Brian Wilson apparently isn’t much in the mood to talk. He calls for a phone interview, at a time set up weeks before, but it sounds as thought he’s talking with his mouth full.
“Yeah, I am,” he says. “Bagel.”
For the next 10 minutes or so, the man who’s widely considered to be one of the few true geniuses of popular music over the past half-century offers a lot of one-word answers and unrevealing comments.
But when Wilson and his band perform Sunday at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota, he’ll be communicating through his music. And when he’s making music, Brian Wilson is more eloquent than just about anyone else.
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It’s Wilson’s second stop in the area in the past year. Just last November, he performed at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg.
He’s been on tour this whole time, with the same band that includes long-time Beach Boys Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin.
The set list is different this time around, though. Wilson and the band will be performing the entire “Pet Sounds” album, which was released 50 years ago.
“We play a lot of the Beach Boys hits and some of my solo stuff,” Wilson says through his bagel, “and then we play the whole ‘Pet Sounds’ album.”
The Beach Boys’ “Pet Sounds” is perhaps Wilson’s masterpiece, a blend of sonic experimentation, beautiful harmonies and engaging pop tunes. Its classic songs include “Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” “God Only Knows,” Sloop John B.,” “Carolina No” and “Good Vibrations.”
The 10-piece band is able to re-create the album’s sonic landscapes beautifully on stage, Wilson said, and the concert has been a success wherever it’s been performed.
“Everyone loves ‘Pet Sounds,’ ” he said.
Albums were a lot shorter 50 years ago, so “Pet Sounds” takes up less than half of the evening. If Wilson doesn’t change the set list he was following earlier in the tour, you can expect to hear “Heroes and Villains,” “California Girls,” “Dance, Dance, Dance,” “I Get Around,” “Little Deuce Coupe,” “Honkin’ Down the Highway,” “In My Room,” “Surfer Girl,” “Don’t Worry Baby,” “Wild Honey,” “Sail On, Sailor,” “Help Me, Rhonda,” “Barbara Ann,” “Surfin’ USA,” “Fun Fun Fun,” “Love and Mercy” and a handful of more obscure Wilson compositions.
Besides the three actual Beach Boys who will be on stage, Wilson’s band includes a member of the extended Beach Boys family, Jardine’s son, Matt, who sings on several Beach Boys albums and one Wilson solo album, has long been a part of Wilson’s touring ensemble.
“I’m proud of him,” Wilson said. “I’m proud of his singing.”
Wilson’s tour has been competing on the road with a Beach Boys tour. That tour includes only two members of any familiar Beach Boys lineup, Mike Love and Bruce Johnson. Love owns the name “The Beach Boys,” so he can tour under that name while Wilson can’t.
“I haven’t spoken to him in four years,” Wilson said. But he adds that there’s no ill will between them.
“I’m proud of him” he said. “He’s carrying on the Beach Boys name.”
Incidentally, besides his Sarasota appearance, Wilson will bring the “Pet Sounds’ tour the the Mahaffey Theater on Sept. 13. And the Beach Boys will be at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater Dec. 13.
Details: 7 p.m. Sept. 11, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. $75-$115. 941-953-3368, vanwezel.org.