Review & Set List: Brian Wilson @ Palais Theatre, Melbourne

by Paul Cashmere, Noise 11

Brian Wilson was throwing in classic songs early in his show that 99% of other acts would have to save for their encore. With Brian Wilson in the room Melbourne was treated to a night of genius.

Wilson’s legacy is a catalogue of songs that will live on for centuries. He is a Beethoven of our time, the ringmaster of a musical brilliance whose work in the past 50 years shines alongside less than a handful of others. To have the privilege of witnessing his Beach Boys classic Pet Sounds performed live is an experience everyone should take advantage of when it comes to your town.

Wilson wrote all of the songs in the set list below. Just imagine if Beethoven did a world tour in the 1800s how special it would have been.

The Brian Wilson band puts the sham of Mike Love’s current Beach Boys to shame. For starters, Wilson has twice as many original members of the Beach Boys in his band. The presence of guitarist Al Jardine who sang lead on the original recording of Help Me Rhonda made the night that little more special.

Blondie Chaplin is occasionally in the Wilson band. Chaplin was a member of the Beach Boys for the Holland album and was lead singer on the original recording of Sail On Sailor. He was also been a member of the Rolling Stones band since 1997. When Chaplin came out to sing the trilogy of Wild Honey, Funky Pretty and Sail On Sailor the band changed. Blondie Chaplin was channeling Keith Richards and the Brian Wilson Band suddenly rocked. It was a key comment of the set.

Then came the classic Pet Sounds featuring one of the most stunning songs ever written, Wilson’s God Only Knows. The room was stunned. The audience gave Brian a standing ovation. It was the benchmark moment of the show.

Jardine’s son Matt Jardine is a member of the 10-piece band. His note perfect harmonies recreated the sound of the Beach Boys as Wilson had intended. Music director Darian Saganaja of The Wondermints keeps the band together. Al sings, Matt sings, Darian sings and Brian glues it all together.

This tour is promoted as “the final performance of Pet Sounds”. That doesn’t mean it’s the final Brian Wilson tour but for Australia there probably won’t be a lot more opportunities to be in the room when Brian Wilson, a genuine music prodigy, performs.

Brian Wilson, Melbourne, April 3, 2016

Set One
  • Our Prayer (from 20/20, 1969)
  • Heroes and Villains (from Smiley Smile, 1967)
  • California Girls (from Summer Days and Summer Nights, 1965)
  • Dance, Dance, Dance (from The Beach Boys Today, 1965)
  • I Get Around (from All Summer Long, 1964)
  • Shut Down (from Surfin’ USA, 1963)
  • Little Deuce Coupe (from Surfer Girl, 1963)
  • In My Room (from Surfer Girl, 1963)
  • Surfer Girl (from Surfer Girl, 1963)
  • Don’t Worry Baby (from Shut Down Vol 2, 1964)
  • Wake The World (from Friends, 1968)
  • Add Some Music To Your Day (from Sunflower, 1970)
  • Honkin' Down The Highway (from Love You, 1977)
  • Darlin’ (from Wild Honey, 1967)
  • One Kind of Love (from No Pier Pressure, 2015)
  • Wild Honey (from Wild Honey, 1967)
  • Funky Pretty (from Holland, 1973)
  • Sail On Sailor (from Holland, 1973)
Set Two
  • Wouldn’t It Be Nice (from Pet Sounds, 1966)
  • You Still Believe In Me (from Pet Sounds, 1966)
  • That’s Not Me (from Pet Sounds, 1966)
  • Don’t Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder) (from Pet Sounds, 1966)
  • I’m Waiting For The Day (from Pet Sounds, 1966)
  • Let’s Go Away For Awhile (from Pet Sounds, 1966)
  • Sloop John B (from Pet Sounds, 1966)
  • God Only Knows (from Pet Sounds, 1966)
  • I Know There’s An Answer (from Pet Sounds, 1966)
  • Here Today (from Pet Sounds, 1966)
  • I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times (from Pet Sounds, 1966)
  • Pet Sounds (from Pet Sounds, 1966)
  • Caroline No (from Pet Sounds, 1966)
  • Good Vibrations (from Smiley Smile, 1967)
  • All Summer Long (from All Summer Long, 1964)
  • Help Me Ronda (from Summer Days and Summer Nights, 1965)
  • Barbara Ann (single, 1965)
  • Surfin’ USA (from Surfin’ USA, 1963)
  • Fun Fun Fun (from Shut Down Vol 2, 1964)
  • Love and Mercy (from Brian Wilson, 1988)


Jack from Massachuisetts said...

Paul...give it a break. YES Brian Wilson is a musical genius. YES his music has resonated and will continue to resonate for decades to come. YES he is surrounded by a cadre of talented and expert musicians. YES, YES, YES! YES I'll be at his Pet Sounds "final" Tour at Symphony Hall in Boston this summer (front row). YES I humbly bow to his very presence. But the Beach Boys touring band under the expert leadership of Mike Love with Bruce Johnston, Jeffrey Foskett, Scott Totten , John Cowsill, Brian Eichenberger and Tim Bonhomme present the Beach Boys music in the same perfect harmony, up-tempo beat and showmanship that made the group America's Band in the 1960's and carries them into the 2016s. We see the Mike Love company 5-6 times a year and never tire of those "worn out used car tunes" or the music which takes up back to the times when the surf and sun were in our hair. I thank you for your Brian review and will defend your First Amendment Rights, including your right to be wrong. A "sham"? I don't think so! Go to a Beach Boys concert featuring Mike Love. You'll see just how wrong you were! Peace and Love.

Dan from Melbourne Australia said...

G'day Jack - I think a lot more people including myself would give Mike more credit if he toured as "Mike Love & Bruce Johnson of the The Beach Boys". I agree with you that band (especially with Jeff on board) is an outstanding group of musicians who perform the songs brilliantly - but it is "a sham" to call them "The Beach Boys" and Mike hasn't really done himself any favours over the years (even though some of the criticism is a bit over the top). I think most fans like me are more incensed at the use of the name rather than the actual performances, especially when Mike had the opportunity to reunite the band long term post-reunion tour and chose not to when (to my understanding) the rest of them were. It's like Mick Jagger touring with Ron Wood and calling them The Rolling Stones. Hope you continue to love the fabulous music Brian and his collaborators made whoever is performing it, but I am sure you can understand why so many feel the way I and this reviewer do. Enjoy!!

Jack from Massachuisetts said...

Well said, Dan. Comments from a lover of the Beach Boys' music must be respected. Perhaps someday we could toast a Foster's to Brian and Mike and the everlasting memories they created.

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