(Much) better than: Paying $50 to squint at Brian Wilson from far away alongside thousands of other people; many other things $1,500 could be spent on (like fixing years of unpaid S.F. parking fines, or hiring an accountant).
On Saturday night, approximately 100 finely-dressed people crammed The San Francisco Art Exchange, a narrow art gallery near Union Square, to watch Brian Wilson and a small band play some of the most cherished pop songs ever created. For the privilege, most attendees allegedly paid $1,500, a price that came with a signed copy of the box set of Wilson's latest album, That Lucky Old Sun. For $3,500, around 20 fans got close-up seats at the show, the box set, and 12 Southern California-inspired prints by the (also present) artist Peter Blake (designer of, among other things, the cover of Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band).
This was a pop show for the patron class -- an art gallery gig on a circuit of big wigs' (or big brats') birthdays, mass corporate congresses, and other assorted gatherings mostly for the well-heeled. Wilson's a regular at this level and an easy fit for the role of Costly Genius: He has a catalog of pleasing, iconic songs and is legendary for both his indulgences and his idiosyncrasies.