This summer, the famed Beach Boys leader, Brian Wilson, breezes into Syracuse for a performance at the Great New York State Fair. The legendary songwriter’s tour stop in Central New York is part of the 50th anniversary celebration of the group’s iconic 1966 album, Pet Sounds, in which Wilson will perform in its entirety at Chevy Court on Aug. 29.
A follow-up to 1965’s The Beach Boys Today! Wilson’s Pet Sounds became his masterpiece, and at the time, it was one of the most expensive albums produced, at a cost of more than $70,000. Although the album was not as commercially successful in the United States as it was in the United Kingdom, it is now considered to be one of the most influential, and first experimental, concept albums. The 36-minute psychedelic surf rock record — inspired by the Beatles’ Rubber Soul — moved the group from on-the-surface lyrics of girls, cars and California living to a more introspective side. On revisiting the album, Wilson, 73, told the Nottingham Post, “It was a happy time in my life. I was young and creative, and it brings back a lot of good memories for me.”
On June 10, Capitol Records released a 50th anniversary collector’s edition of Pet Sounds that features a four CD/Blu-ray audio versions in a hardbound book and 180-gram vinyl editions in both mono and stereo, plus session outtakes, alternate mixes and unreleased live recordings. Touring in support of it, Wilson will be joined by former bandmates Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin to recreate the Beach Boys’ 11th studio album that features popular songs like “Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” “God Only Knows,” “Sloop John B” and “Caroline, No.” (Listen to the full album here.) Tour dates during this anniversary run also include stops at the Ottawa Jazz Festival on July 3, Toronto on July 4, Burlington, VT, on July 6, New York City’s Beacon Theater on Sept. 24 and at the University at Buffalo Center for the Arts on Sept. 28. The Chevy Court concert is set for Mon., Aug. 29 at 8 p.m.; the show is free with admission to the fair.
According to Syracuse.com, Troy Waffner, acting fair director, dubbed the concert as a “once-in-a-lifetime event,” adding that, “this will be a magical night for fans of that band and album, but also a great night for others to discover some of the most important music of its time.”