Good Vibrations – Mike Amaral’s California Beach Boys Experience lands in Vacaville – Times-Herald
In the early 1960s, the Beach Boys captured the spirit of surfing and hot rod culture with their lyrics, harnessing the sound of waves washing over you with their reverb-soaked guitars and infectious harmonies.
It was a recipe that ruled the airwaves.
When Mike Amaral first saw the band in 1964, it’s safe to say he caught a tsunami of admiration and reverence, a break he still rides to this day. He pays homage to his musical heroes with his band The California Beach Boys Experience, which will play Vacaville on Friday night.
Amaral recalls releasing their first hit “Surfin” in 1961. Years later, the Santa Clara Valley native finally got to see the Beach Boys, and he was hooked.
“I saw them five or six times in concert at the San Jose Civic Auditorium, but back then the girls were so loud you couldn’t hear it,” laughed Amaral.
He could definitely see it, though.
“Seeing Dennis Wilson on drums, shaking his head all around, with his long blonde hair, just the excitement of it all,” Amaral marvels.
After being bitten by the performing bug, Amaral ended up playing drums professionally for several years before embarking on a career in local law enforcement. But that didn’t stop him from enjoying playing music in his spare time. Indeed, he was part of several successful cover bands in the Bay Area before starting his band California Beach Boys Experience about 16 years ago.
Now retired, Amaral is focused not only on bringing the music of the original Beach Boys to life, but also on recreating what their gigs looked like during their heyday in the 1960s, right down to their looks. features.
“In our first set we wear Pendletons – they were originally called the Pendeltones – then the second set is their striped shirts,” Amaral said.
The group usually starts with their versions of some of the early Beach Boys classics, such as “California Girls”, and incorporates video projected behind them to give the scene a bit more of a beach feel before moving on. see you later. material, as well as other surf rock-era favorites – all while encouraging the audience to participate by clapping and singing along.
This crowd is made up of a fairly diverse group of people, says Amaral.
“It’s everywhere – young people, old people, it’s quite impressive,” says Amaral. “That’s pretty cool.”
Amaral has even received the highest possible compliment when it comes to being part of a tribute band – some people come to see them after the shows and think they are actually the real Beach Boys.
“We try to look like them and look like them, it’s an illusion basically, it works pretty well,” Amaral said.
“I just appreciate being able to play this music and see the smiles on the faces.”
If you are going to:
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: Vacaville Performing Arts Center, 1010 Ulatis Dr., Vacaville
Cost: $39 to $49
For more information: vpat.net