the “Point Stage” before the show where he was joined by his former partner Mary Ann Rossini. Check out Fuzek’s upcoming gigs here.
Check out some snapshots of the band and those in attendance at Bold Point. Several more shows are scheduled for the new site, including Pat Benatar in September. Details here.
All Photos: Ken Abrams