Saturday, July 16, 2016

Brian Wilson Live in Toronto July 4th 2016

Well I recently just got back from a vacation in Ontario where I was able to catch a few concerts in Toronto at some venues that I have never been to but have always wanted to see. The first concert in which I went to see was Brian Wilson at the famous Massey Hall.

This Brian Wilson show sees him touring for the Beach Boys album Pet Sounds 50th Anniversary. I was excited about seeing a show at Massey Hall, the show was sold out to a capacity crowd of 2700. This was my first time seeing any of the Beach Boys in concert, and what a great way to see Brian Wilson and his 11 piece band which also included former Beach Boys Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin. Ok, I admit, I really had no idea who Blondie Chaplin was until just recently. He only made sporadic appearances but when he did he was fucking awesome.

But I should get back to the start of what this is really about and that being the 50th Anniversary of the release of the Beach Boys Pet Sounds album that was arranged and produced by Brian, who also wrote the majority of the music and songs on this classic album.

The two hour show started with Brian Wilson shuffling on stage with his band and running through some classic Beach Boys songs such as "California Girls", "I Get Around", "Little Deuce Coupe" and "Surfer Girl". Al Jardine seemed to do most of the singing, of course Brian did sing but his voice isn't what it used to be. He looked very lethargic, watching his feet under the piano he didn't even tap his toes, he was very motionless and had a far away look in his eyes. Having said that, he was still greeted with a standing ovation when he came out and when he did sing the crowd cheered him on. Al's son Matt Jardine did all the high note falsetto singing within the harmonies and did it very well, his voice was one of the highlights of the show. Al Jardine was no slouch though either, his guitar playing was great as was his singing. Blondie Chaplin was a nice surprise during the show when he came out and wailed on the guitar, the man is good. I guess you would have to be to have played with such legends as The Beach Boys, Rolling Stones and The Band to name a few. Very impressive. The first set was about an hour long, after a short intermission it was time for Brian Wilson and his band to play Pet Sounds from front to back.

As you can imagine with an album like Pet Sounds it's a good thing he had a big back up band as this can't be an easy album to perform, with all the sound effects, symphony like arrangements, layers of vocal harmonies, all the different instruments and of course the pet sounds. After playing the song "Sloop John B", Brian said this is where you turn the album over, they then carried on playing the rest of what would be side two. The song "I Just Wasn't Made For These Times" really seemed to resonate with the audience. After the final song of Pet Sounds "Caroline, No" Brian shuffled himself off the stage to another standing ovation, the rest of the band followed. After some clapping and whistling and such the band returned playing an encore in which they played some of the Beach Boys most popular songs such as "Help Me, Rhonda", "Barbara Ann" and "Fun, Fun, Fun". These songs really hit me as I remember my parents playing these songs around the house when I was a little kid. A great encore set and very enjoyable show at a very cool venue. So glad I had the chance to see this show. Good times!!!

Brian Wilson and Band at Massey Hall.

Brian Wilson.

Al Jardine.

Blondie Chaplin.

Brian Wilson and Matt Jardine.

Setlist for Toronto show.

T-shirt front.


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