Brian Wilson, the musical genius behind The Beach Boys surfed up The Westbury Theater in Long Island, NY on October 12 th. He opened the show at 8:00 pm on cue with the original Beach Boys members: David Marks and Al Jardine along with his new extended band members.
He sang "Don't Worry Baby" among other Beach Boys tunes, which he wrote. All of this and it was still 8:30, just a half-hour into Wilson’s hour-long opening set.
The group pulled off the familiar “I Get Around,” “Good Vibrations”, the unexpected “Old Man River” and “Wild Honey” and wisely returned the lead guitar part on the instrumental “Pet Sounds” back to Nicky Wonder, who cruelly lost it during last year’s Beach Boys reunion.
The audience stood up dancing with smiles ear to ear to the familiar tunes of The Beach Boys we all remember, know world wide and love. The vocals were ageless especially on Brian Wilson.
After a 20 minute intermission, Jeff Beck steps on stage with his own band including a tall blonde and talented violinist, Lizzie Ball.
Beck and Wilson apparently have been recording together for Brian's upcoming solo album so they decided to create a double bill by going on tour together. A wonderful decision, indeed.
Wilson's performance is all about songs and music. He often checks out, letting his hands droop below his keyboards, as his band takes over. Beck was all about being there. He is the centerpiece of his set. He is a dynamic live performer with an amazing band that collaborates and compliments him.
Beck's music and the songs of others, he plays on his guitar are interchangeable and melodic, which bring forth a number of emotions from audience members. One doesn't have to be a fan of rock music to feel the groove and to distinguish the meaning of what real music is with pure instruments.
Beck played Les Paul and did a dedication to him as well. He also played Muddy Waters and an instrumental to Eric Clapton's Tears in Heaven. Beck's set included Blues, a Middle Eastern jam, and fusion with a cover of Hendrix's "Little Wing" and The Beatles.
The fourth set included Brian Wilson and his band, who were called onto the stage for a "Smile" mini set. All the musicians concluded with a demonstration of instrumental mastery also seen in jazz and classical, the technique so dazzling that it didn't matter if one was at the House of Blues or Westbury, L.I.
After a few more songs, the band kicked into "Barbara Ann" and "Surfin" USA" Beck soon after , shredded his solos as Jardine and Marks huddled closer in awe.
It didn't matter whether Beck and Wilson had much in common or whether their studio collaboration even came forth. The music alone filled the room with essence galore. The 17 musician stood on stage, all had plenty to share.