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Brian Wilson Concert--September 26, 2000 (Review)

Brian Wilson
Humphrey's By The Bay, San Diego, CA
September 26, 2000

Below is my rambling review of this concert:

This was my first time EVER at an actual BW show. My ticket said section C, Row 2, Seat 2. I was happy that I got so far up front, but even happier when I found out that there was NO ROW ONE in section C, and NO SEAT ONE!!! In other words, I had an unobscured view of the entire stage, of the three sections, I was in the one on the right, with the seat closest to the center, in the front row!! I took lots of pictures, hopefully they'll turn out good.

I'll start from the beginning. I just recently moved to Escondido, which is considerably farther away from the venue than I was last year when I saw Mike & Bruce there. This time I got lost before the show, and just BARELY made it on time. A parking space RIGHT BY THE VENUE opened up as I pulled in at 7:21 (the show started at 7:30). After getting in and standing in a long line to use the restroom, I found my seat, right next to a buddy of mine who I had asked to go buy the tickets the minute they came out last June, because I was in a wedding. Well, as I said, it was in the FRONT ROW!!! My only complaint is that I was right in front of the speaker, which distorted the sound and made my ears ring for quite a while after the concert. I'll use a reproduction of the setlist below, and give details there:

Set 1:

Brian's opening comments: "Thanks for coming! It's going to be a great show tonight!.....Thanks for coming!"

1. The Little Girl I Once Knew

I could tell that Brian was tired at this point. His opening comments sounded very stilted, and he was not smiling, and just sat on his stool as the song started. Starting in the middle of this song, and throughout the concert, he would spontaneously get a big grin on his face, and rock back and forth, and I couldn't tell if this was a sincere smile, or if he was smiling to hide his tiredness. I think it was a mixture of both.

2. This Whole World

Much better than the LATR version.

3. California Girls

Intro: "This is the Beach Boys' main song. This is their main song."

4. In My Room

Intro: "This is a song that me and my brothers used to sing together in our room, and then I later finished it." Some guy in back of me who SWEARS he knows everything starts DECLARING the songs before they start, just to display his expertise on Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys. This is one of the few instances he is right.

5. Kiss Me Baby

Intro: "This is a song about a boy and a girl who had an argument and then they make up and kiss."

6. I Get Around

Intro: "This was a number one song for the Beach Boys." Around this song, Brian starts pantomiming much like Mike Love does. Only Brian is a LOT more amusing doing it (in a good way).

7. Brian Wilson

Intro: (After stuttering really badly) "Sorry, let me start over. This is a song about myself, and the lyrics are about me."

8. 'Til I Die

Beautiful, but the audience had a lukewarm response; possibly the most lukewarm response during the whole concert.

9. Your Imagination

This was not supposed to be performed at this time, but Brian made a mistake when reading the setlist. When there was a pause, he asked Jeff, "Is everything cool?" Jeff commented that there was a problem with the setlist, but that they would do whatever Brian wanted. Darian said, "The setlist is wrong, Brian is right." And the audience applauded. Before they started Brian did the "How loud can you yell" thing again, which eased the tension between Brian and the audience a bit.

10. Darlin'

GREAT!! I could not believe he hit those notes so perfectly...even better than Carl did in the later years.

11. Lay Down Burden

After great applause for "Darlin", Brian intros: "This song is not a happy one, it's about death in the family. I lost my brother Carl two years ago. This song is dedicated to the family of anyone who has lost a loved one and my family." Some dolts in the third row are laughing for some reason; Brian doesn't notice.

12. Be My Baby

Intro: "This is the greatest song of all time."

13. Let It Shine

Intro: "This is a song from my 1988 solo album." Before it starts, the guy behind me declares it to be "Good Vibrations!"

14. Add Some Music To Your Day

Intro: "This next song has some of the most creative lyrics ever written". Notable pantomiming throughout the concert, but it is especially noticeable here...he kept putting his hand up to his ear during the "you'll hear it..." parts, which I found amusing.

15. Please Let Me Wonder

Intro: "During this next song, you'll hear actual angels singing with us. There will be actual angels singing in the middle of it."

16. Back Home

One of the most fun songs during the concert!!! The audience likes it, too!

17. Do It Again

Intro: "Can I give you a clapping tip? 1-2-3-clap..." Towards the end of the song, I thought my eardrums were going to EXPLODE, it was getting so loud!

18. Help Me Rhonda

Intro: "Everybody stand up! Wow, look everybody's standing up! Everybody's standing. We're going to do a song about a guy who needs this girl to get his old girlfriend out of his heart."

