Beach Boys

Mike Love (above) and The Beach Boys will perform Friday at the Champaign County Fair in Urbana.

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URBANA — It’s been a year since Becky Gordon was all set to get an early start to her birthday weekend by going to the Beach Boys concert at the Champaign County Fair — only to see the entire fair called off as one of the many casualties of the coronavirus pandemic.

She doesn’t plan to miss the rescheduled Beach Boys concert this year.

This music of this iconic band takes her right back to summertime and her youth, Gordon said.

“I love the Beach Boys,” she said.

Gordon and her husband, of Loda, and four other couples are making a night of it Friday when the Beach Boys take the stage at the county fair.

It will be one of two nights of national entertainment at the fair this year, with country music star Gary Allan performing with Travis Denning tonight.

Gordon was disappointed about the cancellation last year, but then again, she said, it was all part of the larger disappointment of so many things being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s been an even longer time since Gordon has seen The Beach Boys perform. She recalls seeing them in Champaign in the early 1970s.

What’s one of her favorite Beach Boys songs? It’s the one with the line about Midwest farmers daughters (“California Girls”), “because I am a Midwest farmer’s daughter,” she said with a laugh.

Judy Cain, a ticket seller for the fair office, had plans to go to the concert last year and no way was she cashing in those tickets for a refund, she said.

She likes The Beach Boys so much, she said, “they could sing about anything and it would be OK with me.”

She’s got pretty good seats for the Friday night concert, she said.

“I will be front and center and shaking and clapping and carrying on,” she said.

Michele Babb of Penfield, part of the group going to the performance Friday with the Gordons, knows she won’t be seeing the original Beach Boys lineup, but she likes the music, she said.

“They were very popular when I was growing up,” she recalled.

She and her husband also had Beach Boys tickets last year when the county fair was canceled, and they opted for a refund — then repurchased tickets for this year, she said.

Most fans with tickets for last year’s concert kept them to use for the rescheduled concert this year, but as of Wednesday, there were still tickets available, according to Michelle Winfrey, ticket manager at the Champaign County Fair Association office.

The VIP party pit is sold out, but tickets remained for track, grandstand and box seats, she said.

Sales have been going “pretty well,” Winfrey said.

Ticket prices run from $30 for grandstand general admission to $60 for the reserved VIP party pit, and box seating for five or six people was $200-$240.

From the Facebook post on the upcoming performance Friday:

“The Beach Boys are led by Mike Love, who, along with longtime member Bruce Johnston, musical director Scott Totten, Brian Eichenberger, Christian Love, Tim Bonhomme, John Cowsill, Keith Hubacher and Randy Leago continue the legacy of the iconic band. This concert will not feature Brian Wilson, Al Jardine or David Marks.”

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