Posted this review on the Brian Wilson website.
>Yep, Brian & the band played in the funky, worn down old palace known as the Orpheum Theatre. Hell, since the days of seeing Poco and the New Riders of the Purple Sage in this place since the '70's, they've been charging a restoration fee (used to be .25 back then, now it's a buck??), and they've haven't done a goddamn thing to it to fix it up. The place is a dump, but man, acoustically it is a great place to see a show.
Started the night before the show at Kennedy's having dinner with Susan Lang, Clara Read, Rowie and here friend Ginny, Bob and Kim from Maine, and of course my lovely wife. Then we ran into Laurie W. and the one & only Phil Cormier at the Orpheum along with Outie and his wife. Great to see everybody, as usual.
We had great seats, 5 rows from the stage dead center, and when Brian walked out onto the stage, the first thing he said was the he and the band were a little tired, but they they will do their best to put on a good show. Since I was downstairs buying a couple of very tasty 20 oz Harpoons at the time, I didn't actually hear that myself, but it was confirmed by some very good sources.
Got to my seat just in time to hear Brian launch into California Girls, and we were off! My wife, Susan, Laurie, and I sat together, and I really couldn't think of better Brianistas to enjoy a show with than these folks. If Brian & The Lucky Old Band were tired, man they didn't show it. I can honestly say that since he started touring again in '99, I have never seen a bad Brian Wilson show. Some were better than others for sure, but I've never seen them really lay down a clunker. IMO, last night's show was probably the best I've seen for a number of reasons. His voice was in superlative form, he looked relaxed, and he just looked in good shape physically. After all the man has been through, it still strikes me as remarkable that not only is he still performing, but every year he seems to get better & better. Good for you, Brian!
Towards the end of the first set before TLOS, five local young classical musicians came out to join the band for "God Only Knows," and "Good Vibrations" and then came back for the entire TLOS performance which was just fantastic. Since the old Harpoons had kicked in, I picked a h#ll of a time to run to the bathroom, so I missed part of God Only Knows. I didn't see it, but my wife insists that Brian got emotional towards the end of the song.
The Orpheum was probably 2/3 full (out of 1800), which is a good thing considering the very cold night, and the economy, but there was a real good energy and vibe in the place, and everybody including the band had a great time. If I had to pin down some favorites I'd have to say "Add Some Music" which got a raucous ovation - man they nailed that one - "Sail On Sailor" into "Marcella," and a great "Little Girl..." Heck, even "God Only Knows" sounded great from my vantage point in the Men's Room!!
All in all it was just a wonderful night with great music and friends, something I'll always remember with a SMiLE on my face.
Of course a few of us had to go back to Kennedy's to rehash everything which made for late, but very cool end to the evening. And I ain't talking about the weather!
Oh, by the way when we were leaving the Orpheum, I noticed they're starting to put new carpet in the hallway. I guess they were just waiting for Brian to return to fix the place up!! <
Sounds great. I have enjoyed every BW show I've seen and have really become a fan. The songs, the sounds, his band and the man and his history all come together to really hit it out of the park live.
He and his music are legendary and are synonymous with the best of modern American music and his shows are more than just a trip down memory lane. I was bummed to miss this show in Oakland; it also got a rave review from the local media. Hopefully BW will continue to tour for a long time to come.
Thanks for the review.