Tuesday, July 15, 2008

In Concert

I just got home from seeing Brian Wilson in concert for the first time.

The concert was in Northampton, MA at the Calvin Theater on King Street. Overall I had a very good time, so let me talk about it a bit.

As I came in after reserving my 75 dollar ticket I realized that I was one of the few people at the concert in their 20s. The vast majority of fans, at least at this concert were all middle aged to elderly men and women. I'm glad that his fans are so diverse, but I still felt a little odd seated between 2 women old enough to be my grandmother.

But when Brian and his abridged 8 piece band (which they call "The Crazy Eight") came out on stage the crowd was very excited to see the man they had come for, and so was I. I never imagined I would really see him in person, and being that close to him was kind of odd really. I found myself noticing things like his legs and thinking "He walks just like I do"...very odd things indeed.

They played through a string of Brian Wilson classics including "I Get Around", "Help, Me Rhonda", "Wouldn't It Be Nice", "Sloop John B", "God Only Knows", "Dance, Dance, Dance" and quite a few of their rarer songs like "Marcella" and "Drive-In". However, after premiering his newest solo album That Lucky Old Sun on his last tour, he seems less excited to be promoting that album on his current tour. The band only played 2 songs from Brian's upcoming album.

I found it odd that Darian was missing from the band, along with quite a few other important members like Taylor Mills and any mention of a string section or horn player. Everything was handled on keyboards sadly.

However, the defining moment of the show is when Brian finally stands up from his unused keyboard (except to play a very short version of "Row, row, row your boat") and plays bass guitar for the classic Beach Boys cover of Barbara Ann. Very exciting stuff to see Brian rock out with his bass and do the classic guitar dance with the other bassist. (I wonder why Brian needs a bassist when he plays too).

It's nice to see a pop legend still trying hard to get out and play some concerts. Although he may not have known the name of the city or perhaps even what he was doing sometimes, I can say I saw him perform at least once in my life. There is a certain amount of prestige that comes with that.

I also bought this shirt, it cost $30.


Jason M. Rubin said...

Dude, I was at the show tonight, too. A number of band members have other commitments these days, but the subs filled in ably.

I just posted a review at my blog, Dove Nested Towers, which you so kindly added to your exceptional blogroll. http://dovenestedtowers.blogspot.com

Jenny Ross said...

Hi Eric where you at the NY show too... and if so, did I see you walking behind hammerstein afterwards? Looked like that pic of you... turning to me saying "great show huh?"
just wondering if it could have been you!

warnakey said...

Hello Jenny!

Nope, wasn't me! I only went to the one show. (Was all I could afford!)

I also chopped all my hair off.

Brother John said...

Glad you liked the show! Brian needs a bassist because he doesn't actually play himself. Its the same reason he needs a pianist/keyboard player. Singing and playing would be a bit too much for the poor old duffer!

Nathan said...

I attended the Belleayre concert and found the audience fairly equally split between the elderly (some of which were clearly fans "back in the day") and the middle aged. There were some teenagers and fellow twenty year olds but not that many. Though playing with a smaller group than usual the quality was fantastic and I thought Brian's voice was surprisingly good. And yeah, it was great to see him with the bass towards the end. A thoroughly enjoyable concert, the highlights being "Good Vibrations" (you just can't beat it) and "Do You Wanna Dance" when virtually everyone in the very enthusiastic crowd started dancing in the aisles.

Argantonio said...

I live in England now and I had a big time when I saw him in concert presenting TLOS in London. I missed Bruce and Mike. They played somewhere near here, but...no I don't repent.
Long live Brian and this band!
I am glad you loved the concert, Eric! It was high time for you!

Sean said...

Wow, lucky! I live in the Cincinnati and Brian NEVER comes here, it's always just Mike & Bruce (who I saw 3 years ago). I was THE youngest person to see that show (21 at the time) and I was actually carded to go in....seriously carded to go see the Beach Boys....completely ridculous. I have a shirt VERY similar to the Brian one you got but it just says BB Pet Sounds. Still love your blog man, take care. BB fans unite!

Laurene said...

you're really lucky!
and I must say I absolutely love the shirt :D

Anonymous said...

I must be one of the few BB/BW fans left in the world who have never seen any of the BBs live. I wish I could've seen Brian this summer, but ticket costs and not having a way to get to any of his shows (Ottawa and New Hampshire being the closest ones) were prohibiting factors.

Mr. Curry said...

Hey just found your blog. Love it. I recently went to a private performance by Brian and his band for Yahoo's Nissan Live Sets. He played quite a few tracks from TLOS. Check out my blog if you want to read about it... oxygentothebrain.blogspot.com

Eric Aniversario said...

I have a poster just like that shirt. I'd love to have a shirt like that.

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