Brian Wilson and Chicago at the Five Point Amphitheater

Music legends Brian Wilson & fellow Beach Boy co-founder Al Jardine and Chicago played the Five Point Amphitheater in Irvine, CA June 10th. This was just the third show of the tour. The night before, the tour stopped at the Kia Forum in L.A. and two days before that was opening night in Phoenix, AZ. The Beach Boys and Chicago aren’t just two of America’s greatest bands, but also two of the best-selling ones with over 30 gold, platinum, and multi-platinum albums between them. Each has also sold over 100 million albums and singles combined. Both The Beach Boys and Chicago are Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame inductees, Grammy winners, Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients, and each have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The movie Love and Mercy (2014) is a biopic about Wilson’s life and Chicago Now More Than Ever: The History of Chicago (2016) is a documentary about the band’s nearly 50-year history. Chicago and Wilson are the type of artists who can play a 3-hour show and still not get to all the hits. 

In 2012 Wilson reunited with the surviving Beach Boys, Mike Love, Al Jardine, David Marks, and Bruce Johnston, for the band’s 50th anniversary which included their first album together in 14 year. It was Wilson’s first Beach Boys tour in 20 years. 2021 marked the group’s 60th anniversary. Brian Wilson and his band with Al Jardine took the stage first and played a set full of Beach Boys classics. His band includes longtime members Darian Sahanaja (Keys/Vocals), Probyn Gregory (Guitar), Mike D’Amico (Drums), Bob Lizik (Bass), Matt Jardine (Guitar/Vocals) and saxophonist/flutist Paul Von Mertens. The band also includes keyboardist Gary Griffin (since 2016) and percussionist Jim Laspesa (since 2018).

Singing Wilson’s falsetto parts is Matt Jardine. Wilson opened with “California Girls,” and the hits kept coming with “Do It Again,” “Dance, Dance, Dance,” and “I Get Around.” Wilson was later joined by former Beach Boy Blondie Chaplin who was a member in 1972 and a Rolling Stones touring member (97-07). Chaplin joined to sing and play guitar on “Wild Honey,” originally sung by Carl Wilson, “ Long Promised Road,” and “Sail On Sailor.” He sang lead on the song's original recording. Wilson’s favorite song, The Ronettes “Be My Baby,” was part of the set, as well. Although it wasn’t stated, it was easy to see it was a tribute to both Ronnie and Phil Spector. Ronnie Spector passed away in January of this year and Phil Spector passed away in January 2021. This was followed by The Ronettes’ “I Can Hear Music,” which the Beach Boys covered in 1969. Sahanaja sang lead vocals on it as well as “Darlin’.” The mighty Chicago horns of Jimmy Pankow, Ray Hermann, and Lee Loughnane joined in for “Darlin’”. 

The set also included “Sloop John B,” “Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” and “ God Only Knows,” all from Pet Sounds. For this show Wilson sang God Only Knows which Matt Jardine typically sings. Wilson sang on the demo, however he gave it to his brother Carl to sing on the original recording for Pet Sounds. As always “Heroes and Villains” had the most impressive vocals. The encore began with “Good Vibrations,” a song that makes the Top 5 of any greatest song list. Rather than a traditional encore of walking off and back on the stage, Wilson and the band stayed up there and each member was announced. As always Jardine sang his signature Beach Boys song “Help Me Rhonda.” The next encore song was “Surfin’ USA,” which inspired a large amount of the audience to come in front of the stage and dance. “Love and Mercy” has been the closer since the movie of the same name came out. “Fun Fun Fun” was cut for time. The band stood behind Wilson at the piano for the crowd bow. He will turn 80 on June 20th, which happens to be National Surfing Day. Every tour shows Wilson’s genius as a songwriter, but this one especially proves his legacy as one of the greatest American artists over his 60-year career. 

Wilson’s tours in recent years included a 50th Anniversary of Pet Sounds tour (2016-2019), Something Great from ‘68 with the Zombies which celebrated the 50th anniversaries of Smiley Smile, Wild Honey, and Friends, and The Christmas Album (2018).

