Beach Boys return to RI as fans remember legendary 1977 concert
The Beach Boys are scheduled to play the inaugural concert Wednesday at a new outdoor music venue in East Providence.
The show is being held at Bold Point Park and was organized by Rhode Island Waterfront Events.
The concert will take place 40 years after The Beach Boys played a historic show at Narragansett Park in Pawtucket.
About 40,000 fans attended the show on Sept. 2, 1977. According to historians, it's the largest concert audience in Rhode Island history to this day.
A ceremony will be held ahead of Wednesday night's show to mark the anniversary, and a permanent tribute will be unveiled.
Al Gomes is the president of a company called Big Noise. He attended the 1977 show.
"My friends and I were seated probably about 50 yards away in the front row. Things like this where you've got the biggest should always be commemorated," said Gomes.
Gomes and his colleague, Connie Watrous, did research and figured out exactly where the stage was located. They recently convinced the city to rename the road at the site of the location as Beach Boys Way.
It's located near the Rand-Whitney building and is also marked by a placard.
"To be a part of giving a sign to America's band, being able to stand on it and know I was a part of finding it, yeah it means a lot," said Watrous.
Alan Boyd is a Grammy Award-winning producer with the band. Tuesday night, he went to see Beach Boys Way for himself.
"It was a very important concert in their history. It was kind of the end of a chapter of their career at the time. They made a number of changes," said Boyd.
The gates at Wednesday's show are scheduled to open at 5 p.m.