It was the fourth time the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame group has played the Canfield Fair.
By GUY D'ASTOLFO
VINDICATOR ENTERTAINMENT WRITER
CANFIELD -- On an evening with skies as gray as steel and a foreboding autumn chill in the air, the Beach Boys delivered a musical blast of California sunshine.
The legendary group warmed a large crowd at the Canfield Fair's grandstand with a stunning array of hits -- more than 30 before the show was done.
Dressed in his signature flower-print shirt and baseball cap, Mike Love, the only original member, started the show with 12 straight songs before he and his eight-piece group paused for a breather. Among the a capella harmony and surf guitar classics were "Surfin' Safari," "Surf City," "Catch A Wave," "Little Honda" and "Summertime Blues."
Thursday's show was the fourth time the Beach Boys have played the Canfield Fair (the other years were 1982, 1984 and 1988), and it moved them into a tie with country duo Brooks & amp; Dunn for most appearances.
Loving every minute
Lori Davis of Petersburg, a longtime fan, has seen three of those Canfield Fair shows and knows to expect magic.
"The last time, I brought a beach ball and launched it into the air at the beginning of the concert," she said. "The crowd bounced it in the air all night, but at the very end of the show, it bounced back to me, and I took it home."
Davis almost didn't make it to Thursday's show, but a last-minute cancellation by the daughter of her friends, Sam and Patty Leicht of New Middletown, freed up a ticket.
The Beach Boys have sold 40 million records in a career that has produced hits in four decades. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.
Lead singer Love isn't showing any signs of slowing down, although he did make a few age jokes. "Now we'd like to take an intermission," he told the crowd after the marathon 12-song opening segment. "And a nap."
But instead, the hits kept coming.
"Little Surfer Girl" got the crowd swaying, and he followed it with "Don't Worry Baby," "Darling" and a new song, "Cool Head, Warm Heart," which he called the recipe for handling the stress of the modern world.
After a doo-wop digression ("Duke of Earl," "Come and Go With Me" and "Why Do Fools Fall In Love?" which featured a five-part a capella intro), the Boys fired up their motors for some car songs. Out came "Little Deuce Coupe," "409," "Shut Down" ("tach it up, tach it up, buddy gonna shut you down ...") and "I Get Around."
The home stretch of songs was an overwhelming procession of one smash hit after another: "God Only Knows," "Sloop John B," "Wouldn't It Be Nice," "California Girls," "Good Vibrations," "Help Me Rhonda," "Barbara Ann," "Surfin' U.S.A." and "Kokomo."
A special live Beach Boys CD, "Songs From Here and Back," which also includes three new studio tracks, is available in Hallmark Gold Crown stores for about three more weeks.