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dancai

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Featuring The Beach Boys Christmas Album and other Christmasey stuff.  First, some general observations:

For the first time I'm aware of, Brian had a warmup act before the main event, a talented vocal/ instrumental duo called Beat Root Revival, whom I very much enjoyed (bought one of their CDs after the show).

The show proper kicked off with "Little Saint Nick" and the rest of Side One of the aforementioned LP.  The remainder of the album was programmed in various places in the concert.  I was glad to hear the three originals from Brian's All I Really Want for Christmas  CD from 2005.  Beyond that, some big hits.  The show ended with "Auld Lang Syne'" sung a cappella, as expected.

Some positives:  the band was in killer mode, well-rehearsed and on top of everything.  Most of the ten supporting musicians are old hands, with Darian Sahanaja conducting.  Al seemed a stabilizing presence throughout (naturally, he sang the lead on "Christmas Day," which happened to be his first recorded lead, prior to "Rhonda.")  Blondie Chaplin popped in at various times to sing and play, including on his reggae version of "Blue Christmas." 
Dynamite, a huge asset to the show.

Another vocalist, completely unknown to me, was Rob Bonfiglio, Carnie's husband, who was featured on quite a few lead vocals.  Fine, fine, fine.

Some negatives:  the absence of some favorites, like "Child of Winter," "Winter Symphony," Dennis's "Christmas Morning," all from the unreleased Beach Boys holiday album from the 1970s.  We did hear "Christmas Time Is Here Again," Al's take on "Peggy Sue," not one I care for much.  Also would've liked to hear "The Lord's Prayer" a cappella.  Can't have everything, I guess.

The biggest negative:  Brian himself.  His vocals were so-so, at best:  flubbed and forgotten lyrics in many of his leads.  He didn't once add his voice to the great vocal arrangements.  In fact, most of the time he seemed in a trance:  expressionless, looking like he was just hiding behind his baby grand.  Worse still:  Brian could not walk on his own, despite his spinal surgery a few months ago; he needed an assistant on both sides to escort him on and off stage.  I have to wonder why he subjects himself to this kind of punishment, one nighters on a tour of fifty or more venues across the country and around the world.

Overall, I was able to enjoy the show for the positives I mentioned.  A little alarmed, though.

My daughter took a little bit of video.  If it turns out well, I'll post it here.


Danny in the Indiana corn fields.

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