Tough Night For Brian Wilson Fans at Caesars Windsor Show

Brian Wilson - Pet Sounds The Final Performances at Caesars Windsor on Nov. 25, 2018. Photos by Charlie O'Brien.
Brian Wilson - Pet Sounds The Final Performances at Caesars Windsor on Nov. 25, 2018. Photos by Charlie O'Brien.
Brian Wilson - Pet Sounds The Final Performances at Caesars Windsor on Nov. 25, 2018. Photos by Charlie O'Brien.
Brian Wilson - Pet Sounds The Final Performances at Caesars Windsor on Nov. 25, 2018. Photos by Charlie O'Brien.
Brian Wilson - Pet Sounds The Final Performances at Caesars Windsor on Nov. 25, 2018. Photos by Charlie O'Brien.
Brian Wilson - Pet Sounds The Final Performances at Caesars Windsor on Nov. 25, 2018. Photos by Charlie O'Brien.
Brian Wilson - Pet Sounds The Final Performances at Caesars Windsor on Nov. 25, 2018. Photos by Charlie O'Brien.
Brian Wilson - Pet Sounds The Final Performances at Caesars Windsor on Nov. 25, 2018. Photos by Charlie O'Brien.
Brian Wilson - Pet Sounds The Final Performances at Caesars Windsor on Nov. 25, 2018. Photos by Charlie O'Brien.
Brian Wilson - Pet Sounds The Final Performances at Caesars Windsor on Nov. 25, 2018. Photos by Charlie O'Brien.
Brian Wilson - Pet Sounds The Final Performances at Caesars Windsor on Nov. 25, 2018. Photos by Charlie O'Brien.
Brian Wilson - Pet Sounds The Final Performances at Caesars Windsor on Nov. 25, 2018. Photos by Charlie O'Brien.
Brian Wilson - Pet Sounds The Final Performances at Caesars Windsor on Nov. 25, 2018. Photos by Charlie O'Brien.
Brian Wilson - Pet Sounds The Final Performances at Caesars Windsor on Nov. 25, 2018. Photos by Charlie O'Brien.
Brian Wilson - Pet Sounds The Final Performances at Caesars Windsor on Nov. 25, 2018. Photos by Charlie O'Brien.
Brian Wilson - Pet Sounds The Final Performances at Caesars Windsor on Nov. 25, 2018. Photos by Charlie O'Brien.
Brian Wilson - Pet Sounds The Final Performances at Caesars Windsor on Nov. 25, 2018. Photos by Charlie O'Brien.
Brian Wilson - Pet Sounds The Final Performances at Caesars Windsor on Nov. 25, 2018. Photos by Charlie O'Brien.
Brian Wilson - Pet Sounds The Final Performances at Caesars Windsor on Nov. 25, 2018. Photos by Charlie O'Brien.
Brian Wilson - Pet Sounds The Final Performances at Caesars Windsor on Nov. 25, 2018. Photos by Charlie O'Brien.
Brian Wilson - Pet Sounds The Final Performances at Caesars Windsor on Nov. 25, 2018. Photos by Charlie O'Brien.
Brian Wilson - Pet Sounds The Final Performances at Caesars Windsor on Nov. 25, 2018. Photos by Charlie O'Brien.
Brian Wilson - Pet Sounds The Final Performances at Caesars Windsor on Nov. 25, 2018. Photos by Charlie O'Brien.
Brian Wilson - Pet Sounds The Final Performances at Caesars Windsor on Nov. 25, 2018. Photos by Charlie O'Brien.
Brian Wilson - Pet Sounds The Final Performances at Caesars Windsor on Nov. 25, 2018. Photos by Charlie O'Brien.
Brian Wilson - Pet Sounds The Final Performances at Caesars Windsor on Nov. 25, 2018. Photos by Charlie O'Brien.
Brian Wilson - Pet Sounds The Final Performances at Caesars Windsor on Nov. 25, 2018. Photos by Charlie O'Brien.
Brian Wilson - Pet Sounds The Final Performances at Caesars Windsor on Nov. 25, 2018. Photos by Charlie O'Brien.
Brian Wilson - Pet Sounds The Final Performances at Caesars Windsor on Nov. 25, 2018. Photos by Charlie O'Brien.
Brian Wilson - Pet Sounds The Final Performances at Caesars Windsor on Nov. 25, 2018. Photos by Charlie O'Brien.
Brian Wilson - Pet Sounds The Final Performances at Caesars Windsor on Nov. 25, 2018. Photos by Charlie O'Brien.
Brian Wilson - Pet Sounds The Final Performances at Caesars Windsor on Nov. 25, 2018. Photos by Charlie O'Brien.
Brian Wilson - Pet Sounds The Final Performances at Caesars Windsor on Nov. 25, 2018. Photos by Charlie O'Brien.
Brian Wilson - Pet Sounds The Final Performances at Caesars Windsor on Nov. 25, 2018. Photos by Charlie O'Brien.
Brian Wilson - Pet Sounds The Final Performances at Caesars Windsor on Nov. 25, 2018. Photos by Charlie O'Brien.
Brian Wilson - Pet Sounds The Final Performances at Caesars Windsor on Nov. 25, 2018. Photos by Charlie O'Brien.
Brian Wilson - Pet Sounds The Final Performances at Caesars Windsor on Nov. 25, 2018. Photos by Charlie O'Brien.
Brian Wilson - Pet Sounds The Final Performances at Caesars Windsor on Nov. 25, 2018. Photos by Charlie O'Brien.

