It was a crisp and breezy night on Long Island's south shore last night. Neither humid nor uncomfortably chilly, it was the perfect atmosphere for an outdoor gig. A few of my friends and I were lucky enough to see one of the most iconic figures in modern pop music, Brian Wilson, at the picturesque venue that is Nikon at Jones Beach Theatre. Once we got inside, our seats were upgraded from mezzanine to orchestra, since the show was criminally undersold. It kind of makes sense though, because unfortunately when people see Brian Wilson on paper, their mind doesn't immediately think of the genius behind The Beach Boys. I think its absolutely appalling that Brian Wilson's name doesnt hold the same objective fame a name like Paul McCartney or John Lennon does, but that's beside the point because the show was kick ass.
With only about 400 people in attendance, most of them easily doubling my age (21), the performance became rather intimate and extra personal, as the absence of an overwhelmingly large crowd yielded more of a sense of connectedness to Brian and his bandmates. Watching Wilson play was a true spectacle, as I was ceaselessly dumfounded the entire show by his top-notch live performing skills, even at the ripe age of 72. He played a wide range of material, from the crowd-pleasing hits of The Beach Boys, to a handful of his excellent solo material, to closing the night with the best song (he's) ever written [Ed. Note: It's the best pop song ever written. I feel almost comfortable calling this an objective fact.], "God Only Knows." If Brian Wilson is ever in your area, cancel whatever plans you have and get tickets. He and his band deliver tight, instrumentally superb performances.