Brian Wilson, this evening
I’m not sure what to write about seeing Brian Wilson tonight, apart from the fact that a) middle of the front row is a nice place to sit, and b) I’m hardly surprised that Smile affected him the way it did.
From start to finish, it’s a breathtakingly lunatic piece of music. At one point (during ‘Vegetables’ of course), the string section can be seen banging carrots and celery together, but this is merely the most visible sign of the delirium on show. Most of the songs sound like snippets of dazzling concepts rather than fully-realized visions, as if Brian had created a series of thirty second symphonies to showcase his most brilliant ideas (and there’s no denying the brilliance of this music – in some parts there’s so much happening it’s almost ludicrous, yet the basic melodies are never anything less than beautiful), then faltered when he realized he actually had to finish the songs.
Having so many ideas bouncing around your head would be enough to send anyone off the rails. Truly staggering stuff.