GIG : Brian Wilson
Venue :  Symphony Hall, Birmingham
Date : Wednesday 14th September 2011
Cost : £50 (plus extortionate £5.75 booking fee per ticket)
Our Verdict : The Black Country, Brightened

Our third show... and still we were filled with anticipation and excitement. Again, the show kicked off with the ‘Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin’ album from start to finish. Brian, on introducing it, told the audience “If you don’t like it, just tell us and we won’t do it anymore”!  No danger of that happening.

Tonight, our seats were on the left hand side of the auditorium so we were able to really appreciate the Q Strings and the interaction between the band members on this side of the stage. During the encore Probyn Gregory & Scott Bennett were line dancing and bassist Brett Simons was twirling, and on “Fun, Fun, Fun” Paul Von Mertens and Scott were moving in slow motion which was quite effective! It also gave us the opportunity to appreciate how many instruments Probyn Gregory plays... 12 string, electric guitar, banjo, trumpet, French horn, theramin.....
Multi Instrumentalist - Probyn Gregory

Brian was really with it, and appeared to be very comfortable tonight, especially through the Gershwin set. The sound was just brilliant, and highlights were “Summertime”, “The Like In I Love You”, “I Loves You Porgy” (even Brian said “Oh Man” at the end it was that good) and “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” once again got a really rapturous applause. Being able to see the Q Strings we could see just how much they enjoyed playing. The girl at the front playing the cello was really amazing (especially during Heroes & Villains”), and she was even dancing in her seat and singing along to “I Got Rhythm”. In fact, she sang her way through the SET!
Paul Von Mertens

This has been the best performance of the Gershwin set so far.....
Jeff Foskett

The second half of the show started once again with California Girls – this is a real crowd pleaser and sets the tone for the whole of the Greatest Hits set. The set was pretty much the same as the one from Manchester, however “Breakaway” was dropped and “Please Let Me Wonder” was back. During “All Summer Long” Brian was multi-tasking, playing keyboard with one hand the clicking his fingers with the other. He was on fire tonight.
Scott Bennet "Sail On Sailor"

“Your Imagination” was once again the stand out song for us and we caught Brian smiling to himself, so he must have thought it hit the mark too. “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” with Jeff Foskett taking the lead vocal worked very well tonight, and Brian even remarked “Wasn’t that a good one”?

“God Only Knows” got the same reaction as last night....... constant applause for minutes after the last chord had been played. This song is a real hit on the tour.

During the encore, Scott spotted a young girl in the audience dancing in the aisle and he jumped off the stage, danced with her in the aisle and then lifted her onto the stage for a boogie with him during “Surfin’ USA”! She looked so chuffed.
Scott Bennett & Darian Sahanaja

“Love & Mercy” was the final song before Brian and the band left the stage for the last time and the house lights came up. This has been the best show so far, soundwise. You could hear every little tinkle, plink, plonk, strum, beat of a name it. Sound man deserves an award.

Next stop...... London Town for three nights of Fun, Fun, Fun.
We were lucky enough to meet the big man before the show

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