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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Last Year's Triumphant Reunion of The Buffalo Springfield, Pearl Jam and Neil Young @ 2010 Bridge School Benefit Concerts

Stephen Stills, Richie Furay & Neil Young
Buffalo Springfield - 10/23/10

Photo by John Green - San Jose Mercury/Bay Area News Group

When the dream came
I held my breath with my eyes closed

I went insane,
Like a smoke ring day
When the wind blows

Now I won't be back till later on
If I do come back at all
But you know me, and I miss you now.

~~Buffalo Springfield's "On The Way Home"

In our over 35 years of Neil Young concert going, we have to say -- without a shadow of a doubt -- that this past weekend's Bridge School Benefits were the most amazingly, awesomest, extraordinarily intense and emotionally satisfying Neil Young experience we've ever had the pleasure of attending.

And here's a just couple of reasons why...

  • Buffalo Springfield reunites for their first performance in 42 years
  • Pearl Jam totally nails the new "Walk With Me" with guest appearance by Uncle Neil
  • Elton John and Leon Russell invite Neil onstage to perform "Shiloh" framed by two grand dueling pianos
  • Elvis Costello cover's Neil's "Tell Me Why" with Emmylou Harris on harmony vocals
  • Lucinda Williams performs "Ventura" with the lyrics "Put Neil Young on and turn up the sound"
  • Elvis Costello and Emmylou Harris invite Neil onstage to perform "Brand New Heartache"
  • Eddie Vedder introduces "Driftin'" as a song he wrote while riding down Neil's long driveway
  • "Rockin' in the Free World" encore performed by The Buffalo Springfield, Pearl Jam, Elvis Costello, Jackson Browne, Kris Kristofferson, Jeff "The Dude" Bridges, T-Bone Burnett, Ramblin' Jack Eliott, Leon Russell's backup singers, and about 2 dozen more as the lights turned on and the curtain fell down.

"Rockin' in the Free World" Encore Jam
Buffalo Springfield, Pearl Jam, and Neil Young's Friends

October 24, 2010
Photo by Thrashette

And when it was over, it felt like a dream.

In a strange game
I saw myself as you knew me

When the change came,
And you had a chance to see through me

Though the other side is just the same
You can tell my dream is real

Because I love you, can you see me now?

For us, the essence of the significance of this weekend's 24th Annual Bridge School Benefit Concerts was how many different generations of bands were linked in time while onstage.

And the key link in the chain from the 1960's super-nova band Buffalo Springfield to the grunge pioneers Pearl Jam is none other than "Uncle Neil" himself.

And not to put too fine a point on it, but Neil Young built a bridge this weekend between the eras. Between the idealistic 1960's Southern California/Sunset Blvd fringe jacket revolutionaries and the 1990's Northwest Coast/Seattle flannel slacker rockers.

Both The Buffalo Springfield and Pearl Jam are/were original, organically formed bands. Not some studio, star driven corporate music industry machine manufactured product. Both bands were the real deal of their times.

Eddie Vedder and Neil Young
Photo by Eric Risberg, AP

And here we are seeing Pearl Jam celebrate their 20th anniversary as a band -- a remarkable achievement for any band -- but even more so given the toll of the era and the few remaining survivors. Obviously, the 1990's band survival rate is incomparable to the burn out rate of those of the 1960's.

So we have the age old question of whether to burn & rust out or fade away?

Can Neil Young have it both ways before our very eyes? Is he burning out? Or is he fading away? Well, we'll argue that he is neither. Neil is the quintessential survivor. period.

The fact of the matter is that the bridge that Neil built this weekend managed to heal the wounds inflicted by the bitter dissolution of The Buffalo Springfield and the hard feelings which ensued over the past 40+ years.

There was Richie Furay ... front and center, singing lead vocals. Just like back when there was magic in the air when they played. One only had to look into the eyes of Richie as he stepped back from the mic after "On The Way Home" to the audience's rapturously ecstatic applause.

He could feel it. We could feel it.


And hence all of our joys as tears streamed down our faces as we danced, twirled in the aisles and heard The Buffalo Springfield sing:

Though we rush ahead to save our time
We are only what we feel
And I love you, can you feel it now.

~~Buffalo Springfield's "On The Way Home"

Photo by Misha Vladimirskiy -

Also, see complete reports on 2010 Bridge School Benefit Concert (24th Annual) with reviews, photos, YouTube videos and commentary.

"Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing" - Buffalo Springfield, 10/23/10

This YouTube is by far the best video of shows so far surfaced. Excllent audio quality. Definitely worthy of head phones.

We've already played multiple times. We were behind the guy filming. It's that good. A beautiful, gorgeous performance of Clancy. Like a flashback of a very good trip, indeed.

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At 10/20/2011 08:10:00 PM, Blogger SONY said...

That Clancy performance is unmatched. WOW!


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