Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Sail On...


Published Date: 15 July 2009
By Terry Kelly

THIS concert by Beach Boys founding father Brian Wilson was more a musical celebration of the California sound.

A party atmosphere prevailed throughout, with the capacity crowd on their feet and dancing for much of the three-hour gig.

Billed as the Greatest Hits Live Tour, it pretty much delivered on that promise.

Brian and his superb 10-piece band of multi-instrumentalists kicked off with the timeless California Girls and never let the pace slacken.

Sitting centre-stage at his trademark and mostly unplayed keyboard, Wilson seemed to be enjoying himself, even if his intros and quirky hand movements do often seem by rote, while the former Beach Boys genius introduced the emotional In My Room as In My Little Room.

Wilson led his adoring Tyneside audience through his incredible back catalogue, with pop classics like I Get Around, Little Deuce Coupe and Barbara Ann leaving fans bopping in the aisles.

The second half was the more memorable, with the occasionally overdone party atmosphere subsiding long enough for what was for me the concert highlight.

That was the back-to-back God Only Knows and a truly spine-chilling version of Midnight's Another Day, from last year's That Lucky Old Sun album.

It was also great to hear the title track of Brian's solo outing Imagination, plus Add Some Music To Your Day, from the 1970 Sunflower album.

A great gig, but a few more reflective numbers would have made it even better.



First Half:

Our Prayer
California Girls
Girl Don’t Tell Me
Dance Dance Dance
Happy Birthday Sue (Levinson)
Surfer Girl
In My Room
Salt Lake City
Custom Machine
Soul Searchin’
Desert Drive
Don’t Worry Baby
Row Your Boat
I Get Around
Do You Wanna Dance
Do It Again

Second Half:

You Keep A Knockin’
Then I Kissed Her
Your Imagination
Add Some Music To Your Day
When I Grow Up
All Summer Long
Little Deuce Coupe
Little Girl I Once Knew
Sloop John B
Wouldn’t It Be Nice
God Only Knows
Midnight’s Another Day
Lucky Old Sun
Goin’ Home
Southern California
Good Vibrations

You Keep A Knockin’
Johnny B Goode
Help Me Rhonda
Barbara Ann
Surfin’ USA
Fun Fun Fun

Love & Mercy

Percussionist Nelson Bragg played the Cluny on Monday night with Anny Celsi - see

The photo of Brian at the Sage is by David Wala, a locally-based photographer whose work now graces the cover of the new edition of Ralph Ellison's great novel, Invisible Man.
His site is at

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