After a massive 2 year tour celebrating the 50th anniversary of Pet Sounds, Brian Wilson and Al Jardine came together again with special guest Blondie Chaplin for a Christmas tour this past summer. For over 50 years, Wilson has been one of America’s most celebrated songwriters. Along with the Beach Boys, he is a Rock N Roll Hall of Fame Inductee and Grammy Lifetime Achievement award recipient as well as a Kennedy Center Honoree (solo) and Musicares’ Person of the Year. The Beach Boys released The Beach Boys’ Christmas Album in 1964 which Wilson produced with originals and covers of Christmas classics all of which were played on this tour. On Dec. 20, Wilson played the Fred Kavli Theater in Thousand Oaks, CA. I’ve seen Wilson in venues as big as the Hollywood Bowl and as small as the Fonda Theater (Brian Fest) and he and his band sound great everywhere. Wilson’s band had two member changes since the last time I saw him which was a year ago. Wilson’s newest members are his son-in-law Rob Bonfiglio, who took over for Jardine’s son Matt, and percussionist Jim Laspesa who replaced Nelson Bragg a member of Wilson’s band for 14 years.
The majority of Wilson’s set was Christmas music and later in the show all Beach Boys hits. Wilson and Jardine performed The Beach Boys’ Christmas Album in its entirety but saved “Auld lang syne,” the last song of the album for the end of the show. Chaplin came out on select songs. The show also included songs from Wilsons 2005 album, What I Really Want for Christmas. After a cover of Chuck Berry’s “Run Rudolph Run,” Wilson broke out 10 Beach Boys hits (non-Christmas) back to back starting with the first song of Pet Sounds “Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” and ending with “Fun, Fun, Fun.” Jardine took the mic for “Help Me Rhonda,” and Chaplin sang “Sail On, Sailor” which they both sang on originally. The show ended with Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” and Robert Burns “Auld lang syle.”
This short 12-date tour ended on Dec 23 in Reno, NV. At this time the only Wilson shows scheduled for this year are three Pet Sounds show in June.