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Author Topic: Mike & Bruce 2018 Tour Thread  (Read 6275 times)
guitarfool2002
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« Reply #75 on: February 13, 2018, 10:06:56 AM »

Am I the only one that is super stoked that Randell is back?? Also happy that Christian is back as well. Brian E was good, but I liked Randell's leads better. And hearing Christian back in the vocal blend is great! Didn't realize how much I missed his voice in the blend after he left.
I think the blend will probably improve. Ike was good but very bland. Christian is also my third favorite person to sing God Only Knows, behind Carl(of course) and Brian. I'd rather have a live vocal than Carl on video too. Mike needs to stop trying to sing along with the falsetto part at the end of GOK though. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZ4pb9iykV0

Bland? I disagree. Mike never utilized Ike's ability to nail the early 60's Brian falsetto, which of course came by way of Ike leading the Four Freshmen touring band and having to nail those Bob Flanigan falsetto parts, which is who Brian also modeled himself after vocally (and arranging wise). Ike is also one helluva jazz guitarist, and Mike instead had him in the backline thumping away on bass.

It's a case of having an all-star performer and musician come to the team and putting him on the bench more or less. For what reasons? Who knows. Maybe someone could ask Foskett next time he's interviewed. Because it makes zero sense to bring in a guy who can sound like the classic Brian Wilson falsetto, who plays a terrific guitar as well as bass, and stick him in the backline while the "old guard" takes the leads I'd say Ike should have been taking.

Well, it's a done deal now - He made his choice back in 2015. Brian got Matt Jardine to sing falsetto, and has been a highlight of every BW show since then.

But Ike "bland"? Hardly.
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« Reply #76 on: February 13, 2018, 10:08:42 AM »

Christian's voice really helps to fill out the middle third in my opinion.  I'm so glad he is back, just wish he had more vox to sing lead on.  Did anyone else hear the vocal stacking on Why Do Fools Fall In Love, the band has 2 legitimate and excellent falsetto singers and yet "Scotty T" and his thin falsetto take the lead on it.  Sounded awful!

In the past, it was Scott and Jeff doing a tandem lead. I think that before that, it was Scott and Randell doing a tandem lead (going by memory). I think that attempting this as a solo lead would be a daunting task for anybody, and I give Scott props for trying, and doing fairly well in my book. To be honest, even Brian Wilson's lead on the studio recording sounded iffy to me from first listen.

Iffy? Brian nailed that falsetto and did so without trying too hard to sound like Frankie Lymon. Just my opinion.

What sounds iffy about the original lead?
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« Reply #77 on: February 13, 2018, 10:20:15 AM »

BWís falsetto is out of this world on that! Cool Guy
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« Reply #78 on: February 13, 2018, 10:45:42 AM »

BWís falsetto is out of this world on that! Cool Guy

I think so too! It's a tough lead to tackle, but I always thought Brian's falsetto kicked into high gear on that one specific cut. He had a strong natural falsetto that didn't seem to be forced, like most of it was coming from his chest voice. That's why I was surprised to see it being called iffy, I think it's one of his best!
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« Reply #79 on: February 13, 2018, 01:26:35 PM »

Am I the only one that is super stoked that Randell is back?? Also happy that Christian is back as well. Brian E was good, but I liked Randell's leads better. And hearing Christian back in the vocal blend is great! Didn't realize how much I missed his voice in the blend after he left.
I think the blend will probably improve. Ike was good but very bland. Christian is also my third favorite person to sing God Only Knows, behind Carl(of course) and Brian. I'd rather have a live vocal than Carl on video too. Mike needs to stop trying to sing along with the falsetto part at the end of GOK though. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZ4pb9iykV0

Bland? I disagree. Mike never utilized Ike's ability to nail the early 60's Brian falsetto, which of course came by way of Ike leading the Four Freshmen touring band and having to nail those Bob Flanigan falsetto parts, which is who Brian also modeled himself after vocally (and arranging wise). Ike is also one helluva jazz guitarist, and Mike instead had him in the backline thumping away on bass.

It's a case of having an all-star performer and musician come to the team and putting him on the bench more or less. For what reasons? Who knows. Maybe someone could ask Foskett next time he's interviewed. Because it makes zero sense to bring in a guy who can sound like the classic Brian Wilson falsetto, who plays a terrific guitar as well as bass, and stick him in the backline while the "old guard" takes the leads I'd say Ike should have been taking.

