Friday, June 15, 2012

Lots of 'Fun, Fun, Fun' From Wilson in '01

I own quite a few bootlegs and other oddities featuring Brian Wilson, but this one, titled 'A Cork in the Ocean,' has special meaning to me because I attended the first concert on this two-show, two-disc set.

Wilson opened for Paul Simon before a raucous crowd at the spacious Tweeter Center outdoor theater just outside of Chicago on June 30, 2001. I have seen Wilson many times since then, but I had only seen him once before this show. That was in July of 2000 when he was on the 'Pet Sounds' Symphonic Tour. Shockingly, I was one of only about a thousand people (and that's a conservative estimate) who showed up for that appearance at the Tropicana Hotel in Atlantic City. I drove up from Washington, D.C., where I was living at the time. I knew that intimate appearance, where he played his seminal album in its entirety, would be a tough act to follow, especially as a supporting band, under the stars and in front of 20,000 folks, many of whom would be more into socializing and drinking.

My solution to the problem was to throw money at it and buy tickets as close to the stage as possible. Perhaps I could shut out the roughly 19,800 people that would be behind me. I bought two tickets in the fifth row on the secondary market for $200 each. It's the most I have ever paid for a show... by miles. Because of her job, Mrs. Linear Tracking Lives! had to live in Princeton, N.J., that summer while I was working in Chicago. So, I invited my brother, and we had a ball. The handful of seats in front of us were filled with music-industry bigwigs that, seemingly, never moved a muscle. It made us feel like the show was just for us. The following are my favorites from the 23-song set. Enjoy.

Brian Wilson - Brian Wilson/'Till I Die (Live) (mp3)
Brian Wilson - Sail on Sailor (Live) (mp3)
Brian Wilson - Please Let Me Wonder (Live) (mp3)
Brian Wilson - Our Prayer/Heroes and Villains (Live) (mp3)
Brian Wilson - Surf's Up (Live) (mp3)

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