Beach Boys superstar Brian Wilson brought his Pet Sounds: The Final Performances tour to Caesars Windsor on Sunday night (Nov. 25) and the reaction from the sold-out Colosseum crowd was split down the middle. While some enjoyed the music and the band, many couldn’t help but notice a distant and hurting 76-year-old Wilson up there doing the best he could.

For Beach Boys fans it was an incredible setlist, with 17 surfin’ classics and the complete Pet Sounds album played in its entirety from the opening notes of Wouldn’t It Be Nice to the closing sounds of Caroline, No. For general music fans it was all a bit confusing.

Throughout most of the show, Wilson sat at his piano and was very static, pained, and spaced out. He mostly staring blankly into nothingness. He did sing a lyric here and there, but often missed cues, mumbled or sang off key. For many, it was sometimes hard to watch.

Surprisingly, none of this means that the show was a disaster. Make no mistake, these songs are legendary and Wilson has a band of crack musicians made the California journey all that much better. But the reality is, Wilson is due for a long break to recover, heal and deal with his demons.

Wilson’s band was the 11-piece LA power-pop band The Wondermints — including keyboardist Darian Sahanja, guitarist Nick Walusko, multi-instrumentalist Probyn Gregory and drummer Mike D’Amico. The band also includes saxophonist (and musical director) Paul Von Mertens and guitarist/vocalist Rob Bonfiglio (who is married to Wilson’s daughter, Carnie). Along with Al Jardine, a co-founding member of the Beach Boys, and Blondie Chaplin, who logged time with the group in the early ’70s, the unit arguably performed Beach Boys music better in concert than the Beach Boys ever did. And despite his health, the band seemed to enjoy playing with the legend.

In May, Wilson underwent back surgery and returned to the road. Judging from the pain he was obviously in, he may need some time to recover before he continues to perform live – case in point was that he had to be accompanied to his piano and he never stood up during the encores. He was also escorted to the backstage meet and greet prior to the show. At no point did he show enthusiasm for being in Windsor, although they added an extra song to the lineup that they haven’t performed on tour this year: Little St. Nick.

With all the negatives aside, The Wondermints are an incredible band and the songs are masterworks of 60’s pop. Wilson was indeed a musical genius, but even geniuses need and deserve their health.

Brian Wilson: Pet Sounds – The Last Performances Setlist
Caesars Windsor
Nov. 25, 2018

California Girls
Dance, Dance, Dance
I Get Around
Shut Down
Little Deuce Coupe
In My Room
Don’t Worry Baby
California Saga: California
Darlin’
Feel Flows
Sail On, Sailor

Pet Sounds:
Wouldn’t It Be Nice
You Still Believe in Me
That’s Not Me
Don’t Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder)
I’m Waiting for the Day
Let’s Go Away for Awhile
Sloop John B
God Only Knows
I Know There’s an Answer
Here Today
I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times
Pet Sounds
Caroline, No

Encores:
Good Vibrations
Help Me, Rhonda
Barbara Ann
Surfin’ U.S.A.
Fun, Fun, Fun
Love and Mercy