The Beach Boys played London's Wembley Arena on Sept. 28 as part of its 50th anniversary tour, and the concert was likely the final time the entire band will appear together as The Beach Boys.
At the end of September, Beach Boys founding member Mike Love announced via press release that Brian Wilson, Al Jardine and David Marks would be dropped from the group following the 50th anniversary tour.
"The post-50th anniversary configuration will not include Brian Wilson, Al Jardine and David Marks," read the statement. "The 50th Reunion Tour was designed to be a set tour with a beginning and an end to mark a special 50-year milestone for the band."
Wilson, Jardine and Marks did not become aware of their ouster until the release.
"I'm disappointed and can't understand why [Love] doesn't want to tour with Al, David and me," Wilson told CNN. "We are out here having so much fun. After all, we are the real Beach Boys."
Despite the turmoil, it seems that the final concert for this incarnation of The Beach Boys -- Love still owns rights to the name and will tour with a different backing band as "The Beach Boys" -- went off swimmingly. Per Billboard, the band play a 55-song set (!) at Wembley Arena on Sept. 28, tearing through hits like "I Get Around," "Surfer Girl" and "Don't Worry Baby."
But if the Wembley Arena concert does prove to be the last breaker on the group's illustrious shoreline, they could hardly have gone out on a sweeter note. Sticklers may have noted that, both on the remarkably strong "That's Why God Made The Radio" album and on stage, the group's sound is rounded out to almost unrealistic proportions by their superb backing band, fundamentally the same musicians who have accompanied Brian on his triumphant tours of the past decade-plus. But, in all honestly, when they sound this good, no one needs to be counting.
In a five-star review for The Guardian, Michael Hann echoed those sentiments:
Nevertheless, for more than three hours, these elderly men –- backed by an expert group largely comprising the musicians who have played for Wilson over the past decade or so –- swallow their differences, and remind all present why they were, as we are told, "America's greatest rock'n'roll band". It doesn't really matter that four of them look as if they are on their way to the golf club, while Love -– in an extraordinary silver and black paisley tuxedo and Beach Boys baseball cap -– looks like he is off to a strip club: once the Beach Boys start singing together, they are irresistible.
Of course, whether this really is the end for The Beach Boys is unclear. As Love told the Los Angeles Times, "There are promoters who are interested [in more shows by the reunited lineup], but they’ve said, ‘Give it a rest for a year.’ The Eagles found out the hard way when they went out for a second year and wound up selling tickets for $5."
Love later apologized for the Eagles slam.
For more on the show, head over to Billboard.com.