Review; BRIAN WILSON Philarmonic Hall.
GENIUS. It's a funny old word, and one that's bandied about too much. But, listening to Brian Wilson last night, it was hard to think of him as anything else. He's one of the handful of musical living legends - alongside Paul Mc-Cartney, Stevie Wonder and very few others.
So, there he was in Liverpool.
A genius, dressed like a coach driver and singing the most beautiful harmonies of his generation. Or maybe of any generation.
Blasting out the old favourites with the considerable help of a breathtaking 10-piece band that filled the stage, he gave the crowd exactly what they'd come for - California Girls, Surfer Girl, Marcella, In My Room and When I Grow Up (to be a Man). Each was a heavenly slice of Wilson-crafted harmony that no-one has managed to better.
There were a few surprises thrown in - Salt Lake City was one, Row, Row Row Your Boat was another. Yes, the king of the 60s pop got the crowd singing along with the old nursery rhyme.
After the ridiculous came the sublime - the beautiful Don't Worry Baby, followed by singalonga anthem I Get Around, which got the crowd up and dancing for joy.
With no support act and only a brief interval, the band played for more than two hours, packing in the hits.
The second half brought Your Imagination, Little Deuce Coupe, Sloop John B and Wouldn't It Be Nice, While the band danced throughout, Wilson himself remained seated, sitting behind keyboards he didn't seem to play, and a monitor that he studied closely in a way that suggested it was really an autocue.
But then it really didn't matter. The music created such powerful soundscapes that there was no need for visual fireworks too.
The highlight had to be Brian's favourite song - the beautifully poignant God Only Knows. Closely followed by Good Vibrations, it brought the house down.
An encore of Eight Days a Week - a nod to pal Paul McCartney - Johnny B. Goode, Help Me Rhonda, and Surfin USA and there was no doubt - we were in the presence of a god among songwriters.
Long may he reign.
California Boy 9/10
LEGEND: Brian Wilson - genius dressed like a coach driver
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|Publication:||Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)|
|Date:||Sep 3, 2009|
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