Well, it's a done deal now - He made his choice back in 2015. Brian got Matt Jardine to sing falsetto, and has been a highlight of every BW show since then.

But Ike "bland"? Hardly.

He kicked Al, who had the best voice in the band, out of the group. Ike, who had the best falsetto since Brian, was stuck in the shadows. Do you see a *pattern* going on there?  Wink
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« Reply #80 on: February 14, 2018, 06:14:42 AM »

Eichenberger had (has) a good "falsetto" voice (and I use "falsetto" in the loose Brian Wilson-esque sense, as people in the in past have pointed out how a lot of those "high" parts aren't technically actually "falsetto"), and I think when he took the "high" Brian Wilson type leads, he sounded good.

I *do* think he sounded a *bit* bland when Mike started handing him mid-range Al leads like "Then I Kissed Her" and even weirdly "Lady Lynda."

Last year, there was that couple of days when a full pro-shot charity gig from Mike's band was posted online, and I finally got to see and hear this, and I remember getting to Eichenberger being brought up front for "Then I Kissed Her" while Mike went and sang in the back line, and thinking while this was a nice gesture personally for Eichenberger, his genuinely fine but slightly bland lead and coming to the front of the stage truly started making Mike's band look, feel, and sound like a full-on "Tribute Band."
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« Reply #81 on: February 14, 2018, 07:27:16 AM »

I was never a huge fan of Ike's falsetto. It had a certain tone to it that I didn't like. I'll take Foskett and Matt Jardine over him. I like Randell Kirsch's falsetto too. I'm hoping he'll take some of the falsetto leads, so there isn't as much strain on Foskett's voice. 

As for the bass playing, I can't tell too much of a difference between Ike and Kirsch, but they both seem to do the job.
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« Reply #82 on: February 15, 2018, 07:10:17 AM »

All of the falsetto guys over the years have had somewhat different tones.

Eichenberger had a bit more of the sort of "Four Freshman" sound (for obvious reasons), where it kind of had a slightly monotone, less distinctive, sort of jazzy sound. It sounded like his "falsetto" stuff was coming less from the nasal area.

Foskett had/has a more treble-ish, somewhat nasal high voice. He bends notes up into the highest notes instead just hitting them straight on (think the falsetto on the chorus of "California Girls"). I think sometimes he tends to more sort of "full voice" high singing instead of always shifting up into a falsetto, which sometimes means (especially when touring non-stop with Mike) his voice sometimes sounds a bit limp and weak if he's tired.

Adrian Baker was of course famously even more "nasaly", and utilized the more Frankie Valli-esque voice (and it's understandable he apparently did tour with Valli for at least a bit years ago). Whether because of this singing style or some other reasons, he tended most often (especially during his first 1981-82 stint) to sing flat.

Matt Jardine is an interesting one, and perhaps the most Beach Boys-esque for several reasons. I tend to think/assume he kind of just picked up singing by observing the BBs over the years. He obviously has a mid-range tone that sounds somewhat like Al, yet by being around the Wilsons all those years and also perhaps inheriting element of Al's old falsetto (which could sound remarkably like Brian), Matt tends to sound the closest to vintage Brian. To be clear, none of these guys really sound a ton like Brian. I don't mean this in a "nobody could be as good as Brian" way, but in the literal sense that none of them really approach a "wow, that sounds just like 1964 Brian!" sound. But Matt comes closest, and with his DNA (and with his stamp on 80s/90s BB songs/recordings/live shows), his voice evokes more of a "Beach Boys" sound/vibe to me.
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« Reply #83 on: February 15, 2018, 09:23:17 AM »

While I admire Adrian Baker's overall musicianship, I do not like him as the lead falsetto singer for The Beach Boys! His falsettos, to my ears, usually sounded fine in the blend, but when it was a falsetto lead vocal, there were a lot of pitch issues.
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« Reply #84 on: February 15, 2018, 09:37:41 AM »

While I admire Adrian Baker's overall musicianship, I do not like him as the lead falsetto singer for The Beach Boys! His falsettos, to my ears, usually sounded fine in the blend, but when it was a falsetto lead vocal, there were a lot of pitch issues.


