Best Concert of the Past 12 Months - 2001
Brian Wilson and the Pet Sounds Orchestra
Upon its release in 1966, the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds album was seen as a stumbling block in the band's career, a detour from the AM-radio hit parade. Thirty years later you can't swing a surfboard without hitting a critic who places Pet Sounds in any position but best record of all time. The album has even warranted a four-CD boxed set, perhaps the most elaborate analysis of any single album ever. South Florida was lucky enough to be included on the tour when Wilson assembled a 10-piece band and 55-piece orchestra to reproduce faithfully each and every intricate note of the Pet Sounds album, even down to the Coca-Cola cans and bicycle horns used on the original recording. Though the man appeared more than a little out of it (unsurprising considering his legendary chemical intake), Wilson presided over a piano and TelePrompTer while his band churned through a thrilling "Sloop John B.," complete with crystalline harmonies; the sepulchral bliss of "You Still Believe in Me;" the James Bond drama of the title track; and the heavenly heartache of "Caroline, No." Elevating a simple mid-'60s pop record into an experience rivaling anything the Beatles ever produced, Wilson's performance finally cashed Pet Sounds' postdated paycheck.