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    Saturday, November 04, 2006

    Brian Wilson with Al Jardine at Royce Hall

    Brian at Royce Hall, Los Angeles
    November 1, 2006
    With Special Guest Al Jardine

    Players: Brian’s regular touring band including
    Darian and Gary Griffin

    From the moment Brian and band gathered on stage
    left to perform their acoustic set, it was just
    the start of a musical night to remember. During
    “You’re Welcome” with the dimmed blue stage lights,
    the band reassembled in their places and when
    Al Jardine made his way to the stage, the loud
    applause for founding Beach Boy Al Jardine was quite
    appreciative of Brian’s partner for these 5 decades.
    Al looking quite handsome in his white suit,
    launched into the first tune of the electric set,
    “Then I Kissed Her”. Just hearing that voice and
    seeing Al singing and performing to Brian’s left gave
    me goosebumps! Throughout the entire song, the people
    in this beautiful sold out concert hall knew this
    was a special place to be. When Al finished “Then
    I Kissed Her”he appeared to soak up all the applause
    and appreciate how important it was to be playing
    with Brian again. As the band continued with
    “Breakaway”, I looked around and noticed how everyone
    in the audience was grooving to Brian and Al performing
    together again.

    Brian vocals sounded better than anytime during the
    last 30 years I’ve seen him perform. He reached notes
    that I thought was no longer possible from him. He
    appeared much more at ease with performing than any other
    time during the 7 years. He sat behind a live keyboard and
    several times before the band would start a song, he would
    play a few notes of the song.

    There are several songs worth noting:

    "California Saga": California Brian did the “On My
    Way To Sunny California”line before Al took over
    his ode to the Central California Coast. Jeffrey
    Foskett added a nice banjo. Al’s smooth delivery
    and outstanding voice delivered this one to the
    fans’ delight:

    "Sail On Sailor" – What a groove on that tune. I
    noticed most of the people in the center section
    moving their bodies and especially their heads to
    this one...that would include Christopher Cross and
    Alan Boyd, too. Brian’s classic tune from 1973’s "Holland"
    sounded great with a strong vocal by Brian.

    "Marcella" – Scott Bennett played some really hot guitar
    licks and Al was right there watching and playing along.
    This one REALLY rocked the house.

    "Breakaway" – Always loved this song performed by Brian
    but with the addition of Al’s vocals, the missing piece
    has been found.


    Pet Sounds’ songs observations:

    Brian did most leads but I fully expected Al to take the
    leads or trade leads with Brian on several tunes including;
    "You Still Believe In Me", "I’m Waiting For The Day" and
    "Sloop John B.". Al did sing some verses to a few of the tunes
    but mostly it was Brian and Brian sounded great.

    "God Only Knows" – Brian sang it with much emotion
    and the audience gave Brian a much deserved standing
    ovation. Probyn Gregory’s French Horn sound added
    to the beauty of this song.

    Encore:

    When the band played "Help Me Rhonda", it appeared Al and Brian
    wasn’t sure which one would take the lead. Of course, Al
    launched into the signature song from 1965. The house lights
    came up so everyone could be seen standing, singing and
    clapping along. I don’t think anyone wasn’t standing, singing
    and clapping in the house...Al looked around and seemed to
    enjoy the moment.

    When Love and Mercy's last note finished, Brian and band
    gathered for a well deserved bow and it was Brian reaching
    out to Al to hold hands and bow together with the rest of
    the band. Seeing them standing next to each other holding
    hands and bowing was simply a touching moment.


    Non - Concert observations

    Soundcheck: they sounded especially great on "Breakaway"

    Merchandise for sale: Pet Sounds 40th anniversary
    t-shirts $40 and Brian Wilson dolls($75 unsigned and
    $150 signed by Brian). The dolls are quite nice and
    Mark London told me that Brian really likes it. I liked it
    so much I got one. The sales of the dolls were very brisk.
    CASH ONLY. That seemed odd to me. How many people
    carry $150 - $200 in cash to a concert? Mark London
    designed the tee-shirts and dolls. These shirts were
    literally just off a truck from the factory.
    No programs, mugs, or anything else for sale...

    Seen backstage before the show; Christopher Cross,
    Carnie Wilson, Mary Ann Jardine, Matt Jardine, Mark
    London, Justyn Wilson, Jonah Wilson, David Leaf, Alan
    Boyd, Trisha Campo, Rich Sloan, and Elliott Kendall.

    Backstage after the show: Brian and Al looked so
    relaxed and pleased with the entire night. I know I was…

    Les in San Francisco


    Posted by Les Chan


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