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Concert Photography, Concert Reviews, Music

Photos + Review: Brian Wilson @ Sony Centre

Photos by: Morgan Harris –

Review by: Curtis Sindrey –

In what was billed as Brian Wilson’s final live performance in Toronto, the legendary leader of The Beach Boys took to the Sony Centre stage last night in a greatest hits-heavy set.

Wilson, 76, appeared frail as an assistant walked him to and from a white baby grand piano at centre stage. The iconic singer-songwriter looked genuinely uncomfortable and disengaged almost as if he’d rather be doing just about anything else. Wilson’s voice sounded uneven and he sang lead vocals on only half or fewer of the songs during the 30-song set with Wilson most often seen sitting at his piano with a blank stare on his face.

Despite the set’s shortcomings, Wilson was backed by a phenomenal 11-member band consisting of Beach Boys co-founder Al Jardine, Blondie Chaplin, Gary Griffin, Billy Hinsche, Nelson Bragg, Mike D’Amico, Probyn Gregory, Paul Mertens, Bob Lizik, Nick Walusko, and Darian Sahanaja. The group provided tight instrumentation and beautiful harmonies that were nearly on par to what The Beach Boys recorded in their heyday.

While it’s always a joy to hear the classic tracks that make up Pet Sounds, Wilson’s diminished vocals and puzzling stage presence have taken a toll and perhaps he just wasn’t made for these times.

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