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Author Topic: Brian / Al / Blondie Summer 2015 Tour Thread  (Read 118176 times)
Lee Marshall
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« Reply #325 on: July 01, 2015, 07:50:54 PM »

I'll catch the show Sunday at the Fox Theater in Detroit.  It seemed like an eternity away when I bought the tickets...4 nights from right now I should be in the car and heading back home.  I'm thinkin' this'll likely be the LAST time I'll get to see Brian. Sad

My wife is still not here...she'll miss the show by a couple of weeks...so I'm takin' a golfing buddy.  He'll love it I'm sure.  Can't waste a ticket.  Shocked

Rodriquez is quite the story.  I have one of his albums.  Maybe it's the only one...from back around 1970?  That'll be OK...but the more Brian [et al] the better. Cool Guy
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« Reply #326 on: July 01, 2015, 07:51:42 PM »

Glad you had a good time RR!     Saw Mike and company Monday night.   Both bands a good time even on a bad nite  for folks like us.    right ?
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« Reply #327 on: July 01, 2015, 08:58:21 PM »

He also swapped out "a lot of people out there hurtin'" with "a lot of people getting shot" in L&M  LOL

In Austin,  he sang ' and it scares the hell out of me' LOL

EgoHanger and Billyman, I find the lol smileys at the end of your comments to be highly inappropriate.  

Is there something funny about Brain lamenting a lot of people getting shot and saying it scares the hell out of him?



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« Reply #328 on: July 01, 2015, 09:03:12 PM »

Where to start? Brian Wilson at the Mann in Philly, June 29th. A terrific show. I don't say this lightly, but still coming down from the whole experience, I am still thinking this was the most enjoyable show I've ever been to. It was definitely the most memorable experience I've ever had at a concert, for that there is no doubt. But as a pure rock and roll live show, this was as much fun as I've had.

Echoing others who have said this already: Try to see this band if at all possible. I was again amazed at the level of musicianship both individually and as a group that these musicians bring to the table. I'll try to single out the highlights where possible, but taking in the big picture - This group is amazing. Adding Al, Blondie, and Matt to that blend made an already great band even better. I'm calling them "The Best Band In The Land" on Facebook, and I'm calling them that from now on. As Sinatra sang, "here's to the band." Indeed, I drink a toast to everyone involved.

I need to say a few things.

First, thank you to everyone who made this possible. Words can't express my gratitude. If there is a way to say thank you for giving this fan the experience of a lifetime beyond saying "thank you for everything", I'll come back and edit it into this paragraph.

Second, there wouldn't be a better group of fans I would have chosen to share the experience with then those in our group Monday. For those I knew personally and those I only knew through online communities and fan circles but finally met in person Monday, I say thank you, it was great to share the experiences. I feel like we got the golden ticket. All of you are great people and great fans, it was a pleasure to talk, meet, and watch the show with you. I have a few Stellas left over, to all of you I'll raise one and say "Cheers!".

Third, during the show I kept up a steady stream of air drumming, air guitar, air vibraphone, conducting, shaking my head back and forth to the beat, shouting "yeah!" and other things, and singing along with what could have been any of the harmony parts or none at all. I hope I was at least somewhat in tune and not too distracting. I couldn't help myself. But kudos that we did get a well-timed "keep it clean!" into the mix.

So the show...The Mann in the summer can have a habit of hosting concerts where it pours down rain or has stifling humidity and summer heat. Monday's weather was beautiful. Perfect outdoor concert weather, not too hot and not humid, and the sun shining with a nice breeze blowing at night. Perfection. We had flooding rains and downpours all around Philly over the weekend, I had visions of the Mann's grass parking lots being like Woodstock with all the mud, or "BrianStock" as I called it. But somehow it all left the area and a beautiful day opened up around the Mann on Monday.

At some point walking the parking lot, there was a group of fans already tailgating who had "Karate" playing on their speakers. Talk about deep cuts you wouldn't hear outside any other show...Well, ours were deeper and the beer in the trunk was Belgian (and Coronas too), so...

And not one parrot head or cheeseburger hat to be seen in these Philly lots in the middle of summer, not one Eagles flag or EAGLES chant going up at random, not anything like that anywhere close. You knew this was the right place when rarities and deep cuts were playing from the cars. I'm surprised no one had an Uncle Sam hat, though, to be honest. Al and Apollo Creed owned that look in 1976, it's a Philly thing.

So onto the soundcheck. Wow. A few details that stood out:

The band was going to run through "Wake The World", and Darian started playing the intro. It sounded incredible, the sound of that detuned piano filled the place and it was note-perfect, spot-on. I think Al and I know a few other band members even commented on how cool it sounded, that for me was a highlight. What a sound, what a musician.

