The singer, songwriter, producer, and composer, of Beach Boys fame, plays through his slice of the American rock songbook, now spanning half a century.

A nine-piece band graces the stage at Ravinia and fans cheer as the great Brian Wilson, dressed casually in jeans and a shirt, takes to the stage and sits behind a great, white, grand piano.

The musical ensemble spared no moment before riding into The Beach Boys song catalog and playing the hits that the world has known and loved for more than five decades. A wall of harmonies and melodies swam  into, “Heroes and Villains,” then jumped up and immediately rocked out to “California Girls.” By the time the hurricane of sound arrived at “I Get Around,” both band and crowd sang and danced as one and the great summer bash took full effect.

Wilson is currently in the midst of a summer tour and riding a wave of success as the film, Love and Mercy, hits theaters, chronicling the period of his life marked by pharmacological and emotional abuse at the hands of Dr. Eugene Landy. This coupled with Wilson’s newly released solo album, No Pier Pressure, makes 2015 a great year for the American artist.

Concert goers would find themselves privileged to catch performances where Wilson was accompanied by Beach Boys brothers Al Jardin and Blondie Chaplin. When all three jumped to “Sail On, Sailor” from the 1972 LP Holland, the masses ebbed and flew with the rock and rhythm of the song as the sounds emanated into the night. Emotions ran high as the evening was closed with the autobiographical tune, “Love and Mercy.”

Opening the night was Rodriguez, the subject of the film, Searching for Sugar Man (2012) which documents the rise, fall, and rediscovery of the prolific musician.

Brian Wilson
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