- 19 Feb 02
A rare cosmic event attended by a large mass of devotees
For any Beach Boys fan who didn’t make it to The Point, it might be enough to report that Brian Wilson and band returned to the stage after the interval, played Pet Sounds in its entirety and in sequence, then topped it off with a note for note reconstruction of ‘Good Vibrations’, and thus would follow great renting of hair, beating of breast and rubbing of ashes into brow.
And sure, the performance had all the hallmarks of a rare cosmic event attended by a large mass of devotees: the same sense of spectacle and occasion, but also the same curious sense of disconnection and removal. As the ensemble worked through ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice’ right up to ‘Caroline No’ – reproducing every tambourine beat, bass saxophone blare, kettle drum rumble, church organ fanfare and theremin wobble, every Mozart modulation and harmonic mesh – it felt akin to watching the pop pyramids being reconstructed on the spot.
Several other people’s lives flashed before my eyes during the deceptively jaunty Vietnam allegory ‘Sloop John B’ and the aching adolescentensity of ‘I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times’. Nick Hornby probably would’ve written his next novel in the 30-something minutes it took to play the thing from start to finish.