Carl Wilson - guitar, vocals; Al Jardine - guitar, vocals; Dennis Wilson - vocals; Mike Love - vocals, percussion; Bruce Johnston - bass, vocals; Daryl Dragon - keyboards, moog; Dennis Dragon - percussion; Mike Kowalski - drums; unknown horn section
Although The Beach Boys are often disparaged for not being as "hip" as other Fillmore era bands, they were undeniably one of the most innovative groups of the '60s, and Brian Wilson's production and arranging skills still stand as having created some of the most compelling recordings of that decade. This set, recorded live on the closing night of the Fillmore East, captures the group at a time when their performing abilities were at a peak - just as they were finishing up recording on one of their best later era studio albums, Surf's Up.
Although Brian was no longer performing with the band, and Dennis Wilson (due to a hand injury) had been replaced on drums by Mike Kowalski, the core group of Carl Wilson, Mike Love and Al Jardine was still intact - and more than capable of delivering a great performance. Carl Wilson handles most of the lead vocals on this night, and his voice rings with the same crystalline clarity and heartfelt sincerity that he brought to "God Only Knows" on Pet Sounds.
The band opens with the complex and intriguing SMiLE era tune, "Heroes and Villains." The opener's followed with several memorable, vintage Beach Boys hits, specifically "Do It Again," "Help Me Rhonda" and the Brian Wilson masterpiece" Wouldn't It Be Nice," here performed in its full length version. Bruce Johnston takes over lead vocals on a cover rendition of Elton John's "Your Song," followed by "Student Demonstration Time," a song (essentially a cover of "Riot In Cell Block #9" with new lyrics) as politically charged as any they ever played.
They close the set with ragged but enjoyable versions of their two biggest hits, "California Girls" and "Good Vibrations," before being brought back onstage for a quick encore of "I Get Around" and "It's About Time" to end the night.