Over the last two years, Chicago added three new members; keyboardist Loren Gold (The Who) who replaced Lou Pardini (2009-22), guitarist Tony Obrohta who replaced Keith Howland (1995-21), and bassist Eric Baines who replaced Brett Simons (2018-22). After 55 years, Chicago still includes co-founders Robert Lamm (Vocals/Keys), Jimmy Pankow (Trombone), Lee Loughnane (Trumpet), and Ray Hermann (Sax). Walter Parazaider still remains a member after retiring from touring in 2017.  Walfredo Reyes Jr. was the percussionist from 2012-2018, then took over drums when Tris Imboden left the group after nearly 30 years. Ray Yslas has been the percussionist since 2018. After co-founder Peter Cetera left (Bass/Vocals) in 1985 he was replaced by Jason Scheff who remained a member for 30 years. When he left, Jeff Coffey, who also played both bass and sang joined, and when Coffey departed vocals and bass were split up and Neil Donell took over Cetera’s vocals. 

Chicago played a total of 26 songs kicking off the usual way with “Introduction” from their first album back when the group was known as CTA, followed by “Dialogue (Part I & II)” from Chicago V then “Questions 67 and 68,” also from their first album. Like the Beach Boys, you can hear various hits of theirs on the radio to this day. Night after night Chicago delivers an unforgettable show. The band is known for their numerous hits, of course, but also having some of the finest musicians over the last 55 years. To name a few more classics performed: “Make Me Smile,” “If You Leave Me Now,” “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?,” and “You're the Inspiration.” Five songs before the encore, Chicago broke out one of their faster paced songs, “Beginnings,” followed by their cover of Spencer Davis Group’s “I’m A Man,” which led into a famous Chicago percussion/drum solo with Reyes Jr. and Yslas. Chicago slowed it down with “Just You 'n' Me,” and played a fan favorite everyone was waiting for 2nd to last before the encore “Saturday in the Park.” The encore consisted of “Free” and “25 or 6 to 4” combined. Chicago certainly ended on a high note. 

Over the last seven years Chicago has toured with Earth Wind and Fire (2015) and REO Speedwagon (2018). In 2016 Chicago played three nights at the Hollywood Bowl for the 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular. The day before the tour began, Chicago announced their new album Born for This Moment, which will be the group’s 38th album including Christmas, live, and greatest hits albums. Up until the Covid-19 Pandemic, Chicago had a Las Vegas residency at the Venetian and their first tour since which began at the end of June 2021. For the super-fans, Chicago offers a meet & greet photo op with the full band and merchandise. 

The Brian Wilson & Chicago tour concludes July 26th in Clarkston, MI. 

Brian Wilson Setlist:

  1. California Girls
    (The Beach Boys song)
  2. Do It Again
    (The Beach Boys song)
  3. Dance, Dance, Dance
    (The Beach Boys song)
  4. I Get Around
    (The Beach Boys song)
  5. Surfer Girl
    (The Beach Boys song)
  6. Don't Worry Baby
    (The Beach Boys song)
  7. Wild Honey
    (The Beach Boys song) (with Blondie Chaplin)
  8. Long Promised Road
    (The Beach Boys song) (with Blondie Chaplin)
  9. Sail On, Sailor
    (The Beach Boys song) (with Blondie Chaplin)
  10. Sloop John B
    ([traditional] cover)
  11. Wouldn't It Be Nice
    (The Beach Boys song)
  12. God Only Knows
    (The Beach Boys song)
  13. Darlin'
    (The Beach Boys song)
  14. Be My Baby
    (Ellie Greenwich cover)
  15. I Can Hear Music
    (The Ronettes cover)
  16. Heroes and Villains
    (The Beach Boys song)
  17. Good Vibrations
    (The Beach Boys song)
  18. Help Me, Rhonda
    (The Beach Boys song)
  19. Surfin' U.S.A.
    (The Beach Boys song)
  20. Love and Mercy

Chicago Setlist:

  1. Introduction
  2. Dialogue (Part I & II)
  3. Questions 67 & 68
  4. Old Days
  5. Call on Me
  6. (I've Been) Searchin' So Long/ Mongonucleosis
  7. If This Is Goodbye
  8. If You Leave Me Now
  9. Make Me Smile
  10. So Much to Say, So Much to Give
  11. Anxiety's Moment
  12. West Virginia Fantasies
  13. Colour My World
  14. To Be Free
  15. Now More Than Ever
  16. Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?
  17. Hard Habit to Break
  18. You're the Inspiration
  19. Beginnings
  20. I'm a Man & Percussion/ Drum solo
    (The Spencer Davis Group cover)
  21. Just You 'n' Me
  22. Hard to Say I'm Sorry / Get Away
  23. Saturday in the Park
  24. Feelin' Stronger Every Day


  1. Free/25 or 6 to 4