So over the past eight years I've become a huge Brian Wilson/(original)Beach Boys fan and have LOVED every show I've seen him do over that span, but this one just didn't quite measure up, HOWEVER......
I swear I thought I saw Brian Wilson die tonight!!!
His band was mostly the same as he's had for a long time now, but there were a couple of key players missing, and the replacements didn't hold up their end vocally or instumentally, IMO.
Plus, while the Mountain Winery is an amazing venue, it has significant sound limitations due to it's neighborhood, so as usual the sound of the show just didn't have enough "punch" for me; from the beginning everything just had a flat, uninspired sound.
So with those issues I was clearly feeling that his group just wasn't grooving the songs the way they did at the last Bridge shows in October & at the Paramount a couple of months later, and I was a little disappointed overall, but I know that this very trippy guy can be hit-and-miss so I just settled in for the songs and the incredible feeling of history I get whenever I see him. This is a guy who was the biggest music star in the world 45 years ago, and after losing his mind for him to be back out playing these American classics blows me away and is always fun for me.
What happened to make this rather dull show MUCH more memorable was when about half way through his set, right after finishing Sloop John B. Brian stood up and tried to walk off the stage, only to COLLAPSE & FALL FLAT ON HIS FACE!!
He was DOWN on the stage and I thought, "Oh my God, I've just seen the final Brian Wilson song ever!!
Everyone was just staring at him while he staggered back up and sat back down at his keyboard, but he said, "I don't think I can go on with the show" and got up again, this time getting some off-stage help, and he wobbled off stage, barely keeping his feet.
The show stopped and they announsed that there would be a short intermission, while the medical people started RUNNING backstage!
I figured there was no way this show was going to continue; it had sounded flat from the beginning and I thought Brian must be sick or tripped out and they would just shut it down, but after about 15 - 20 minutes he abruptly came back onstage and the show continued as if nothing had happened.
I was dubious and the first few songs were shaky, but it was easy to see that he began to feel better and the final 30 minutes of the show were much better; not as good as I've seen him do in the past but still, he was smiling and he began getting into it and the crowd was TOTALLY into it after sitting on their hands and then seeing him collapse, and he & the band really grooved the last 7 or 8 songs, so ultimately the show had some real drama and finished strong musically.
This band & this tour were not the best I've seen from Brian musically, but for some unfortunate & scary reasons this was still a very memorable night that turned out to be really fun, with a serious edge; much like the Beach Boys themselves.
This is a guy who's music & legend will go on long after we're all gone; he's that engrained in the American musical landscape, and I'm ALWAYS really happy to see him, and I look forward to seeing him again soon.
LONG LIVE BRIAN WILSON!!
To think that the guy who cancelled recording sessions where he had hired an entire symphony because the "vibes aren't right" would go on with the show after that is really a testament to how much he's recovered. Wow.
This was taken from a guy posting on the BW website
>Brian was taken ill during the show tonight and had to leave the stage for about 20 minutes. They had been playing about 30 minutes when Brian got off his stool and sat down on the stage. He said he felt faint and didn't know if he could continue the show. He was as white as a sheet.
Brian's wife was sitting near to the stage and she helped Brian off as Al announced they would take a short break. Al said they'd had a heavy rehearsal today and perhaps Brian was exhausted.
The medics were called and there was a lot of scurrying around backstage. I fully expected the show to be canceled but then Jeff came on stage and said they were ready to get going again. The show resumed immediately, before many folks had re-taken their seats.
Brian continued as if nothing had happened - I have to say that he and the band literally didn't miss a beat and the rest of the show was fantastic!<
Thanks for the review, Lance. BW has a heavy Eurpoean tour schedule coming up, so I hope he can hold up OK. By the way, how did Al Jardine sound? When I saw him last year with Brian, he sounded fantastic.
Wow...glad to hear he recovered?
The Harmony Fest set was cool because it was empty...I walked almost all the way to the rail mid-set! But it was a bit flat, I definitely got the tired vibe...hopefully it's nothing serious.
>>>how did Al Jardine sound?<<<
He sounded just fine, especially on Help Me Rhonda. It's great to see those two up on a stage together playing those songs from so long ago, and still getting people up and dancing, and seeing some old-timers wiping tears from their eyes.
A wild night, Lance...glad Mr. Wilson was and is ok!! That would have freaked me out for sure.
You're dead wrong there pal. The maestro has put out the best shows in the last 5 years I've seen.