At 8 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 19th, AEG Live presented a one-night-only engagement of Brian Wilson Celebrates Pet Sounds’ 50th Anniversary in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. Musical legend and Grammy® winner Brian Wilson was joined on stage by an entire army of extremely talented musicians, including former Beach Boy bandmates Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin.
I’ll admit that I wasn’t around during Brian Wilson’s heyday, but I did grow up listening to my mother’s old 45’s and LP’s. Revisiting Pet Sounds flooded me with fond memories of family beach trips and summer romances.
If you are not familiar with Pet Sounds, it was released in 1966 as the 11th studio album of The Beach Boys. The elaborate tight harmonies and the multiple layered sound effects make for a very complex album that Wilson created all by himself.
The show opened with a few old favorites including “Heroes and Villains,” “California Girls,” “I Get Around,” “Don’t Worry Baby,” “Little Deuce Coupe,” and “Surfer Girl.”
Al Jardine played lead guitar, and sang a few of the songs, including “California Saga,” “Help Me Rhonda,” and “Wouldn’t It Be Nice.” Most of the iconic high notes, however, were sung by Al’s son, Matt Jardine.
Matt Jardine’s falsetto was flawless during his solos, yet blended nicely with Brian Wilson’s falsetto, when he needed to stop singing. Wilson received multiple standing ovations after singing lead vocals for “Here Today” and “God Only Knows.”
Blondie Chaplin electrified the audience during “Wild Honey,” “Funky Pretty,” and “Sail on Sailor.” Masterful musician Paul Von Mertens was amazing to watch. He singlehandledly played every woodwind instrument, some almost simultaneously. He smoothly switched from flute to clarinet to harmonica to saxophone to various other instruments — and back again.
The second set played was the Pet Sounds album in its entirety. Then the encores included performances of “Good Vibrations,” “Barbara Ann,” “Surfin USA,” “Fun, Fun, Fun,” and “Love & Mercy.”
This may not be the same Pet Sounds that you listened to in high school. You can never truly recreate a moment in the past, only enjoy the memories that they evoke. So, break out your dancing shoes, or stick your feet in the sand and “go away for a while.” Let your memories generate “Good, Good, Good Vibrations.”
BRIAN WILSON CELEBRATES PET SOUNDS’ 50TH ANNIVERSARY (AEG Live, Aug. 19 in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium).
THE TOUR: http://www.brianwilson.com/tour/.
Brian Wilson (California-born rock and pop singer-songwriter and co-founder of The Beach Boys): http://www.brianwilson.com/ (official website), http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0933092/ (Internet Movie Database), https://www.facebook.com/officialbrianwilson (Facebook page), https://twitter.com/BrianWilsonLive (Twitter page), and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Wilson (Wikipedia).
The Beach Boys (rock and pop group formed in 1961 in Hawthorne, CA): https://www.thebeachboys.com/ (official website), http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1274814/ (Internet Movie Database), https://www.facebook.com/TheBeachBoys (Facebook page), https://twitter.com/TheBeachBoys (Twitter page), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beach_Boys (Wikipedia).
Pet Sounds (1966 studio album): http://petsounds.com/ (official website), https://www.thebeachboys.com/music/pet-sounds-50th-anniversary-edition (The Beach Boys’ page for the 50th Anniversary Edition), and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pet_Sounds (Wikipedia).
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Shannon Plummer-White is no stranger to the stage! She studied Musical Theater & Opera at the American Musical Dramatic Academy in New York City, and has appeared in films such as Iron Man 3 and Safe Haven. She has also performed with the North Carolina Master Chorale and the North Carolina Symphony. When she isn’t on stage or making magic behind the scenes, she can be found in the art studio playing with fire and molten glass. She is an animal advocate with a special love of cats. She has four rescued fur children and a very supportive husband. Click here to read her reviews for Triangle Review and Triangle Arts and Entertainment.