BEMIDJI -- Wouldn't it be nice to see the Beach Boys here in Bemidji?

For more than 50 years, the Beach Boys have been touring and recording music, which include several hit songs such as "Good Vibrations," "California Girls," "Wouldn't It Be Nice," "Kokomo" and the the album "Pet Sounds." And on Thursday evening, they will be performing a holiday themed show called "A Beach Front Holiday" at the Sanford Center.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

For two weeks out of the year, the Beach Boys perform these special holiday concerts that combine their hits along with Christmas songs.

"We change the set every night," said Bruce Johnston, who joined the band in 1965. "So we have the normal songs, which to me are abnormal because they are so brilliant -- Brian Wilson (founding member of the band) is of course my hero -- and then you mix it in with some really cool Christmas songs."

He said they don't have time to do everything they have done, so in the normal part of their year, they change the setlist every night "because we have more songs than time. So it's never boring. And now we get to add in the Christmas songs."

There is this one Christmas song Johnston said he loves to sing, and he only gets to sing it about two weeks out of the year.

"It's called 'I'll Be home For Christmas,'" Johnston said. "It comes for World War II and at the end of the song the singer is talking about "I'm going to be home" and all this stuff, and at the end it goes 'I'll Be home For Christmas, If Only In My Dreams' -- it's really an amazing song."

The Band

The band was formed in 1961, and rose to fame with their catchy surf-rock sound. They were started by Brian Wilson, his brothers Carl and Dennis, their cousin Mike Love and their friend Al Jardine. Johnston was brought in in 1965 when Brian Wilson decided he did not want to tour anymore, and he performed on their albums too.

Their 1966 album "Pet Sounds" is considered one of the most influential albums of the time. Paul McCartney has cited the album as a big influence on the Beatles.

Johnston said he had the unique opportunity to be in the same room as Brian Wilson and Mike Love when they recorded a lot of their bands songs.

"Here is the thing about Mike Love.The guy who wrote all the words is singing, like Johnny Mercer," he said. "You often don't think that lyricists sing. And sometimes I think he forgets he wrote so much because he's so busy being a performer."

He added that while Brian Wilson (who is currently not in the band) doesn't tour as much as the Beach Boys, his shows are more of the surreal material but still throws in some of the hits in his solo concerts.

The band also pays tribute to the other Wilson brothers. Inspired by seeing Natalie Cole duet with her father, Nat King Cole, by using video, Johnston said the band incorporates the same thing with founding members Carl and Dennis Wilson, both of whom have passed away over the years. They do "God Only Knows" with Carl and "Do you Want To Dance" with Dennis.

The Show

Johnston said he wants people to go out and enjoy the holiday show.

"This is a holiday time. We love the music and I can't believe I was part of it and we get to do Christmas shows," he said. "Just shut the 'I'm working too hard' lights off and come and enjoy the show."

If you go...

What: The Beach Boys' Beach Front Holiday Concert

When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday

Where: The Sanford Center Arena

Tickets: $39-$69. Tickets for this event may be purchased at the Bob Lowth Ford Pickup Windows at the Sanford Center ticket office, Lueken's Village Foods, any Ticketmaster retail location, Charge by phone at 1.800.745.3000, or online at

The Beach Boys 3 Levels of VIP:

1. The Beach Boys "Club Kokomo" VIP Event

Package Includes:

• The Best Seats

• 1 Hour Club Kokomo Lounge pass (pre-show)

• *Photograph with The Beach Boys

• Q&A with The Beach Boys

• Exclusive VIP-only Soundcheck

• Autographed VIP Access Badge and USB drive loaded with 2 albums of exclusive VIP-only re-mastered content

• Signature Kokomo Cocktail

2. The Warmth of the Sun VIP Soundcheck Package:

• Package Includes:

• Great Seats

• Access to the VIP-only Soundcheck

• Autographed VIP Access Badge and USB drive loaded with 2 albums of exclusive VIP-only re-mastered content

3. Shut Down Album VIP Seat + Merchandise Package:

• Premium Seat

• Autographed Exclusive Tour Program