WALLINGFORD — Legendary singer/songwriter and founding member of The Beach Boys Brian Wilson strolled into the Toyota Oakdale Theatre Saturday night along with his 10-piece backing band to spread Christmas cheer.
Wilson is currently in the midst of his holiday tour, which finds the artist with fellow Beach Boy Al Jardine and his band performing the entire Beach Boys' "Christmas Album."
As the band took their positions, Brian Wilson was helped to his rightful place at center stage, behind his white piano. The night kicked off with Wilson singing lead on the Beach Boys' classic Christmas single "Little Saint Nick." The harmonies of his band are simply amazing, as displayed during the songs "The Man With All The Toys" and "We Three Kings Of Orient Are."
The spotlight was also shared by former Beach Boy Blondie Chaplin, who performed "Merry Christmas Baby" and a reggae-infused version of "Blue Christmas." Soulful falsetto singer Rob Bonfiglio laid down a perfect rendition of "I'll Be Home For Christmas," as his Carl Wilson-like vocals were the perfect support for Brian Wilson and Al Jardine's singing.
Jardine would introduce a couple of tracks that were recorded back in the seventies for a Beach Boys Christmas album that was never released. He sang lead on "Winter Symphony" and Wilson on "Christmas Time Is Here Again." Wilson would also perform a couple of originals, "Christmasey" and "On Christmas Day,” from his 2005 solo holiday album.
After a rocking version of "Run Rudolph Run," led by Blondie Chaplin's guitar work, the music of The Beach Boys would take over, beginning with "Wouldn't It Be Nice" and "Sloop John B." A heartfelt rendition of "God Only Knows," sung by Wilson, and the summer vibe of "Good Vibrations" got the audience standing with applause. They danced along to classics "Help Me Rhonda," "Surfin' U.S.A." and "Fun, Fun, Fun," before settling back down for a beautiful rendition of "White Christmas."
The night concluded with everyone, including the opening act, Beat Root Revival, gathering around Wilson's piano for an acapella version of "Auld Lang Syne." With a backing band as amazing as this one, the music of Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys will continue to live on forever.
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