Live Review

Brian Wilson : Pet Sounds ~ The Final Performances

Brian Wilson on April 9, 2017

Brian Wilson performing at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle


Brian Wilson, one of the founding members of The Beach Boys rolled into Seattle to present his “Pet Sounds: The Final Performances” tour at the Paramount Theatre. Known as one of the visionaries in Pop music, Brian Wilson created the album “Pet Sounds” with The Beach Boys, which is considered one of the all-time greatest albums ever recorded.

When the Beach Boys released “Pet Sounds” in 1966, it was met with luke warm acclaim in the USA, but was critically successful in the UK when The Beatles were at the top of the charts. Over time, “Pet Sounds” was been regarded as a major influence for many including Paul McCartney, which prompted The Beatles to create “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”.

Now 50+ years on, Brian Wilson has had an extraordinary life. From being considered a music genius, to having a turbulent drug and mental health period, and surviving through it all to emerge to critical success as a solo artist. On this tour, former Beach Boys Al Jardine and Blonde Chaplin with a stellar band joined him to play the hits of The Beach Boys to a sold-out crowd.

As Brian Wilson was escorted out to his piano, and the band took the stage, they preceded to play the hits of The Beach Boys opening with “California Girls”, “Dance, Dance, Dance”, “I Get Around”, and “Shut Down”. For over an hour, one hit after another with everyone singing along and dancing in their seats.

After a brief intermission, Brian and the band returned to kick off the “Pet Sounds” performance of the entire album live. As they played this classic, I was transported and thinking how special it was to hear this music. Really, think about how these songs changed how music was written for an album. Back in the early 1960’s, songs were written to be singles. One hit after another was the expectation. But with “Pet Sounds” here you had an album that was a concept, a collection of songs to make the entire work cohesive. This was a major shift in how the music was presented.

All in all, this performance by Brian Wilson was wonderful and nostalgic. Fortunately he will be touring the USA and Europe throughout the year with this band and if you’ve been on the fence about going, don’t miss seeing and hearing a true legend in music. After this year, I’m not too sure that will be the case as Brian Wilson has indicated that these are the “Final Performances” and what a way to celebrate!