The Beach Boys in concert from 1967 – Recorded at the DAR Constitution Hall in Washington D.C. on November 19, 1967. By 1967 The Beach Boys in a live concert setting were no longer the interesting and innovative band they once were. In 1966 the milestone Pet Sounds was released, but with that also came a complete retreat from performing by Brian Wilson – whom most everyone agreed was the driving spirit and creative force behind the band. Without Brian, things took on a turn for the safe. Smiley Smile was about to be released, and it was found to be a few steps back for the Beach Boys, relying on their old formula of Surf-tinged Pop hits.
They were still a good band – but when you take into consideration this concert was from 1967, and it comes during the veritable tsunami of Psych and San Francisco – The Beatles groundbreaking Sgt. Pepper, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors – the list goes on, The Beach Boys performing I Get Around didn’t have the same potency in 1967 as it did in 1964. They almost seemed like one of those Oldies bands which became so popular during the 1950s resurgence in the 1970s or a once popular band now playing Las Vegas. To many people this retreat back seemed like a desire to be frozen in time – and it made for tough going for several years while the band found its way.
But this was what The Beach Boys were up to in 1967 – the audience is, of course, fans – and they do a decent job of most of the numbers – even though some feel as if they were phoned in. Remember, The Beach Boys at their peak in 1964 was only three years earlier – but for all intents and purposes, it could have been another century – so quickly were the changes going on in music at the time.
It’s hard to convey the inundation of new sounds and genres during that pivotal period of time – how bands and artists who were seemingly locked in were now no longer in vogue – how even radio was changing.
Pretend you just saw Jimi Hendrix with Soft Machine opening and now you are going to see The Beach Boys and whats going on in your mind.