Words by Nathan Kings
Photo from www.brianwilson.com
Pet Sounds, a concept album of unfathomable creativity. Brian Wilson, a man of such significance to music in the last 50 years. This past Tuesday evening (April 5th) Adelaide was fortunate enough to be included on Brian Wilson's 50th anniversary tour of his Beach Boys masterpiece.
Drawing in a full house to the Adelaide Entertainment Centre Theatre Room that was equally comprised of both fans from the sixties and the youth of today, it was clear to see before a harmony was delivered that Wilson and his work has stood the test of time. Arriving on stage to a standing ovation Wilson wasted no time to deliver the first set of the evening by showing the vocal prowess of his backing band and fellow Beach Boy Al Jardine with the track "Our Prayer". The following hour was a splendour of some of the greatest pop and rock music to be recorded with classics such as "California Girls", "I Get Around" and "Surfer Girl" being perfectly presented to an adoring crowd. Whilst Wilson these day may not be able deliver his high harmonies as well as he could in 1966 he was very much able to glide across his white piano and vocally out do many of his contemporaries that are still around today. As for when he required the vocal assistance Jardine's son, Matt (whom is in the backing band) was more than able to recreate the sound that made his father and Wilson famous with his lead vocal on "Don't Worry Baby".
After a brief intermission Wilson returned to the stage with accompanying studio audio from the Pet Sounds sessions of himself conducting the session musicians, thus beginning with "Wouldn't It Be Nice". Working his way through the albumthe theatre was engulfedwith thunderous applause from fans at the conclusion of each classic. Instrumental tracks such as 'Let's Go Away For A While' were truly awe inspiring to believe that Wilson constructed his magnum opus all within the studio of his mind, before distilling it down to over 20 session musicians. Arguable the highlight of the entire evening, the French horn of "God Only Knows" drew an instant tear to a few in attendance and pure bliss to all others. Whilst being unable to draw the angelic highs of the original recording of his brother Carl Wilson, Brian's voice made it all the more poignant given his life story to which the audience thanked him with a standing ovation.
Upon the completion of Pet Sounds backing band member Paul Von Mertens reintroduced the entire band to the stage individually to perform a half hour encore that drew many in the audience to abandon their seats and dance down the isle's to tracks such as 'Surfin' USA' and "Help Me Rhonda' ending the evening.