Coastliners Have Fun, Fun, Fun at the Keller Williams Concert at Kings Harbor
The Coastliners band got a cool reception at the Keller Williams Fall Festival at Kings Harbor last Saturday. It had nothing to do with their performance, which was a hit with the crowd, just the temperature. After a warm afternoon for the Festival vendors, the temperature dipped dramatically with many of the concert goers wrapped in blankets.
Keller Williams Master of Ceremonies Roland Duhon introduced The Coastliners, also known as the “Gulf Coast Beach Boys.” The four-piece band included founding members Ozzie Hart on drums and Tommy Meekins on keys joined by guitarists Jeremy Meekins and Chris Blake. Duhon, on behalf of the Agents at Keller Williams Realty Northeast, thanked K’s Motorsports and the Kings Harbor tenants for sponsoring the band.
After kicking off the concert with the Beach Boys’ classic “Surfin’ USA,” Tommy announced “Hello Kingwood. Batten down the hatches” in reference to the brisk wind that any surfer would have appreciated. The dance floor filled up quickly as the band reeled off a string of Beach Boys’ hits including “Little Honda,” “Little Deuce Coupe,” and “Surfer Girl.” The music caught the attention of the K-Park homecoming crowd, which had been dining at the Kings Harbor restaurants. Hearing the music, the girls kicked off their high heels to practice some dance moves prior to heading to their own event.
The band finished off the Beach Boys’ tribute by asking the crowd for some assistance with the vocals on the song “Barbara Ann.” “We need your help with this,” pleaded Tommy. “You know the words.” Everyone in the audience complied by babbling the “ba ba ba” refrain.
Slowing down the pace, Jeremy replaced his guitar with a ukulele to perform the island favorite made famous by Jason Mraz: “I’m Yours.” Keeping a sentimental theme, the band chose to honor the “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll” with “Don’t be Cruel” and some superb four-part harmony with “Fools Rush In.”
Before closing out the set, Tommy took the opportunity to recount the history of The Coastliners founded in Baytown in 1964.
He said that the band’s success, which included two top-ten singles, gave them the privilege to share the stage with many famous acts, including Roy Orbison, Sonny & Cher, Neil Diamond, The Byrds and The Beach Boys themselves.
The band treated the audience with their own 1960s hit “Alright” and announced the release of their hot-off-the-presses CD “Double Sunshiny Day.” The new CD which was a year and a half in the making includes the title track which was written and sung by the father and son duo of Tommy and Jeremy.
At the break, Duhon introduced K’s Motorsports General Sales Manager Brad Knollenberg, who said that his company was proud to be part of the Kingwood/Humble community since 1973 and to participate in the concert by displaying their wave runner, ATV and motorcycle vehicles at the event.
Janet Hayes represented the Festival’s guest charity: Will’s Kids. She explained the purpose of the charity by asking the crowd a question: “How many of you had an activity after school (while growing up) that molded you?” She said Will Kid’s exists to subsidize extracurricular activities for students who otherwise could not afford them. She cited statistics that kids are 78 percent less likely to “do drugs” and 89 percent more likely to go on to higher education when they participate in extracurricular activities.
Janet announced that the proceeds generated by the Festival were earmarked to help three local youths: a 16-year-old dancer from Kingwood Park High School; a 16-year-old FFA student; and a four-year-old orphan who wants to play baseball. She thanked the Festival vendors and those participating in the charity raffle for their contributions towards raising the funds to support these children in their community.
As soon as the Hawaiian-shirt clad Coastliners returned to the stage, it was time for another Beach Boys’ jamboree with “Fun, Fun, Fun,” “Kokomo,” “Help me, Rhonda” and “In my Room.” To top that off, the group performed what they called the “Wipe Out Peggy Sue Medley.” Some fancy percussion work by Ozzie on the drums was a highlight of the nearly five minute long jam of the number one surfing instrumental of all time, “Wipe Out,” mixed with the lyrical “Peggy Sue.” Tommy was impressed with the stamina of the dancers, saying: “You really had a go out there; we can’t keep up with you!”
After a final break to refuel their batteries, The Coastliners came back with another wave of Beach Boys’ classics. The first was “Surfin’ Safari” during which beach balls were released over the dance floor. The kids batted the balls in the air, bumping the guitarists on the head more than once. The balls that made it to the stage were retrieved by Tommy’s two grandsons, whom he called “the next generation of Coastliners.” While the wind played havoc with the balls, that was nothing compared to the sheet music which had to be “wind proofed” so the band could continue with a lively “409” and “Rock ‘n’ Roll Music.”
The band was obviously having as much fun as the audience. Tommy said that he had enjoyed “watching these young people dance” during the evening. That comment was met with a retort from an “old guy” in the crowd, saying “Thank you!” The banter continued with Tommy correcting himself: “I’m meant I enjoyed watching the grey hairs dance.” “He doesn’t have any hair” commented another man, prompting howls from the audience and band alike.
Tommy capitalized on the audience’s eagerness to participate by asking them to stand for the final number. The band played a moving, patriotic “Proud to be an American,” which was dedicated to the U.S. military. It was a fitting end to an evening of all-American made music.