A not-quite-review: The Bridge School Benefit Concert

Considering I didn’t even know this concert existed before reading Neil Young’s book (crazy, since it’s been going on for 26 years), I didn’t have super high expectations going into it. Which is why I had a great time. A whole afternoon/evening of music, picnicking, and joining together for a cause – what’s not to like?


I couldn’t bring my camera into the venue because apparently it was too fancy and I guess they thought I’d try to sell my photos for money or something (little did they know how much of an amateur I am). So anyway, bummer. Will make do with YouTube videos, I guess. A few highlights:

Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers. One of my favorite sets, for sure. Bluegrass just makes me so happy. And Steve, of course, was hilarious. They did a funny song about atheists and another one about Paul Revere’s horse.

Foster the People. These guys were fun, and Lauren and I were excited that they had a marimba and chimes in their set. Still get uneasy about “Pumped Up Kicks” ever since learning that the song is about a school shooting (umm, this was a special needs kids’ school benefit concert?), but nevertheless I enjoyed it.

Kinda zoned out during Sarah McLachlan and Ray LaMontagne, oops…

Flaming Lips. I had heard some bad reviews about their set but hey, I liked it a lot. Especially the appearance by Reggie Watts, who did some sweet beatboxing. You have to admit, 8 hours of acoustic guitars can get a little old, so the Lips’ unique (although not really ‘acoustic’) sound was refreshing. They finished with a cool rendition of “A Day in the Life.”

Jack White. FAVORITE set of the concert. I actually don’t know anything about Jack White’s solo career, but umm I obviously need to get on it. I loved his version of “You Know That I Know” (wish I could find a good live version on YouTube). The band was great, the music was great, and everyone was so into it. Thanks, Jack!

Guns & Roses. This was….strange. Axl Rose appeared: sunglasses, potbelly, and all. I heard he was much more embarrassing on Saturday; this time he was a little more together (i.e. on time). It was amusing hearing “Sweet Child O’ Mine” and “Paradise City” on acoustic guitar…will probably never get to see/hear that again! Neil joined them for a song, which happened to be while I was in the bathroom, laaame.

Neil Young & Crazy Horse.
Have to admit, we didn’t stay for the whole set because 8 hours later we were a little burnt out. I actually liked Neil’s acoustic opening the best, he played “Heart of Gold” and “Long May You Run.” My Neil repertoire is still pretty limited (“just the hits!”), so unfortunately I can’t remember a lot of the Crazy Horse songs. I’m bummed I missed the finale of “Rockin’ in the Free World.” Good thing for YouTube.

This show has featured tons of huge names (Paul McCartney, Tom Petty, S&G, The Who, Jay-Z, No Doubt), so I’m hoping for the Stones to make it onto the bill sometime soon. In any case, I’m pretty sure I’ll be back at Shoreline next year for the 27th Annual. :)

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