Beach Boy and legendary pop composer Brian Wilson did a concert at the Tobin in San Antonio, Texas on Dec 17, 2018.
Everyone loves the Beach Boys and I have been fascinated by the tales of Brian Wilson as a madman, recluse, mental patient and creator of very innovative pop melodies.
I loved the film ” Love and Mercy” and the many TV documentaries about him. The stoties of how he could create music while locked away in his home studio, but his mental issues prevented him from performing in live concerts.
The opening act was a pleasant 2 piece Irish act (Beat Root Revival ) singing and the man playing an acoustic guitar so well you almost thought there was a drummer accompanying them) and the woman beating on a hand held drum.
From Brian Wilsons website:
“As some of you might know I have been having some issues with my back that has very recently gotten worse. It runs in my family, Carl had back problems as well. My doctors have told me that I need to have back surgery immediately.They are optimistic that this will finally relieve the pain”
The curtain opened with Brian Wilson already seated behind the piano and an 11 piece backing band around him. A beautifully done set with lit Christmas trees and ribbons.
Maybe Wilson is so ill he cant walk?
His backing band was excellent, and seeing them was great. But Brian Wilson himself was barely there. Other people did all of the playing, and other people did all of the singing.
Brian sat there kinda catatonic. He didn’t seem to be playing the piano at all, and only sang on a few songs. He was physically front and center but performance wise he was a back up player. His band had people who could do great impersonations of his singing and playing, and they did a great job. But how is this a Brian Wilson concert?
Other band members even did the non singing stuff…
The ” hey howya doing” “Great to be here!” “Lets introduce the band!” bits were said by his backing players, not Wilson himself.
Real Beach Boy Al Jardine was right next Brian, so he could sing the Beach Boys songs and it was the voice we all remember.
The first half of the show was Christmas songs and the second half was old Beach Boys hits…. They did “God Only Knows” too early, it should have been the closer.
The curtain came down with Brian still in his seat. I am assuming someone brought him a wheel chair once the curtain blocked the crowds view.
A fan video from a concert a few weeks before my show: