Pinewood Bowl gets ready for first concert since the start of the pandemic

After months of cancelled concerts, the Beach Boys will be the first group to perform live at...
After months of cancelled concerts, the Beach Boys will be the first group to perform live at Pinewood Bowl since the start of the pandemic.(KOLN)
Published: Jul. 30, 2020 at 8:46 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - After months of canceled concerts, Pinewood Bowl will be back open this weekend, with the Beach Boys’ 50th anniversary tour. Both the venue and the performers say they’re taking every necessary precaution.

Mike Love and the Beach Boys have been touring for decades, but the COVID-19 pandemic is something even this music icon has never seen before.

“We had the busiest season ever for The Beach Boys in concert and then all of a sudden, it was the un-busiest season ever,” Love said. “We normally do 150 or 160 concerts per year, but with everything canceled, we are cut back to probably one or two dozen.”

If you plan to attend Sunday’s concert, Pinewood Bowl said things will look different as soon as you arrive.

“You’ll notice right away an usher who will direct you to the least busy of our four entrances, to spread people out,” said Tom Lorenz, executive director of Pinewood Bowl. “We’ll check to make sure you have a mask and there will be hand sanitizer and things right at the entrance and throughout the bowl.”

The Beach Boys will also be taking precautions.

“Usually we do meet and greets and this time, we’re not doing that,” Love said. “We’re all wearing masks, and have hand sanitizer. We’re about as safe a group as you can possibly be.”

Lorenz said Pinewood Bowl feels prepared to handle a concert during such unprecedented times.

“A lot of people are anxious to get back outside and hopefully they have confidence that we’ll do it in a great way,” he said. “This is a great audience to be doing it. They’re a thoughtful audience, they’re not likely to rush the stage for the Beach Boys and I think they’ll appreciate the fact that they can get outside on a beautiful evening and hear an iconic group.”

The Beach Boys are no stranger to unique concerts in the Cornhusker state. The last two times the group visited southeast Nebraska, they’ve battled heavy rain.

In 1989, strong winds ripped through the Eagle Raceway venue during a concert and flooded the venue space; and a few years ago, a concert was moved indoors the day before it was scheduled to begin at Pinewood Bowl because of heavy rains. Sunday, the weather forecast appears much more promising.

“We’re all prepared for that,” Love said. “We’ve done that drill before, but nothing is going to rain on our parade, literally. A little water never hurt any surfers.”

While concerts may look different, you can expect all the songs you know and love.

“From Surfin’ USA to Kokomo and Good Vibrations, California Girls, I Get Around, Fun Fun Fun, Help Me Rhonda, all of them,” Love said. “All of them plus more. I’m hoping to play a little bit of a song I wrote during the pandemic called, ‘This Too Shall Pass.’ I’ve lived through enough good times and bad to know that eventually, this too shall pass, and better days are yet to come.”

Sunday’s concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are still available.

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