Thursday, August 25, at Starlight Theatre.

Brian Wilson 

Thursday, August 25, at Starlight Theatre.

Sorry, F. Scott, there are plenty of second acts in American lives. Take Brian Wilson's saga. As a child, Wilson lived through years of physical and emotional abuse from his father. Then, as the creative genius of the Beach Boys, he suffered severe anxiety about his artistic tour de force, Smile (exacerbated both by his bandmates and his record label). Those negative forces -- along with auditory hallucinations, personal insecurity, and a svengali-like therapist -- caused Wilson to retreat for much of the '70s and '80s. Wilson has reemerged over the past decade, though. Two new studio albums, Smile and Getting In Over My Head, arrived last year, followed by a world tour greeted with ecstatic reviews, and Wilson's first Grammy award. Best of all, through the medium of live performance, Wilson has finally found a way to communicate his full range of emotions. What he can't say with words (in interviews, Wilson' speech is often stilted and disjointed) he is now able to express onstage through heartbreakingly beautiful harmonies and lush arrangements performed by a mini-orchestra.

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