I'm indiffrent as to Christian being back.  He's a fine addition, but tbh I didn't really miss a whole lot in his absence.  Kirsch, on the other hand is a clear downgrade to me. It's all subjective, but I never really cared for his falsetto.  I would rank the various participants as follws:

1. Matt jardine
2. Foskett
3. Ike
4. Nobody
5. Kirsch

x
x
x
6. My Golden Retriever
7. Adrian Baker
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« Reply #85 on: February 15, 2018, 05:22:12 PM »

AB definitely needed to be let go. Back in 2001-2002 I saw people actually holding their ears during his DWB lead. Then at the end of the show I heard some people talking about how horrible THEY sounded during that song. I remember those kinda things.
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« Reply #86 on: February 16, 2018, 07:20:26 AM »

Sounds rough!

Does anyone have an opinion on who was the best bassist in Mike's band? Not in terms of bass playing and singing, but just playing bass. So far we've had Chris Farmer, Randell Kirsch, and Ike.

While I'm at it, I think Scott and John are the best lead guitarist and drummer Mike's band has ever had.
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« Reply #87 on: February 16, 2018, 07:23:58 AM »

Sounds rough!

Does anyone have an opinion on who was the best bassist in Mike's band? Not in terms of bass playing and singing, but just playing bass. So far we've had Chris Farmer, Randell Kirsch, and Ike.

While I'm at it, I think Scott and John are the best lead guitarist and drummer Mike's band has ever had.

I like Scott a lot in Mike's group.  I've said this before, I'm not really a big fan of Pisces Brothers, but his solo in it is really good.  The only bad thing is that The Beach Boys music doesn't really allow for many moments like that.  What are the odds they'd add Steamboat.......nothing.......no.........oh well. 
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« Reply #88 on: February 16, 2018, 07:44:58 AM »

Sounds rough!

Does anyone have an opinion on who was the best bassist in Mike's band? Not in terms of bass playing and singing, but just playing bass. So far we've had Chris Farmer, Randell Kirsch, and Ike.

While I'm at it, I think Scott and John are the best lead guitarist and drummer Mike's band has ever had.

I like Scott a lot in Mike's group.  I've said this before, I'm not really a big fan of Pisces Brothers, but his solo in it is really good.  The only bad thing is that The Beach Boys music doesn't really allow for many moments like that.

One thing I love about BB's music is that it DOESN'T allow for many moments like that. Not a fan of guitar solos.....hmmm maybe some Brian May stuff....but that's it  Grin
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« Reply #89 on: February 16, 2018, 07:55:31 AM »

Sounds rough!

Does anyone have an opinion on who was the best bassist in Mike's band? Not in terms of bass playing and singing, but just playing bass. So far we've had Chris Farmer, Randell Kirsch, and Ike.

While I'm at it, I think Scott and John are the best lead guitarist and drummer Mike's band has ever had.

I like Scott a lot in Mike's group.  I've said this before, I'm not really a big fan of Pisces Brothers, but his solo in it is really good.  The only bad thing is that The Beach Boys music doesn't really allow for many moments like that.

One thing I love about BB's music is that it DOESN'T allow for many moments like that. Not a fan of guitar solos.....hmmm maybe some Brian May stuff....but that's it  Grin

To each their own.   The Beach Boys are the only band in my top 20 that doesn't feature prominent lead guitar. 
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« Reply #90 on: February 16, 2018, 09:13:42 AM »

A bit of an all-over-the-place with some digressions, but:

Totten and Cowsill are good, no question. I don't think anything to do with Mike's new solo stuff (including the interminable "Pisces Brothers" which Mike has been subjecting his audiences to for how many years now?) is where Totten shines.

I think Totten more than anything should be noted for saving what remains of Mike's touring reputation. I believe that if Totten hadn't joined and taken over the MD role, Mike's band would be doing mostly dinner theater and multi-band packaged oldies shows at this point. Mike's band was headed down the road of sub-Papa Doo Run Run quality in the early-mid 2000s.

As for fancy guitar work and leads, I think the time to argue the BBs should have leaned more on heavier guitar sounds on their records was the late 60s and into the 70s. But it never happened, and at this stage unless it's Blondie Chaplin wailing a few songs, there's really no place for heavy guitar soloing in the BB catalog. They featured it as a bit of a showpiece now and then in the live shows over the years, sometimes letting Ed Carter do an extended guitar solo on "Barbara Ann" or "Help Me Rhonda", etc. That was all fine.

