“Brian Fest” At The Fonda Theatre! (Written By Ed Brown)
The roots of “America’s Band” the BEACH BOYS can be traced back 54 years to HAWTHORNE, CALIFORNIA. MONDAY night (3/30) fans gathered at the FONDA THEATRE in HOLLYWOOD for “BRIAN FEST,” a night to celebrate the music of founding member BRIAN WILSON.
The honor comes just before the release of WILSON’s new CAPITOL RECORDS’ album “No Pier Pressure” which arrives APRIL 7 and features appearances from ZOOEY DESCHANEL, M. WARD, KACEY MUSGRAVES, BEACH BOY members AL JARDINE, DAVID MARKS, BLONDIE CHAPLIN and more.
Not only that, there’s the upcoming BILL POHLAD-directed “Love And Mercy” – a WILSON biographical film slated to open in JUNE. Oh, and there’s word that BEACH BOYS’ classic album “Pet Sounds” will see its re-release in Blu-ray Audio on MAY 26th.
The event, hosted by the CABIN DOWN UNDER band, featured a wide range of performers and began with CDB performing the 1968 classic, “Do It Again,” after which bassist AUSTIN SCAGGS, a music critic and contributing editor for ROLLING STONE magazine (and son of musician BOZ SCAGGS), thanked the crowd for coming and welcomed “seven of our newest friends and band mates” – members of WILSON’s own band, who sang and performed alongside the musical guests that night.
The two and a half hour program featured BEACH BOY founding member JARDINE, along with NORAH JONES, HEART lead singer ANN WILSON, WAYNE COYNE & STEVEN DROZD of FLAMING LIPS, DEVENDRA BANHART, M. WARD, BETHANY COSENTINO of BEST COAST, JOY WILLIAMS, LOCAL NATIVES, CAPITAL CITIES’ SEBU SIMONIAN, DOYLE BRAMHALL II, KAREN ELSON, JADE CASTRINOS, ADAM BUSCH & DANNY MASTERSON (of the former TBS TV series “Men At Work”), GINGGER SHANKAR, BOZ SCAGGS and of course, BRIAN WILSON.
Among the highlights – and most humorous – was when DEVENDRA BAHNART, GREG ROGOVE and RODRIGO AMARANTE (shown here backstage) came to the stage to sing “Vega-Tables,” dressed accordingly as carrot, corn and peapod.
Vocal group WILSON PHILLIPS, featuring WILSON’s daughters CARNIE and WENDY and singer CHYNNA PHILLIPS dedicated a heartfelt “In My Room” to WILSON, while THE FLAMING LIPS’ WAYNE COYNE and STEVEN DROZD take on “Good Vibrations” provided a great visual too, as COYNE came to the stage followed by a huge inflatable spelling “We Love You Brian,” which was then passed through the theatre. He performed wearing a shirt proclaiming the same sentiment, which could be read as the singer stood with his arms open wide.
Finally, WILSON himself was welcomed to the stage amid enthusiastic applause for the show’s final songs. First, came “Surfer Girl” (featuring JONES, JARDINE, as well as former BEACH BOY singer/guitarist CHAPLIN, who performed a blazing rendition of “Wild Honey” earlier in the night). Then, all the guests were invited back to the stage for a wild romp including “Fun Fun Fun,” “Surfin’ U.S.A.” and “Barbara Ann.”
All ticket proceeds will benefit SWEET RELIEF MUSICIANS FUND, a non-profit charity organization that relies on donations from artists and the public as a general fund to all professional musicians in need. The fund provides financial assistance to all types of career musicians who are struggling with their finances while facing illness, disability, or age-related problems.
Written By All Access Top 40 Editor, Ed Brown