They go to kick off "You're So Good To Me", and Nick has the original Leslie'd guitar tone dialed in. What a sound, and again what a musician. Nailed it.

They do "The Little Girl I Once Knew", and Probyn was playing a red Danelectro 12-string and it was *that tone* channeled from 1966 filling the Mann in 2015. That's the kind of things us gear and tone freaks both appreciate to the core and tip our hats when it's hitting on all cylinders. Add to that Scott and those vibes sustaining in the breaks...awesome.

Blondie had been hanging out off the stage, and came up to give the thumbs-up and listen as he walked around. Then he took the stage to do his tunes like Wild Honey, straps on the Les Paul, and it's off to the races.

Let me say this: Blondie brings the rock and roll. He tore into the song - and this was only the soundcheck - singing all out, and taking an extended guitar solo on that Les Paul that seemed to kick everyone on stage into turbo drive. It rocked like there was no tomorrow, and you could see and hear his bandmates riding the wave of energy. Blondie walked all around the stage soloing, from the front to the drum risers, and it was rock and roll bliss seeing this man play all-out, balls-to-the-wall rock and roll...during a soundcheck... It's a thrill to see him on stage.

Onto the show. To be honest, I don't remember too many specifics from song-to-song. I had to look up the setlist to recall the order that they played the songs. It was all a wash of fun and the joy of hearing a terrific band playing live in front of a crowd that gets what they're doing, and some unexpected emotion mixed in too.

Rodriguez opened with just his vocals and acoustic guitar. It was very cool to see him in person. If you've seen the documentary "Searching For Sugar Man", then you're sitting in the audience hearing him perform in 2015, it's a pretty neat way things came full-circle. It was a very cool and very fitting opening set. And I can say I saw "Sugar Man" play live after the chances of that for decades were slim to none as he had basically disappeared from the music scene if not the general public's eye in general. Much like Brian up to the late 90's, some of us never thought we'd be able to buy a ticket to see Brian perform live, now look at things in 2015 for both he and Rodriguez. Again, a fitting choice and an enjoyable opening set.

"Our Prayer" segued into "Heroes And Villains"...opening a set with music of that caliber and difficulty? The band, as usual, nailed it. Heroes has become for me both a driving song and a song which sounds great live, where at one point it was a "listener" when at home with the stereo. And I confess, the first time I welled up (out of many, and I wonder if those around me saw it later in the set...) was when the "Cantina" section started up. One of my favorite pieces of music Brian ever wrote. And here it was, again live, right in front of me performed by the man who wrote it. Damn, we're fortunate.

One of the tunes that also got me right away was "I Get Around". The vocal and instrumental elements combined made for a version that blew me away. Brian sang this in full-voice, with some added grit and punch that I didn't expect. He also played with the phrasing of his lead vocal, changing some rhythms and accents like I had not heard on that song. Matt Jardine *nailed* the falsetto. Instrumentally, the band again delivered. But the vocal blend...having Al and Matt in the harmony blend made this one really stand out. It was a rocking good version of a song I heard so many times since I was a little kid. This was one of the best versions I've heard.

"Surf's Up". I knew it was coming, but as other commentators and reviewers have said, this version really seemed to connect with the audience Monday night. It had that extra bit of that unknown something that made it a special performance. And the audience connected and responded in kind. Wow.

"Wake The World" into "Busy Doin Nothing"...never thought I'd hear these tunes done live on stage in person, and I just did. Darian's perfect version of Brian's classic detuned piano, Al's vocals, Probyn's trombone, Brian singing those lyrics to that Bossa beat...that's the good stuff.

"Sail Away". I had heard this at the WXPN studios in Philly a few weeks ago, when Blondie and Al were not on stage. Now there were the three vocalists from the record on stage in a row trading lead vocals. I wrote in my review of No Pier Pressure that the element of having those three men sharing leads and telling the story was one of the album's standouts. Seeing them live like this, trading leads? Priceless. The song brought energy and a bit of emotion to the Mann, the emotion of seeing it come together and come together so well in such capable musical hands. A+. Special credit to Paul von Mertens whose playing throughout the whole show was great, but on this song and the others surrounding it, he knocked it out of the park.

"Sail On Sailor"...this is the Real McCoy. Fantastic.

Brian's vocals were something I listened to closer than perhaps at other shows. I really liked the way he seemed to stretch out a bit with the phrasing and his delivery, and it brought a new kind of feel to some of the songs we all know. I really enjoyed that, and it was neat to hear some of the melodies delivered a little differently than they've been done hundreds of times. That was very cool. And the piano playing? Hell yes. I love hearing Brian's piano playing, especially when he's banging out those familiar chords.

