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'Achingly beautiful': The Beach Boys bring good vibrations to Brown County

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Nashville, Indiana, saw a break from near-freezing temperatures this weekend as it welcomed a dose of California sunshine.

The Beach Boys performed twice Saturday at the Brown County Music Center. The setlist included classic number-one hits “I Get Around” and “Help Me, Rhonda.”

Before the event doors opened, groups of grey-haired concert-goers huddled outside the venue. Once inside, attendees enjoyed special Beach Boys-themed drinks like the Fun, Fun, Fun, inspired by the band’s 1964 hit single.

The event drew fans from across the country.

Florida resident Liz Pickering attended the concert while visiting family in Indiana. She said she hadn’t seen the Beach Boys perform since the 1960s.

“My favorite album was ‘Pet Sounds,’” Pickering said. “That was the age of Jan and Dean and a lot of beach groups. That was our age.”

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The Beach Boys perform Feb. 29 in the Brown County Music Center. Bruce Johnston and Mike Love are the only two members of the 1965 band who are still touring as the Beach Boys. Photo courtesy of Michele Wedel Photography

Californian Rose Serot said though she’s been listening to the Beach Boys for over 50 years, this was her first time seeing them perform live.

Jacobs School of Music senior lecturer Andy Hollinden attended Saturday’s concert with his daughter Sazi Shields, who Hollinden said became a fan of the Beach Boys when she took his class MUS-Z405: The Music of the Beach Boys.

Hollinden said his favorite song at the concert was “Don’t Worry Baby.” He said the song is about a possible car crash and when he saw the band perform in 2012, Shields had just gotten into a car crash.

“She told me ‘Baby, when you race today

Just take along my love with you

And if you knew how much I loved you.

Baby, nothing could go wrong with you.’” – The Beach Boys “Don’t Worry Baby”

“I could hardly keep from crying because I knew my daughter had just totaled her car and was lying in the hospital in really bad shape,” Hollinden said. “I was today sitting next to that same daughter, and she got to hear them sing that song. And she’s all healed.”

The lineup also featured the songs “Pisces Brothers” and “Here Comes the Sun,” as tribute to the Beatles’ George Harrison. The Beach Boys' singer-songwriter Mike Love wrote “Pisces Brothers” after Harrison died in 2001 because both he and Harrison are Pisces.

The song was accompanied by footage of Love with the Beatles in Rishikesh, India, when they attended a Transcendental Meditation training course under the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1968. Love said Harrison appreciated Indian culture, meditating frequently and learning how to play the sitar.

Hollinden and Shields went backstage after the concert and talked to band members Bruce Johnston, Scott Totten and Love. Hollinden asked if the band had plans for its 60th anniversary, which is next year. Love said they planned to keep touring.

When Love was on stage, he joked about how the Beach Boys’ members have aged since they formed nearly 60 years ago in 1961.

“What we’d like to do is take an intermission and then a nap,” he said 20 minutes into the concert.

Hollinden said he finds it heartwarming to see the Beach Boys still performing after so many years.

“I think what the Beach Boys do live is a continuation of love, and it just spreads joy internationally,” Hollinden said. “The Beach Boys’ music is so achingly beautiful that it just makes me want to weep.”

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