Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Brian Wilson @ The Roxy(DVD-A)

This document of Brian's first ever solo tour is truly ear candy if ever there has been. Recorded over two nights at the legendary Roxy club in Los Angeles to a very enthusiastic(and lucky) crowd of 500 which included Peter Buck(R.E.M.), Elliot Easton(The Cars), Nancy Sinatra, Carol Kaye, Doug Feiger(The Knack), Ron Regan(who is credited with naming the Beach Boys more than 40 years ago), Don Was, and club owner and longtime friend Lou Adler. All were treated to two sets of Beach Boys classics, and many of Brian's solo gems.
The sound of this recording is spectacular! With his regular backing band in tow, Brian leads the group through a set of magnificent Beach Boy tunes such as 'The Little Girl I Once Knew', 'Kiss Me Baby', 'Do It Again', 'Add Some Music To Your Day', 'Please Let Me Wonder', 'Sloop John B', 'Caroline No', 'God Only Knows', and 'All Summer Long'. The timeless tunes 'In My Room' and 'Surfer Girl' are even given the acoustic treatment, while a rare performances of 'Back Home' and 'This Whole World' are an unexpected delight to hear.
As strong as those songs are, some of my favorite material on the album are Brian's lesser known solo material. 'The First Time' and 'This Isn't Love'(from The Flintstone's movie "Viva Rock Vegas"...yikes!) are beautiful.
Brian's voice is a little thin at times during the first set, but with his band there to support him, it's really hard to find any fault in that. And to his credit, it gets much stronger during the second. The practice of having Jeffrey(the C.E.O of falsetto) "double track" Brian's vocal line was not yet in play.
He displays the innocence of a child throughout the show, charming even the most hard-hearted listener. His offbeat humor is even displayed in his musical choices, like at the beginning of the second set following the band intros he begins by leading the band through a verse of the Bare Naked Ladies 'Brian Wilson' which segues brilliantly into a transcendent 'Til I Die'(one of my all time favorite Beach Boy tunes!). Other humorous moments include Brian having to calm down the frenzy of the SRO audience, getting a non-Brian Wilson song response from a clueless audience member when asking them for a favorite song(Brown Eyed Girl??!!), and the now legendary "cigarette lighter" joke included in the first set. Only Brian could pull off this tongue-in-cheek crowd pleaser.
Saving the best for last, Brain pulls out all the stops when performing the instant classic 'Lay Down Burden'(dedicated to his brother Carl), a joyful 'Be My Baby'(his favorite song), and a ballad that holds its own with any Beach Boys song 'Love & Mercy'(my favorite Brian Wilson solo song).
I got this DVD-A through my favorite retail website for just over $10 with a recent promotion they offered. With nearly 30 songs and a total playing time of close to 2 hours, the investment is worth every cent. I cannot recommend this site highly enough. No shipping cost and consistent speedy delivery. There's even a sister site called While never having ordered from it, I'm sure it's just as good.

iPod Song of the Day: Mix Master Mike>Intergalactic performed by The Beastie Boys @ the Mtv Video Music Awards


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