Al Jardine sounded terrific. I'll say it again, he's discovered the fountain of youth. His voice hasn't aged. He delivers the goods. He sang every lead right on the mark, and they were great, every one of them.

Matt Jardine's falsetto fits this vocal blend so well, and he has that perfect kind of tone to fit the music too. There is again that family connection with the voices that creates that "third voice" when family members are singing harmony together, and the Jardines' vocals sounded great.

Blondie Chaplin - As I mentioned before with the soundcheck, he brings a certain energy level and a certain rock and roll vibe to the music when he's on stage. I can't pinpoint exact moments or reasons why, but when he's on stage the energy level goes up a few notches and you can feel it even in the way the rest of the band plays the songs with Blondie. I missed his original run when he and Ricky were Beach Boys, and now I have heard live part of what those who saw him in the early 70's on stage have said about the way those shows rocked. Now I know firsthand having heard him sing and play that Les Paul. Pure energy and rock and roll.

Drums and percussion - Mike and Nelson, Bob on bass, Nick, Darian, Scott, Probyn, Matt, Paul...A+. Fantastic.

This is, in my opinion, "The Best Band In The Land". I can't single anything else out because it was all that good and that full of energy throughout the entire show.

As far as the other songs, again it was all kind of a blur. There was a certain feel to this show that other Brian concerts I've been to didn't have, and it's hard to explain. It felt like there was more of a celebratory vibe as they played versus other shows I've seen. It wasn't as much about meeting expectations or living up to something or another...it felt like Brian and the band were there to rock the house and have as much fun as they can doing it. I can't explain it any other way. They had a different kind of energy Monday night, and it was again something I think I noticed throughout the band and it was something that at various points (some unexpected) the crowd seemed to feel and respond by either jumping up and dancing, or simply cheering after a certain musical moment.

And there were emotional moments too. The ballads, Surfer Girl, In My Room, Love And Mercy, God Only Knows...beautiful moments. The slow organ section before the climax of Good Vibrations just slayed me for some reason this time, can't explain why, don't know why, but that organ break "gotta keep those lovin good, vibrations a-happenin...", perhaps it had a different meaning in 2015, June 29th to be exact, then it had ever hit me before.

It all felt *right* and it all felt good. It felt like it was all working together, from artists to audience. And the summer weather in Philly even cooperated and delivered an almost perfect night for an outdoor show. Go figure.

Do what you can to see this show, if possible. Share the experience with fellow fans and friends. I'm happy and feel so grateful that I had the chance to do so Monday. Again, my heartfelt thanks to everyone involved. And, as I post this so everyone who was there can see it whatever forum they choose to read online, I open, pour, and raise a glass of Stella to my friends who were there. Cheers.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2015, 09:10:37 PM by guitarfool2002 » Logged

"All of us have the privilege of making music that helps and heals - to make music that makes people happier, stronger, and kinder. Don't forget: Music is God's voice." - Brian Wilson
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« Reply #329 on: July 01, 2015, 09:35:53 PM »

Again, thrilled to hear folks were so knocked out.   I read and hear too much negative stiff about these bands.     Glad it is good.   Haven't seen BW since the Jeff Beck shows.  Glad to hear it is going so well this time around.
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« Reply #330 on: July 01, 2015, 09:51:45 PM »

"Drive In", interesting! I remember seeing him do it on the 2004 Smile tour, and it looks like it last made it into some 2011 setlists.
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« Reply #331 on: July 01, 2015, 09:52:23 PM »

Seeing on FB that Bruce Springsteen was onstage during Barbara Ann tonight.

Nevermind, someone who was there already posted about it.
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« Reply #332 on: July 02, 2015, 01:03:35 AM »

He also swapped out "a lot of people out there hurtin'" with "a lot of people getting shot" in L&M  LOL

In Austin,  he sang ' and it scares the hell out of me' LOL

EgoHanger and Billyman, I find the lol smileys at the end of your comments to be highly inappropriate. 

Is there something funny about Brain lamenting a lot of people getting shot and saying it scares the hell out of him?





