Brian Wilson September 19, 2019, Sandy Amphitheater

By: David Bokovoy

Photo courtesy of the Sandy Amphitheater

It wasn’t really a concert, at least not in the traditional sense.  September 19th at the Sandy Amphitheater was more of a musical celebration devoted to Brian Wilson while he primarily sat and soaked in the experience.   It certainly wasn’t for everybody.  Those who went expecting to experience the Mike Love incarnation of the Beach Boys sporting Bahama shirts while playing their pop classics like, “Be True to Your School” may have left disappointed.  Yet from the moment Brian Wilson scuffled onto the stage with the support of his walker and took his seat at the piano where he played a few notes and struggled to sing along to his amazing band, those who went to celebrate the harmonies and instrumental creativity Brian has given the world through his extraordinary gifts were given a special treat, a moment never to be forgotten.

Photo Courtesy of the Sandy Amphitheater

True, the show opened up with a few classics such as, “California Girls,” “I Get Around,” and “Help Me, Rhonda,” but a bulk of the concert was devoted to some of the lesser known songs from the Beach Boys late 60’s material that at the time of their original release failed to gain widespread appreciation by an American audience.   The band performed “Darlin’” from the 1967 album Wild Honey before turning to four straight songs from the 1968 album Friends.

Despite Brian’s physical difficulties, performing these live renditions truly showcased his incredible brilliance.  Hearing the music live leaves little doubt as to why Wilson is rightfully considered one of the greatest musical geniuses of the modern era.

Photo Courtesy of the Sandy Amphitheater

This was the Brian Wilson “Something Great From 68 Tour,” yet the band treated Sandy to a rare performance of “Salt Lake City,” which was obviously, given the setting, a fun experience.  Unfortunately, some of those expecting a Mike Love type Beach Boys concert left early while the band explored the lesser known music primarily from the 1971 album Surf’s Up, including, “Feel Flows,” “Long Promised Road,” “Till I Die,” “Lookin’ at Tomorrow,” and of course, the album’s title track.    These songs were clearly not the Beach Boys’ material some came to experience, but for devoted fans, the setlist truly showcased some of Brian’s finest material.

Photo Courtesy of the Sandy Amphitheater

The show did conclude with a focus upon the classics including, “Good Vibrations,” “Barbara Ann,” Surfin’ U.S.A., and “Fun, Fun, Fun,”. When the band hit those opening familiar notes, it was a thrill to watch the younger members of the audience literally rush to the front of the stage.  Children from ages 10 to 17 pushed their way in excitement too get near the band upon hearing those famous old tunes that continue to inspire new generations of fans.

Photo Courtesy of the Sandy Amphitheater

The show concluded with an emotional rendition of Brian’s now famous anthem, “Love and Mercy,” with the band standing arm-in-arm around Brian at the piano with members of the audience shouting out messages of love and support towards that incredible man whose physical and mental struggles are well documented.

September 19th at the Sandy Amphitheater was a truly magical evening.  Sadly, it felt like it may be the last time we get to see Brian Wilson’s band showcase his genius live, but I certainly hope not!

Photo Courtesy of the Sandy Amphitheater


California Girls

I Get Around

Help Me, Rhonda

Don’t Worry Baby

Salt Lake City


Meant for You


Wake the World

Busy Doin’ Nothin’

Wouldn’t It Be Nice

Sloop John B

God Only Knows

Feel Flows

Long Promised Road

Sail On, Sailor

I Can Hear Music

Little Bird

Diamond Head

Passing By

‘Till I Die

Surf’s Up

Looking at Tomorrow (Welfare Song)

Heroes and Villains

Barbara Ann

Surfin’ U.S.A.

Fun, Fun, Fun

Love and Mercy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *