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Thursday, October 23, 2014

THIS WEEKEND: 2014 28th Annual Bridge School Benefit Concert


2014 28th Annual Bridge School Benefit Concert Lineup Announcement.

October 25-26, 2014
Shoreline Ampitheatre
Mountain View, CA

Neil Young
Pearl Jam
Florence and the Machine
Tom Jones
Soundgarden
Norah Jones and Puss 'n Boots
Band of Horses
Pegi Young and the Survivors


Here are highlights from last year's 27th Annual Bridge School Benefit Concert.

A nice little recap of another memorable weekend of music, friends and Kids.


▶ 2013 Bridge School Concert Highlights Part 1


2013 Bridge School Concert Highlights Part 2

"What Are Their Names"
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

The Bridge School Benefit - 10.26.13
(Click photo to enlarge)

Many, many highlights from this weekend's annual 2013 Bridge School Benefit Concerts in what will go down as another wonderfully memorable weekend.

For most, this was another triumphant weekend of great music and fun people coming together for a worthy benefit concert. Others -- as we'll come to later -- saw and heard things differently, naturally.

In the Neil department you could not have been disappointed this weekend whatsoever. You had Jack Johnson and Neil Young on "Out On The Weekend", My Morning Jacket and Neil Young on "Harvest Moon", Arcade Fire and Neil Young on "I Dreamed A Neil Young Song", Heart and Neil Young on "War Of Man", and Velvet Underground/Lou Reed tribute “Oh! Sweet Nuthin’” with Neil Young, Elvis Costello, Jenny Lewis, and My Morning Jacket. Plus the solo songs that opened each day and the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young headline reunion.

Neil Young
Photo by John Green/Bay Area News Group

Lots of the little magical delights that make the Bridge School Benefit Concerts so special. Like Arcade Fire introducing a new song inspired by a Neil Young dream. See @ 06:07:00 YouTube below for "I Dreamed A Neil Young Song":



“I had a dream … We’re playing the song at soundcheck and I remembered, I woke up and remembered everything. I was half asleep and I started playing it and wrote down the lyrics and listened back to my tape recorder and it was basically a Neil Young. So this song is called ‘I Dreamed A Neil Young Song’ and Neil’s gonna come sing it with us. So this song is by Neil Young in my head.”
(Other highlights to check out include Neil Young joining My Morning Jacket for “Harvest Moon” at 5:10:00 and CSNY’s reunion at 7:45:10.

And the concert reacted to the news of the passing of the hugely influential Lou Reed. In tribute to Reed, My Morning Jacket covered the Velvet Underground’s “Oh! Sweet Nuthin’” with Neil Young, Elvis Costello, Jenny Lewis, and more.



As we indicated above, not all were sufficiently impressed.

In a review in San Jose Mercury News headlined "Bridge School Benefit disappoints at Shoreline" by Jim Harrington:
It was an eight-hour acoustic concert that felt much longer, with very few of the expected highlights translating to lasting memories. Indeed, it may have been the least memorable of the roughly two dozen Bridge concerts that I've attended.
...
One of the most troubling issues with the Bridge concerts is that there are just too many acts. That means short sets, usually around 20-30 minutes, and accompanying set changes that last nearly as long as the performances. It's a poor use of everybody's time, unless, of course, you dig watching stagehands setting up instruments.
...
Then came the hipster-approved portion of the night, as My Morning Jacket, Arcade Fire and Queens of the Stone Age filled the next three slots on the bill. Regardless of the quality of the offering -- and Arcade Fire did deliver the set of the night -- it was still too much new music grouped together. In retrospect, organizers should've mixed it up a bit, and given Heart and Johnson later starts, so that the majority of the crowd didn't have to go so long without hearing a song that it recognized.
It is sad that a veteran music critic like Jim Harrington seems to miss the entire point of the exercise, i.e., it's a benefit concert to help disabled kids. An acoustic concert for the kids and their parents who are literally sitting on the stage. About celebrating the miracle school known as "The Bridge" and what Neil and Pegi Young have achieved. About all the school staff, volunteers, and supporters.

Bridge Kids, Parents and Neil Young

Critic Harrington approaches the review with a perspective of wanting to be impressed and entertained. Which is OK but misses the point and is like saying Woodstock really wasn't that great because of the crappy sound and weak lighting.

Besides all of the once in lifetime combinations cited at top, where else in mainstream music will you encounter the following scene mid-point of the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young set?

David Crosby introduces the song "What Are Their Names" by saying that "We're political." Next, Neil Young pulls up his hoodie and begins to stalk the stage (see top photo) -- all in clear reference to the whole Trayvon Martin saga.

Again, the weekend allows one to experience many, many hours of music, an incredible diversity of artists, and some one-off combinations that often work out splendid.

So don't be a doubter. Be a believer. Take a chance on love.

"War Of Man"
Heart and Neil Young

Photo by Mario Di Sandro


Tom Waits "Raised Right Men" Live Acoustic @ Bridge School Benefit, Shoreline 10-27-2013

Lastly, a shoutout for the webcast. Our stream seemed glitch free and there were very few audio/video problems during the webcast -- a pretty flawless experience as these things go. So if haven't already, go to Bridge School: Donate to the Bridge School.

Also, see Photo of the Moment: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Bridge School Benefit - 10.26.13 and more highlights from 2013 Bridge School Benefit Concert Webcast and re-broadcast/re-stream info.

