• LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 27: A general view of the Beach Boys performing at the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa on May 27, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
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    LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 27: A general view of the Beach Boys performing at the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa on May 27, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
    Jeff Bottari/Getty Images
  • LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 27: Mike Love, Bruce Johnston, David Marks and Al Jardine of the Beach Boys gather onstage prior to performing at the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa on May 27, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
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    LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 27: Mike Love, Bruce Johnston, David Marks and Al Jardine of the Beach Boys gather onstage prior to performing at the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa on May 27, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
    Jeff Bottari/Getty Images
  • TUCSON, AZ - APRIL 24: Musicians Brian Wilson, Al Jardine, Mike Love, David Marks and Bruce Johnston perform during the Beach Boys 50th Anniversary Concert Tour at the Anselmo Valencia Amphitheater on April 24, 2012 in Tucson, Arizona. (Photo by Mike Moore/Getty Images)
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    TUCSON, AZ - APRIL 24: Musicians Brian Wilson, Al Jardine, Mike Love, David Marks and Bruce Johnston perform during the Beach Boys 50th Anniversary Concert Tour at the Anselmo Valencia Amphitheater on April 24, 2012 in Tucson, Arizona. (Photo by Mike Moore/Getty Images)
    Mike Moore/Getty Images
  • TUCSON, AZ - APRIL 24: Musician Mike Love performs during the Beach Boys 50th Anniversary Concert Tour at Anselmo Valencia Amphitheater on April 24, 2012 in Tucson, Arizona. (Photo by Mike Moore/Getty Images)
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    TUCSON, AZ - APRIL 24: Musician Mike Love performs during the Beach Boys 50th Anniversary Concert Tour at Anselmo Valencia Amphitheater on April 24, 2012 in Tucson, Arizona. (Photo by Mike Moore/Getty Images)
    Mike Moore/Getty Images
  • TUCSON, AZ - APRIL 24: Musician Brian Wilson performs during the Beach Boys 50th Anniversary Concert Tour at Anselmo Valencia Amphitheater on April 24, 2012 in Tucson, Arizona. (Photo by Mike Moore/Getty Images)
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    TUCSON, AZ - APRIL 24: Musician Brian Wilson performs during the Beach Boys 50th Anniversary Concert Tour at Anselmo Valencia Amphitheater on April 24, 2012 in Tucson, Arizona. (Photo by Mike Moore/Getty Images)
    Mike Moore/Getty Images
  • NEW ORLEANS, LA - APRIL 27: Actor John Stamos joins Mike Love of The Beach Boys on stage and performs during the 2012 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Presented by Shell at the Fair Grounds Race Course on April 27, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
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    NEW ORLEANS, LA - APRIL 27: Actor John Stamos joins Mike Love of The Beach Boys on stage and performs during the 2012 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Presented by Shell at the Fair Grounds Race Course on April 27, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
    Rick Diamond/Getty Images
  • NEW ORLEANS, LA - APRIL 27: David Marks of The Beach Boys perform during he 2012 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Presented by Shell at the Fair Grounds Race Course on April 27, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
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    NEW ORLEANS, LA - APRIL 27: David Marks of The Beach Boys perform during he 2012 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Presented by Shell at the Fair Grounds Race Course on April 27, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
    Rick Diamond/Getty Images
  • LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 27: Al Jardine of the Beach Boys perform at the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa on May 27, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
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    LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 27: Al Jardine of the Beach Boys perform at the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa on May 27, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
    Jeff Bottari/Getty Images
  • LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 27: Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys perform at the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa on May 27, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
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    LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 27: Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys perform at the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa on May 27, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
    Jeff Bottari/Getty Images
  • LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 27: David Marks of the Beach Boys perform at the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa on May 27, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
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    LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 27: David Marks of the Beach Boys perform at the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa on May 27, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
    Jeff Bottari/Getty Images
  • LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 27: Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys performs at the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa on May 27, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
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    LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 27: Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys performs at the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa on May 27, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
    Jeff Bottari/Getty Images
  • LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 27: Mike Love of the Beach Boys performs at the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa on May 27, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
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    LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 27: Mike Love of the Beach Boys performs at the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa on May 27, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
    Jeff Bottari/Getty Images
  • LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 27: Mike Love of the Beach Boys performs at the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa on May 27, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
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    LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 27: Mike Love of the Beach Boys performs at the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa on May 27, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
    Jeff Bottari/Getty Images
  • LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 27: Mike Love and Al Jardine of the Beach Boys perform at the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa on May 27, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
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    LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 27: Mike Love and Al Jardine of the Beach Boys perform at the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa on May 27, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
    Jeff Bottari/Getty Images
  • LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 27: Mike Love of the Beach Boys performs at the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa on May 27, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
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    LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 27: Mike Love of the Beach Boys performs at the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa on May 27, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
    Jeff Bottari/Getty Images
  • LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 27: Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys performs at the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa on May 27, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
    Hide caption
    LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 27: Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys performs at the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa on May 27, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
    Jeff Bottari/Getty Images

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Live in Concert

The Beach Boys In Concert

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Back in early May, I went to the Beacon Theatre in New York City to see The Beach Boys' 50th-anniversary tour. I expected a decent show, but it was so much more than that: It was breathtaking.

Nobody owns harmonies in rock music like The Beach Boys, and all these years later, the band is doing it without brothers Dennis or Carl Wilson. (Brian Wilson is the only remaining brother from the original lineup.) Brian's arrangements remain one of two secret weapons that still make this all work brilliantly well. The other is a fabulous band dedicated to that sunny sound.

The great news is that The Beach Boys gave NPR Music an hour of music recorded from several stops on the group's current tour. It's a perfect summer mix from as far back as the early 1960s — the time of Brian's hit single "Catch a Wave" — and includes the band's newest song, the title track from 2012's That's Why God Made the Radio. You'll hear how the new song fits nicely into the canon of songs about fun and friendship. So enjoy this gift from Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and the rest of The Beach Boys. As the song goes, "Every now and then we hear our song / We'll be having fun all summer long."

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