Published on December 7th, 2021 | by TLV News


The Beach Boys Deliver Sunny Holiday Nostalgia to Oxford Saturday, December 11 at The Ford Center

by Sydney DuPriest

The Beach Boys are bringing their “Holiday Harmonies” show to the Gertrude C. Ford Center on Saturday, December 11. The two-hour performance will feature a medley of top Beach Boys hits and holiday songs from the band’s 1964 Christmas album, as well as band leader Mike Love’s solo 2018 album, Reason for the Season, a collection of lushly arranged and upbeat holiday songs well-suited to audience sing-a-longs.

The band’s most popular holiday song, “Little Saint Nick,” is the highlight of The Beach Boys’ Christmas Album, but when taken as a whole, the album’s mix of originals and classics sparkles like a handful of gems in the California sun. The songs range from surf pop sprinkled through with Christmas themes, to their signature smooth, multi-part harmonies that vibe on like an unhurried barbershop quartet.

Love is the only member of the original Beach Boys who is still part of the touring lineup. He carries on his original role as band co-founder to lead the current iteration of the group, which includes nine onstage musicians, including Bruce Johnston, who joined the band in 1965 after Brian Wilson left the touring aspect of The Beach Boys behind. 

For Love, putting on a holiday show feels like carrying on his family’s strong tradition of celebrating Christmas with music. Love’s son Christian also performs with the group, and Love featured the voices of all four of his children on Reason for the Season

“I remember as a boy getting together with aunts, uncles and cousins at our house during Christmas and we’d practice Christmas carols and go out caroling round the neighborhood in the late ’50s,” Love said. “The first time I saw my cousin Brian sing, I was sitting on my grandmother’s lap and he was singing ‘Danny Boy’ at the Christmas gathering. There’s never been a time in my life when there wasn’t music.”

Although holiday songs and mainstay Beach Boys hits from the ’60s are the bread and butter of their performance, Love still aims to surprise and delight audiences of all levels of familiarity with the band, including with a musical tribute to friend and Beatle George Harrison.

“I like to do a song called ‘Pisces Brothers’ because in February and March of 1968, George Harrison and I both had our birthdays in Rishikesh, India, by the Ganges River, learning from the Maharishi,” Love said. “It was fascinating, with the Maharishi giving lectures and us meditating several hours a day sometimes.”

Whether audience members are casual fans or are deeply knowledgeable about the band’s catalog and history, Love appreciates that people of all ages continue to identify with The Beach Boys.

“The Beach Boys’ music is tangled up in so many generations,” Love said. “We find that at concerts we have a lot of original fans in their sixties, seventies, and eighties, but their children and maybe their grandchildren love The Beach Boys, too. Maybe they saw us on Full House or something.”

Since the band began in 1962, they have toured extensively and have no plans to stop, if the pandemic doesn’t sideline them again. After this holiday tour ends in Calgary on New Year’s Eve, the band plans to resume touring over the summer in Europe, with stops planned in Norway, Sweden, France, Germany, and maybe even Portugal and Spain.

“Our music has reached around the world,” Love said. “The energy at our shows isn’t as intense as when girls were screaming and dancing a lot in the early days, but people are still appreciative and still singing along and having a good time.”

Saturday’s show begins at 7:30 pm, and tickets are available online here.

Holiday Concert Returns to the Ford Center Friday, December 3

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About the Author

The Local Voice is a bimonthly entertainment guide and newspaper based in Oxford, Mississippi, covering and distributed in North Central Mississippi, including Oxford, Ole Miss, Taylor, Abbeville, Water Valley, Lafayette County, Yalobusha County, and parts of Panola County, Marshall County, and Tupelo . The Local Voice is distributed free to over 255 locations in North Mississippi and also available as a full color PDF download worldwide on the internet.

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