Words: Lauren Jones
Pictures: Andy Von Pip Photography
WHEN Beach Boys extraordinaire Brian Wilson comes to town, you know there will be a showstopping performance.
Returning for the last ever leg of his Pet Sounds tour, Mr Wilson brought an all star line up of Beach Boy co-founder Al Jardine and guitarist Blondie Chaplin who has had spells with the likes of The Rolling Stones and Joe Bonamassa.
Old age has turned its sorry head when it comes to Brian himself who sang a select amount of tunes by himself and shuffled off stage before the music finished for a brief comfort break.
Apparently, he had a lazy-boy chair next to the stage all-day for him to take a break from the busy setting of the stage.
Another nod for the evening was Matt Jardine, Al’s son and Brian in reincarnation.
In 1991 Matt auditioned for the band and earned a spot as a lead and falsetto vocalist, background singer and percussionist.
His voice carried the infamous high pitch, perfect for tracks such as Don’t Worry Baby.
A much needed and welcome addition to the onstage line up.
Starting off with an one hour performance of Beach Boy hits the night was christened by California Girls, seeing everyone bop about in hawaiian shirts.
The exhibition centre offered a great space to enjoy a fantastic sound kudos to the engineers who undoubtedly worked their socks off on this performance.
A 38-track strong set is certainly something rarely experienced, the only one that comes close for me was when I saw Paul McCartney on his Out There tour in 2015.
At 9pm, Brian and his incredible band took a 20 minute breather before coming back to rattle their way through Pet Sounds – from Wouldn’t It Be Nice to Caroline, No.
After this, it was as if it was all over – but never fear.
The band strutted on stage for a six-track encore after each member was introduced to a musical interlude.
Fan favourites such as Good Vibrations, Barbara Ann and Surfin’ USA had audience
members jiving along to the surftastic vibrations flowing from the main stage.
In Brian’s favour, paying homage to these fan favourites allowed those who perhaps didn’t know the whole Beach Boy back catalogue gave them a chance to enjoy and really feel
With tickets priced from £50 upwards, it was a shame people spoke so loudly when Brian was on stage that it ruined it for others around them.
A psychedelic light show played out on a set of jazz curtains very similar to that of the Black Lodge (Twin Peaks) caught the shadows of band members projecting them onto both the left and right walls, adding a spooky yet clever addition to the pioneering music.
Ending on a track who gave its name to the Brian Wilson biopic Love and Mercy starring Paul Dano and John Cusack, the night was crowned by Brian’s maturely aged vocals.
A night never to forget, four stars.