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
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
"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.
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