Any doubts about the fragility and health of one of the greatest songwriter, producer and musician of the 20th Century were swept aside as the Beach Boys co-founder sat centre stage behind his piano and charmed the 2,200 plus audience from the outset with a little help from his old friends Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin as well as an amazing touring band who included Al's equally talented son Matt - complete with the familiar, loved trademark vocal harmonies of his father.
"Pet Sounds" was, as expected, truly an experience with "Wouldn't It Be Nice", "Don't Talk [Put Your Head On My Shoulder]", "Sloop John B", "God Only Knows" and "I Just Wasn't Made For These Times" delivered beautifully followed by a fantastic encore that began with the majestic "Good Vibrations" and ended with the fitting closer "Love And Mercy". One thought that kept crossing my mind all evening was that if I closed my eyes, I could hear movements and arrangements that much reminded me of the wonderful works of Roy Wood and Wizzard. You could tell, just by listening, that The Beach Boys are a major influence for the ELO co-founder and this was confirmed by this rather poignant tribute in the tour brochure.
Jeff Lynne's star on Broad Street, Brian Wilson gave us probably our last live glimpse of his five decade legacy. Bravo Brian! "Love And Mercy" to you.
ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends Brian Wilson to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO & Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, The Move, The Idle Race, The Beatles, 'Brum Beat' and related artistes.
Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] universe ... KJS ... 18-May-2016