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The Beach Boys at Sonoma-Marin Fair on June 25, 2015




I don't really have a bucket list. I guess I'm not a bucket list person. But I do have a concert list. I've been lucky enough to see most of the musicians from that list, but one band at the top of the list seemed out of reach.

Until, in insomniac daze, in a quest to find an inexpensive adventure for our eighth wedding anniversary, I Googled "county fairs Northern California" and discovered THE BEACH BOYS were scheduled to play two Bay Area county fairs, and the Sonoma-Marin Fair included the concert and all rides for the price of $15 admission.

I was so excited I nearly cried. I nearly woke up my sleeping husband.

See, The Beach Boys are like my Beatles. I mean, I love The Beatles. I truly do. I agree they were absolutely revolutionary, changed the face of music forever, but you know what? The same is true of The Beach Boys, and I personally love The Beach Boys more. Their music just resonates deeper in my soul.

And I share my love and admiration of The Beach Boys with my husband.

As a child, my husband's favorite band was The Beach Boys. He listened to them -- and Weird Al -- endlessly. For his birthday one year, his parents got Beach Boys tickets. It was the most exciting thing to happen to little Aaron. And then he got sick, very sick. His face swelled up like a ball, and he had to stay with a family friend while his family saw his favorite band without him. It was one of the most crushing moments of his young life. "Probably my face swelled up from excitement. I should have just gone to the concert!," he says now.

When Aaron and I first started dating, "Wouldn't It Be Nice" was our song. My "I don't dance" new boyfriend would dance with me while singing "Do You Wanna Dance?"

For our fifth wedding anniversary in 2012, I gave Aaron The Beach Boys new CD, That's Why God Made the Radio. Serendipitously, this special reunion was released just weeks before our anniversary.

Needless to say, The Beach Boys mean a lot to us. Pet Sounds is pure genius. I think "Good Vibrations" is one of the best songs of all time.

And on Thursday, June 25 in Petaluma, California, I got to hear the best of the band's discography, spanning the decades. From the early surfer hits to the cheesy "Be True to Your School" to my favorites from Pet Sounds, and of course, an encore with "Kokomo," the set was everything I could have hoped for and more.


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The band played too many songs for me to commit to memory, but to the best of my recollection, the hour-and-a-half set list included:

Surfer Girl ♫ I Get Around ♫ Sufrin' U.S.A.♫ Surfin' Safari ♫ Sloop John B♫ California Girls♫
Don't Worry Baby♫ Fun, Fun, Fun ♫ Little Deuce Coup ♫ Be True to Your School ♫ When I Grow Up ♫ 409♫ Then I Kissed Her ♫ Barbara Ann ♫ Darlin' ♫ Do It Again ♫ God Only Knows ♫ Good Vibrations ♫ Help Me Rhonda ♫ Kokomo

I know what I saw was Beach Boys Light; I would have loved to see one of the recent reunion concerts with Brian Wilson and Al Jardine, but still, what I saw and heard was pretty near perfect. One of the best concerts of my life. Sharing the experience with my husband was just amazing. I didn't cry, but I came pretty close.

In addition to the concert, we had lots of fun at the county fair. Aaron especially got a kick out of the pig races.

This is what our faces looked like after seeing The Beach Boys, while waiting in our cart for Flying Bobs ride to start. So happy.

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