By: Shelby Monita (@shelbymonita) –
Sunday night marked the end of the opening weekend of the 2013 CNE and what better way to end it then with an hour and a half set from The Beach Boys, or at least two of them.
Ottawa natives Brothers Dubé opened the show with a five-song performance, two of which were covers. The three young brothers, who range between the ages of 13 – 17 years old, have played together since 2006, after their mother died from breast cancer in 2008. Soon afterwards, they turned to music and began fundraising efforts to help Haiti orphans, since they know all too well what it’s like to lose a parent. The three original songs these young lads wrote had an alt rock edge to them that were likely influenced by the likes Our Lady Peace, Theory of a Deadman and others. It was, however very apparent that classic rock plays a huge role in their musical identity when they preformed a cover of the classic Beatles track “Come Together” and a Led Zeppelin/Rush medley. These boys have amazing talent, not only great stage presence, ability to play well and great song writing skills, but also have the enthusiasm and genuine spirit that make them hard not to love. As well, during their short set they played a guitar made from a hockey stick, made a Maple Leafs reference and one brother was wearing a Rush 2112 shirt, making these brothers the quintessential Canadian band. Remember their name, in a few years time they are likely to become a household name.
After their successful 50th anniversary tour and their inter-band squabbles afterwards, The Beach Boys went their separate ways with Brian Wilson currently on his own tour this summer, and Mike Love and Bruce Johnston on their own with a completely different backing band. When Mike Love first appeared, the audience, which contained a variety of people, from toddlers to seniors, cheered even though it was hard to hear what Love sang as he mumbled into the microphone. Somehow, that didn’t stop the rock n’ roll lovers in the crowd from singing along. The show really didn’t pick up until the fifth song, “Surfin’ Safari”, which included choreographed spins from most of the band members, which served as an homage to the kind of showmanship that these men grew up with and had likely used while performing fifty years ago.
To show the younger folks in the crowd that The Beach Boys are still “with it”, Love asked everyone to use their cell phones when swaying their arms in the air in place of lighters during “Surfer Girl” . Then in one of the greatest moments of the night, Love informed fans that longtime friend of the band, John Stamos had a birthday approaching and though he wasn’t at the show, Love asked the audience to sing “Happy Birthday”, which they did and afterwards, Love made a “yo mama” joke at Stamos’ expense to a roar of laughter.
Between the assortment of Beach Boys classics, the band also did a variety of covers including the Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers hit “Why Do Fools Fall in Love”, along with “Summertime Blues”, The Crystals’ “Then He Kissed Me”, and Bobby Freeman’s “Do You Want to Dance”. In addition, they also performed a fitting tribute to founding member Carl Wilson who died in 1998, with Wilson’s vocals being played over the speakers for his hit “Only God Knows” with members on stage contributing backing vocals and a collection of photos of Wilson that echoed the musical talent that the world had lost, showed on the video screens. Although no mention of another fallen Beach Boy, Dennis Wilson, was made during their set.
Love and Johnston didn’t disappoint at all during their 90-minute set. Every Beach Boy song any fan could ask for was performed and done so with great enthusiasm and love. This was proof that these men love what they do and are happily doing it far past retirement age. As for the Toronto carnival crowd, everyone was greatly satisfied. It was terrific to see so many generations enjoying the timeless music The Beach Boys gave us during a fantastic opening weekend at the CNE.
The Beach Boys