Surfer rock splashes into Egyptian

By Victoria Kosuth

DeKALB — The Egyption Theatre is bringing surfer rock to the forefront with the latest tribute show, Sail On: The Beach Boys Tribute.

The band is based out of Nashville, Tennessee, and will be performing a variety of Beach Boys classics, including “I Get Around,” “Surfin’ Safari” and “Catch A Wave.”

Sail On will play 8 p.m. Friday at The Egyptian Theatre, 135 N. Second St., and is made up of vocalist Paul Runyon, keyboard player Mike Williamson, bass player Wyatt Funderburk and guitar players, Matt Thompson and Jason Brewer to imitate the classic setup of the original band.

Junior music major Samantha Fogel said she loves listening to the Beach Boys and hopes to attend the show when it comes to town.

“They optimize the surfer rock movement and remind you of sunny California,” Fogel said. “It’s all very smooth and relaxing to listen to.”

Fogel said for her, the Beach Boys’ music is still relevant today, and she hopes the tribute band will capture the feel and style the Beach Boys have always had.

Eric Johnson, NIU music director of choral activities, said he is not an expert on the Beach Boys but understands why their music appeals to Americans from the 1960s to now.

“The vocal harmonies and the subjects were the American dream of surfing, cars, forever summer,” Johnson said. “From a social perspective, it appeals to the American psyche and their idealized view of living.”

Thompson said the band was originally formed from an offshoot band called The Explorer Club, a band already known for their covers of Beach Boys songs. As a result of the positive reaction The Explorer Club received from audience members, Thompson said the band changed to a Beach Boys tribute.

“It’s a team effort,” Thompson said. “It’s challenging and extremely hard music. This music makes kids sing along, and adults appreciate it compositionally.”

Thompson said the band is passionate about what they do, and they strongly believe the music of the Beach Boys is still relevant. He said Sail On is not just for the older generation to enjoy, but they try to appeal to the newer generations as well, and they hope students come out to experience the night with them.