Date night. New babysitter. The first time we'd been out alone since when we spent the weekend in Montreal two months ago. The warmth of September feels like a distant memory. We had tickets to see Brian Wilson and his band on what is billed as his final performances, commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Pet Sounds.
It was at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts; and I sat behind a woman whose every movement caused me to be hit with a wall of perfume. My allergies took a backseat to my thrill at being a mere 15 rows away from the musicians, so close that I could see the twinkles in their eyes. All around the theatre, unfortunate workers were tasked with the daunting role of stopping any would-be fans trying to record the performance. I managed to sneak one photo, to try to capture the amazing 12-piece ensemble on stage.
As is always the case, the quality of an image from a smartphone will never capture the feeling of being present, but this photo is reminding me of the magical performance that – more than once – gave me chills.
Brian Wilson is not in top physical form; a peak at his website revealed that he had back surgery earlier this year, which explained his stiff movements. His voice is not as lovely as it once was, but each person in the audience was transported by his music, with the nuanced, nearly perfect performance by his band as they conveyed his vision. I'm not sure I've ever enjoyed a song as much as I did when they played God Only Knows (and I was sober!!). Original Beach Boy Al Jardine introduced it as his favourite song from Pet Sounds. It has always been my favourite, too.
I go to many concerts – one of the perks of living in this city – but it's a rare moment when I know that I'm sharing the room with a genius who has managed to have an affect on millions of people around the world. I wasn't alive when Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys conceived and recorded Pet Sounds, but I've been enjoying their musical legacy since long before I understood its impact.
Later that night, once I drove our babysitter back home, the warm glow of the evening coursed through my veins as I decorated the dining room as a morning surprise for my son's 10th birthday (double digits! where did the time go?). My mood took a deep nose dive, though, when I went to my bedroom in search of tape to find door was locked.
We have no key for that door.
So, we finished off the delightful evening breaking into our own bedroom while trying to not wake our children, who were undoubtedly the cause for the locked door. Now, a week later, I remember that I have a broken door handle. Off to Home Depot to find a new one. One that doesn't lock.