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Brian Wilson Unveils Lush, Elaborate "Lucky Old Sun" Tour in Oakland

September 8, 2008 1:05 PM ET

"Other artists do a song or two off their new album," ad-libbed Brian Wilson musical director Jeffrey Foskett when a technical problem brought the solo Beach Boy's elaborate Oakland show to a sudden halt. "Brian Wilson does the entire album."

This was US concert premiere of Wilson's brand new Southern California-themed symphonic pop suite That Lucky Old Sun, and the prerecorded narration wasn't accompanying the projected whimsical animation like it should've. But soon Wilson, his masterful 11-member band and a local string section went back to the beginning of this intricate 38-minute composition and performed its heart-melting melodies without another glitch or pause.

Even during his many familiar hits, Wilson brings an engaging unpredictability that rote veteran rockers foolishly smooth out of their repertoire. After four dance songs into the opening set, he asked fans at the swank Paramount Theatre to sing "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" with the enthusiasm of a kindergarten teacher. Then he abruptly lunged into his lush "Surfer Girl." He abandoned the security of his lyrics-scrolling computer screen only during an encore of Beach Boys oldies, but was noticeably relaxed throughout. "We fucked up," he shrugged when "Wouldn't It Be Nice" needed to be restarted. Pop's most famously afflicted perfectionist has realized that flaws are simply part of music's fun.

Set List:
"California Girls"
"Then I Kissed Her"
"Catch A Wave"
"Dance, Dance, Dance"
"Surfer Girl"
"In My Room"
"All Summer Long"
"When I Grow Up"
"Add Some Music to Your Day"
"Do You Wanna Dance?"
"Sloop John B"
"Wouldn't It Be Nice"
"God Only Knows"
"Sail On Sailor"
"Do It Again"
"I Get Around"
"Good Vibrations"

(Intermission)

"That Lucky Old Sun"
"Morning Beat"
"Room With a View" (narrative)
"Good Kind of Love"
"Forever She'll Be My Surfer Girl"
"Venice Beach" (narrative)
"Live Let Live/That Lucky Old Sun Reprise"
"Mexican Girl"
"Cinco de Mayo" (narrative)
"California Role/That Lucky Old Sun Reprise"
"Between Pictures" (narrative)
"Oxygen to the Brain"
"Can't Wait Too Long"
"Midnight's Another Day"
"That Lucky Old Sun Reprise"
"Going Home"
"Southern California"

First Encore:
"Johnny B. Goode"
"Help Me Rhonda"
"Barbara Ann"
"Surfin' USA"
"Fun, Fun, Fun"

Second Encore:
"Love and Mercy"

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