Al Jardine, Hawaii Theatre, Honolulu, Hawaii, March 24, 2022
Alan (aka “Al”) Jardine, guitarist, vocalist and songwriter, is best known for being one of the founding members of the California-based group The Beach Boys. Jardine met Brian, Carl and Dennis Wilson, Mike Love and David Marks after his family moved to California. They formed The Beach Boys and with their harmonies and tunes about surfing, beaches, cars, and California girls, became the early rock ‘n’ roll voice of the West Coast.
Growing up in Connecticut, during the depths of the winter, I fantasized about California. Daydreaming of the weather, the beaches, the surf, and of course the girls filled the long nights. These fantasies were fed by the Beach Boys, who were constantly on the radio. The Beach Boys were a precursor to my quest for greener pastures. When I learned Al Jardine would be bringing his Endless Summer Storytelling Tour to the Hawaii Theatre, in Honolulu, Hawaii I knew I had to attend.
The Storytelling Tour includes Jardine on rhythm guitar, his son Matt Jardine, on percussion and he also handles Brian Wilson’s falsetto vocal parts, along with Debbie Shair, who tours with Brian Wilson. Remarkably the trio recreated The Beach Boys’ often complex vocal arrangements to perfection. During the set Al Jardine told the stories behind Beach Boys classics while images were displayed on a screen behind the trio.
Between each song Jardine spoke of growing up in California, expounded on the origins of selected songs and shared behind the scenes stories of life as a Beach Boy. One story which stood out was the explanation of the influence The Kingston Trio had upon The Beach Boys. Another gem was the explanation of the addition of Glen Campbell temporarily replacing Brian Wilson in The Beach Boys. Matt also told some stories about growing up with the band. Many of the stories were humorous, causing laughter from the audience.
The songs played during the set read like a greatest hits but also contained a couple deep cuts. “Vegetables” was included with “Surfer Girl,” “Help Me Rhonda,” and “Surfin’ USA.” My personal favorites included “Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” “God Only Knows,” and “Good Vibrations” which all originated during the Pet Sounds era. Throughout the set Matt Jardine’s falsetto was impeccable, especially on “Dont’ Worry Baby.” For the encore the band took requests. They laughed and dismissed “Kokomo” but agreed to end the night with “Little Deuce Coupe” Finally they took their bows before a thankful crowd.
The evening was an enjoyable performance bringing me down memory lane. The band effectively recreated the sound of The Beach Boys. If you’d like to understand the background of some of The Beach Boys songs, Al Jardine’s Storytelling Tour is for you.
Surfing, Luau, Surfing Hawaii, Surfer Girl, Don’t Worry Baby, California Girls, Sloop John B, God Only Knows, Good Vibrations, Vegetables, Cool Cool Water, In My Room, Help Me Rhonda, Surfin USA, Wouldn’t It Be Nice, Little Deuce Coupe