I'm a fan of tasty and tasteful lead guitar, in the literal and *actual* role of lead guitar. "Lead Guitar" doesn't mean "Lead Guitar Soloist." It means the guitar player in the band that takes the most prominent position in the performance. Some of George Harrrison's best "lead guitar" on Beatles tracks, especially in the early years, are the little runs and riffs on stuff like "I Want to Hold Your Hand." There's stuff like that on BB records too, sometimes played by the guys and sometimes by session musicians. Pull apart "This Whole World" and you'll find some transcendent "lead" guitar work.
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« Reply #91 on: February 16, 2018, 09:27:33 AM »

A bit of an all-over-the-place with some digressions, but:

Totten and Cowsill are good, no question. I don't think anything to do with Mike's new solo stuff (including the interminable "Pisces Brothers" which Mike has been subjecting his audiences to for how many years now?) is where Totten shines.

I think Totten more than anything should be noted for saving what remains of Mike's touring reputation. I believe that if Totten hadn't joined and taken over the MD role, Mike's band would be doing mostly dinner theater and multi-band packaged oldies shows at this point. Mike's band was headed down the road of sub-Papa Doo Run Run quality in the early-mid 2000s.

As for fancy guitar work and leads, I think the time to argue the BBs should have leaned more on heavier guitar sounds on their records was the late 60s and into the 70s. But it never happened, and at this stage unless it's Blondie Chaplin wailing a few songs, there's really no place for heavy guitar soloing in the BB catalog. They featured it as a bit of a showpiece now and then in the live shows over the years, sometimes letting Ed Carter do an extended guitar solo on "Barbara Ann" or "Help Me Rhonda", etc. That was all fine.

I'm a fan of tasty and tasteful lead guitar, in the literal and *actual* role of lead guitar. "Lead Guitar" doesn't mean "Lead Guitar Soloist." It means the guitar player in the band that takes the most prominent position in the performance. Some of George Harrrison's best "lead guitar" on Beatles tracks, especially in the early years, are the little runs and riffs on stuff like "I Want to Hold Your Hand." There's stuff like that on BB records too, sometimes played by the guys and sometimes by session musicians. Pull apart "This Whole World" and you'll find some transcendent "lead" guitar work.

I'm just realizing that I misspoke in my post.   I meant to say guitar solos, not lead guitar, as I do know the difference. 

And you're right, The Beach Boys had their chance to incorporate more solos in their work in the late 60s / early 70s, and did so with great results on the Holland album.   

Although they did allow Jeff Baxter to provide a good solo on Spring Vacation in 2012
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« Reply #92 on: February 16, 2018, 07:41:25 PM »

In response to the bass player question...I don't think The Beach Boys have EVER had an above average bass player on stage. The fact that they found Bruce's bass playing acceptable in 1965 is enough proof of how little they cared about it. Now that being said, Brian Wilson has written some of the greatest bass lines to grace popular recordings...but that has nothing to do with the bass guitar as an instrument, that is purely based on harmony.

So in recent years? One certainly doesn't stand out over the other. The only virtuosic players to grace Mike's band in the past twenty years have been Totten & Cowsill. We'll never see Mike cast them aside. The operation would crumble instantly.
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« Reply #93 on: February 17, 2018, 12:38:16 AM »

Best to least falsetto:

1. Randell Kirsch
2. Matt Jardine
3. Adrian Baker (sth. about his voice I really like)
4. Brian Eichenberger (great high voice, f.ex. in YSBIM which isn't falsetto song thru & thru as "Fools". When he gets to do falsetto, it's good but I usually think he should sing high voice leads & stay there without going falsetto)
5. Scott Totten ("boyishness" in his given voice places it in the lesser category)
6. Jeff Foskett
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« Reply #94 on: February 17, 2018, 01:27:44 AM »

I think your list is pretty goid. But, no, not Baker on it at all. And Jeff should be further up, above halfwzy. He is sounding better now in the BB stack than when in BW band
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« Reply #95 on: February 17, 2018, 02:06:06 AM »

Some here may remember this: when Adrian was dismissed, Randell took over pretty much all the leads that he was doing at the time, including Don't Worry Baby, Good Vibrations, plus others that Adrian did not do.  When Christian was added, and later Jeff, all of Randell's leads were given to them, and he took over Then I Kissed Her as his one lead vocal during the show, which he was OK-to-good at, but definitely not his strongest lead.  Prior to that, I think that he was really, really good on Good Vibrations, as well as Don't Worry Baby.  At one point, he did I'm So Young and was INCREDIBLE!  He was also really good on Brian's part on Good To My Baby.  His take on The Warmth Of The Sun was pretty good, but I think Jeff has him beat on that one. 