Set 2:

Intro to Pet Sounds set: "We're going to do the whole Pet Sounds album, so sit down, have a seat and relax. We're going to do a good half-hour of good music, then maybe later we can rock out. Maybe some good vibes, some good vibrations. (Asking the band): OK, so are we ready? OK, let 'em HAVE IT!" A lot of people laughed at that comment.

19. Wouldn't It Be Nice

Sung in a lower key, it seemed.

20. You Still Believe In Me

Jeff sang the last part "I wanna cry...", but I think Brian could have done it if he just had more confidence.

21. That's Not Me

Intro: "This is a song about a guy who had a good dream." I was AMAZED at how, despite Mike singing this on the album, that Brian sings this so strongly so as to claim this song HIS OWN. Not writing-wise; we all know he wrote it, but I mean VOCALLY he OWNED this song...he hit every note perfect, it seemed. I really enjoyed this song.

22. Don't Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder)

I was again amazed by the notes that he reached...all of them without help!

23. I'm Waiting For The Day

This song really rocked...

24. Let's Go Away For Awhile

Again, Brian did the twirling around on the stool as he listened to this instrumental.

25. Sloop John B

Good enough.

26. God Only Knows

Intro: "Paul McCartney said that this was the most beautiful song he had ever heard. (Pause) Let's see if you agree (snicker snicker)." This song got a lot of applause. Towards the end he forgot to come in on a part and commented afterward, "I forgot to come in on a part, I forgot the lyrics!! I'm SORRY." The audience laughed at the way he said, "I'm SORRY."

27. I Know There's An Answer

Intro: "You're going to hear two keyboards over hear, you're going to hear the magical mystical sounds of the keyboards."

28. Here Today

This was fun...during the instrumental break, I listened to the chatter around me and pretended it was part of the record, then said "Top, please" at the appropriate time.

29. I Just Wasn't Made For These Times

Intro: "This is a song that we did about social conflicts." Until this concert, I thought that the opening lyric was, "I keep looking for a place to THINK", but realized he really says, "FIT IN."

30. Pet Sounds

During this song, Brian spun around again. During the concert, he didn't really look at the audience, but off into space. But during this song, as he was spinning, I caught his attention and waved. He smiled and waved back...this was the only time that he waved at anyone in particular during the entire concert!

31. Caroline, No

Intro: "Now that we've made some noise, we're going to slow it down and do a real pretty ballad. This is going to be a slow one. (Pause) This will not be a rock & roll song." Some people laughed because he kept emphasizing that it was not going to be a rock & roll song.

32. Good Vibrations

I like how it's closer to the original than the way the Beach Boys do it live.

Encore 1:

33. Surfer Girl
34. Barbara Ann (Brian on bass for #33-34)
35. All Summer Long

All Summer Long sounded A LOT better live than on the LATR CD.

36. Surfin' USA
37. Fun, Fun, Fun

Encore 2:

38. Love and Mercy

Billy Hinsche joined in for vocals here. He lives not too far away, in Oceanside. I bumped into him just before the concert started, and he said, "Good to see you again" when I got his attention. He actually REMEMBERED my last name when I reminded him of my first name; we met and talked last year at the BBFF show in Oceanside.

Overall, a great concert experience!! I'm kinda getting spoiled with all these front row seats I keep getting. (At every BB, BBFF, and BW concert I've been to since 12/98, I've somehow managed to get up to the front, in most cases up to the stage!) I kept thinking throughout the concert, "Is this better than the BBFF or the BB?" I kept comparing, and the only thing I could say definitely is that the BBFF were WAY better than the touring BB, but I could not place a "rank" on the BW show. In some ways it was better, but in some ways it was worse than the other shows. I think that the Mike & Bruce show is better for seeing repeatedly, while the experience of the BW show is something that I would get numb to over repeated visits, assuming the setlist didn't change drastically. The vocals were stronger in some cases, but sounded less "Beach Boys" than the Mike & Bruce show sometimes. Don't get me wrong, Jeff Foskett beats Adrian Baker any day, but the overall harmony blend is truer to the original in Mike & Bruce's band. I think if I *HAD* to rank the three touring groups, I would go:

1. BBFF (10 out of 10)
2. BW (9 out of 10)
3. "BB" (8.5 out of 10)

With #2 & 3 being really close together. Of course, the BW show is a lot more touching and a lot more genuine than the BB show, but the sound seems a lot more "put together", or maybe "plastic" is a better word, in the Mike & Bruce show. It meshes better...that's the right phrase.

Anyway, at the end of the show, I went up to the stage (I was the only one who did at first) and asked the stage hand for the setlist, which he gladly gave me. Later on, after seeing what I got, other people went up and asked for things, and he eventually had to shoo them away. I really got hooked up from up above for this show, with the seats, the parking space, the wave, and the setlist! A great show I'd gladly experience again!"

Contributed by: Myself (Eric Aniversario)

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