It's because Brian was playing with the words. He's changed them in every performance of L&M on this tour.   It's basically a Brianism...he never performs that song the same way twice. Hell, at the show I went to in 2004, he began speaking the lyrics in a William Shatner-esque manner. So, speaking for myself, I didn't mean the lyrics were funny,  more of a lol in the sense I found it endearing.  Trust me...I'm the LAST person here to be making fun of Brian, and I'm sorry you took it that way.
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« Reply #333 on: July 02, 2015, 04:36:55 AM »

Brian and the Boss



What a thrill to see two of my musical heroes onstage together.
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« Reply #334 on: July 02, 2015, 04:46:29 AM »

Great to see "the Boss kick out the jams" with Brian
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« Reply #335 on: July 02, 2015, 05:22:38 AM »

Nice photobomb by Blondie. 
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« Reply #336 on: July 02, 2015, 06:07:22 AM »

All I can say is Wow! Last night was the third time I've seen Brian. I saw him twice in 2012 on the reunion tour and both times Brian did not seem that into it. However, last night he was animated, singing great and seemed to be having a great time. Al Jardine's voice was as clear and strong as ever. As many have said it seems as his voice has not aged at all. Matt Jardine was a wonderful addition to the band his falsetto has that bite to it that (no disrespect) Jeff lacked. I thought Brian did a wonderful job on God Only Knows and Our Kind Of Love his voice sounded clear and sweet. The highlight of the show for me was Blondie Chaplin. I have always loved him and Sail on Sailor is one of top 3 favorite Beach Boys songs. He was rocking on Wild Honey and Sail On Sailor. His Les Paul was on fire and really brought a ton of energy to the show. He ROCKED! I would have loved to see him sing lead on one more and would have died if they pulled out Here She Comes with Blondie and the band it would have been amazing! Bruce Springsteen showing up at the end was a fun surprise and Bruce was very humble and did not want to take the attention away from Brian and the band. Overall it was the best Brian Wilson show I've seen!
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« Reply #337 on: July 02, 2015, 06:15:16 AM »

I saw Brian in 2012, and have seen a few videos of some of the C50 shows and, with the exception of the final show at Wembley, I agree that Brian didn't seem to be as into the shows.  He definitely seems to be more comfortable with his own band than with The Beach Boys. 
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« Reply #338 on: July 02, 2015, 06:56:24 AM »

The Asbury Park Press newspaper linked to this fan video of Bruce Springsteen on stage with the band:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rL6wd3OgUrY
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« Reply #339 on: July 02, 2015, 07:13:09 AM »

Brian and the Boss



What a thrill to see two of my musical heroes onstage together.

Maybe Brian'll ask The Boss to be on his Rock 'n Roll album!  Cool
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« Reply #340 on: July 02, 2015, 07:14:15 AM »

Awesome review, GF! Just awesome. Thank you.  High Five Rock! Thumbs Up w00t! w00t! group hug Drinking Buddies
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« Reply #341 on: July 02, 2015, 07:17:00 AM »

Just hoping Brian's energy is still there Monday night...
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« Reply #342 on: July 02, 2015, 07:39:26 AM »

Just hoping Brian's energy is still there Monday night...

Me too! I regret missing his last show at the Ravinia, but man, I cannot wait for Monday now.
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« Reply #343 on: July 02, 2015, 07:45:51 AM »

I'll be at tonight's Boston gig, as well as the VIP, so I'll report on it late tonight, and maybe grab some video if I'm able.
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« Reply #344 on: July 02, 2015, 09:11:05 AM »

So far just two clips of Runaway Dancer on the tour have been Youtubed; one with Sebu in LA, the other from the Fox Theatre below. I don't think this is going to get me to move the studio RD from the second-to-last NPP track ranking I gave it on another thread but it's making me realize that the song is not as drastic a stylistic departure for Brian as I at first thought.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsUl7awMbno
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« Reply #345 on: July 02, 2015, 09:43:58 AM »

Springsteen's hair's the damnedest, isn't it? Whoever it originally belonged to...
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« Reply #346 on: July 02, 2015, 10:09:13 AM »

I'll be at the Boston show too! My ninth BW solo show, if I recall correctly.
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« Reply #347 on: July 02, 2015, 10:41:04 AM »

Springsteen's hair's the damnedest, isn't it? Whoever it originally belonged to...

I think he's glued Blondie's pubes to his head.
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« Reply #348 on: July 02, 2015, 11:44:46 AM »

Not much more to add to Guitarfool's post - but I was at the Philly show as well, and it was wonderful to meet and hang with some of the board members here. In the sea of a few thousand, I felt I was at home with people who shared the love of the best music ever made. Brian was the best I've ever seen him in concert. The set list satisfied hit seekers as well as hard-core fans.
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« Reply #349 on: July 02, 2015, 11:53:08 AM »



Blondie photobomb! Apropo of nothing, here's a text from my friend who'd just seen the show here in Phila, Monday night:

Blondie Chaplin should stay home though. What a jackass. He's noisy, out of sync with the group and the vibe, and acts all goofy with body language like the whole thing is a joke. About 10 times he mentioned he used to be in the Rolling Stones band. He should go back to the stones. I'd have preferred john stamos.

 LOL
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