Overall, I think that Randell deserves to stay, assuming that's what he wants.  During his 14 years with the band, he didn't get a lot of recognition, but just hearing him and Christian back with the band brings back good memories.  Ike is in an impressive singer in his own right, and fit into the blend well, but he is less Beach Boy-sounding than Randell.  Although I was a BIG fan of his lead on Lady Lynda when it was added briefly to the setlist.
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« Reply #96 on: February 17, 2018, 03:25:50 AM »

In response to the bass player question...I don't think The Beach Boys have EVER had an above average bass player on stage. The fact that they found Bruce's bass playing acceptable in 1965 is enough proof of how little they cared about it. Now that being said, Brian Wilson has written some of the greatest bass lines to grace popular recordings...but that has nothing to do with the bass guitar as an instrument, that is purely based on harmony.

So in recent years? One certainly doesn't stand out over the other. The only virtuosic players to grace Mike's band in the past twenty years have been Totten & Cowsill. We'll never see Mike cast them aside. The operation would crumble instantly.

The bass playing on The In Concert album is above average.  Ed Carter was above average on the bass.  So was Blondie.  Bruce is also better than you give him credit for.
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« Reply #97 on: February 17, 2018, 07:38:00 AM »

In response to the bass player question...I don't think The Beach Boys have EVER had an above average bass player on stage. The fact that they found Bruce's bass playing acceptable in 1965 is enough proof of how little they cared about it. Now that being said, Brian Wilson has written some of the greatest bass lines to grace popular recordings...but that has nothing to do with the bass guitar as an instrument, that is purely based on harmony.

So in recent years? One certainly doesn't stand out over the other. The only virtuosic players to grace Mike's band in the past twenty years have been Totten & Cowsill. We'll never see Mike cast them aside. The operation would crumble instantly.

The bass playing on The In Concert album is above average.  Ed Carter was above average on the bass.  So was Blondie.  Bruce is also better than you give him credit for.

You're right about "In Concert". I shouldn't have slighted Ed Carter, or even Blondie. But we'll have to agree to disagree on Bruce!
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« Reply #98 on: February 17, 2018, 08:16:32 AM »

In response to the bass player question...I don't think The Beach Boys have EVER had an above average bass player on stage. The fact that they found Bruce's bass playing acceptable in 1965 is enough proof of how little they cared about it. Now that being said, Brian Wilson has written some of the greatest bass lines to grace popular recordings...but that has nothing to do with the bass guitar as an instrument, that is purely based on harmony.

So in recent years? One certainly doesn't stand out over the other. The only virtuosic players to grace Mike's band in the past twenty years have been Totten & Cowsill. We'll never see Mike cast them aside. The operation would crumble instantly.

I disagree. The bass playing at the 1982 4th of July Queen Mary concert is perhaps the greatest bass playing in the history of the universe.
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« Reply #99 on: February 17, 2018, 12:58:21 PM »

In response to the bass player question...I don't think The Beach Boys have EVER had an above average bass player on stage. The fact that they found Bruce's bass playing acceptable in 1965 is enough proof of how little they cared about it. Now that being said, Brian Wilson has written some of the greatest bass lines to grace popular recordings...but that has nothing to do with the bass guitar as an instrument, that is purely based on harmony.

So in recent years? One certainly doesn't stand out over the other. The only virtuosic players to grace Mike's band in the past twenty years have been Totten & Cowsill. We'll never see Mike cast them aside. The operation would crumble instantly.

I disagree. The bass playing at the 1982 4th of July Queen Mary concert is perhaps the greatest bass playing in the history of the universe.

Actually 1981, however Mr Knapp was awful (beyond).
He had to leave due to musical differences, he was playing different songs to the rest of the Band  LOL
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