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
Photo by John Green/Bay Area News Group
(Click photo to enlarge)

The wide range of reactions to this weekend's annual Bridge School Benefit Concerts continue to roll in.

The Comment of the Moment is on 2013 Bridge School Benefit Concerts by Dan1 in reference to the negative San Jose Mercury News review by Jim Harrington:
Yea the reviewer missed by a country mile, love how these days the masses can review the reviewer and so there's a bit more accountability than there was pre-internet.

Bridge School is a whole world in itself, they should make a video series of all the years and sell it to NetFlix ... so many incredible acts over so many years and then Neil and Pegi woven into the fabric of every one ... and then the kids, which is the real point, and their joy ... and the fact that the whole thing exists to help these courageous kids and families.

CSNY ... Stills' new song and overall spunk was really nice to see and the Young/Stills chemistry was palpable ... after reading some of the negative reviews of CSNY I was pleasantly surprised by their performance. I think the nitpicking about whether they practiced enough misses the point, its special to see these guys together after so many years, how many bands (if you can call these guys that) from the 60s are 100% intact? the sheer nostalgia of that is special. But more on nostalgia in a minute.

I personally love Singer w/out a Song ... not sure why all the negativity on it ... reunion or not? I'm betting against it ... clearly CSN wants it to happen and I'm guessing Neil is positively predisposed given these guys are his friends and they could benefit from such a tour. I keep thinking has Neil mellowed enough to stop innovating for a few months and go along with this? Then I think if they had a whole album of new material (instead of one song) or something else thematic (like LWW) then I think the set up would be perfect and it would happen ... but if not, I just cannot see Neil going out there and doing a nostalgia act especially some overhyped 40 year anniversary of '74 which itself was overhyped ... and if a Springfield reunion didn't work I struggle to see how this works ... this against the backdrop of the recent Horse reunion which was totally epic ...

I keep worrying we'll see a full Neil break for the first half of '14, we've ostensibly seen a break for almost the whole second half of '13 ... so, anything is better than nothing and I for one think within the realm of nostalgia acts these guys are impressive and its hard not to root for guys like Crosby and Stills despite my being pessimistic ...
Thanks Dan! Good points, as always.

More reviews, photos, commentary on 2013 Bridge School Benefit Concerts.




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7 Comments:

At 10/23/2014 11:14:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interested to see what song Neil and Pearl Jam cook up. They always surprise.

Dr. J

 
At 10/24/2014 12:03:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's something mysterious and kind of kooky-cool about Bob Dylan's cantankerous old man routine. Neil's act, however, is just unbecoming, bitter and sad. Really? You're mad at David Crosby for looking out for you and calling you out on your post-mid-life crisis with (of all people) Daryl Hannah? You go on Howard Stern and talk ill of being at Woodstock? He was lucky he rode CSN's coattails there. In the same way, he was lucky CSN backed him on the "Freedom of Speech" tour when he shoved the woeful "Living With War" down people's throats. Of course, he repaid CSN's kindness by using them (and their name) to mine the opportunity to release the same skeletal "songs" from "Living With War" a third time (remember him dipping his hands in his fan's pockets for "Living With War Raw"?) via the live album "CSNY-Deja Vu/Live." While his fans think that every time he farts, it should be released and fawned over as part of his "Archive Series," his quality control has steadily gone down through the years. His book was a ramshackle mess, and nobody needed his ill-conceived album of covers recorded in lo-fi. His new symphony album is sure to be another bloated exercise in self-indulgence. Neil has lost the plot through a haze of miniature trains, old cars and Pono players. Instead of being angry at David, maybe Neil should listen to Crosby's brilliant new album, "Croz" and realize that there is something to paying attention to craft. Clearly Neil's fans have him believing what he does still matters. I will not waste another moment (or dime) on this sad, floundering, delusional old man.

 
At 10/24/2014 01:01:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too bad there's no webcast this year.

 
At 10/24/2014 05:38:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Update 09/23/14: The Bridge School is thrilled to announce that Brian Wilson has just been added to the Bridge School Benefit Concert on Saturday, October 25th and Sunday, October 26th at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, CA.

 
At 10/24/2014 01:57:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2 - Neil's act is "unbecoming, bitter, and sad"? Which part of it? Touring to places he's never performed before, and rocking with Crazy Horse? Playing brilliant solo shows, that focus largely on classic songs from his 70's albums? Writing books, painting pictures, and recording new songs, with an orchestra? Whether you LIKE what he's producing or not, at least give him credit for being out there, working on new projects. Most rockers his age are hanging out at home, with the occasional summer shed tour, cranking out their decades-old hits.

Your post is full of rancor and unkindness. Fine, if you don't like what Neil's doing these days, don't buy any of it. But to criticize him for doing it is unfair.

Neil has told the same story about Woodstock since it happened. Him telling it again to Stern is not surprising. Howard asked. How about the fact that "Sea of Madness", on the Woodstock album, wasn't even recorded AT the festival. There are plenty of reasons why he feels the way he does. He was there, he's entitled to his thoughts on the matter.

I too love Crosby's latest album, but it was his first solo album in 20 years. Neil has released an album almost EVERY year of his entire career. Sure, some of them are better than others, and you can argue that he should wait until he has a record where all of the songs are amazing, but that's not the way he rolls. He puts out songs when he wants to, and he doesn't look back.

And when he talks, you can hear the love and respect he has for people, and for the planet we all live on. Stern and his air-head co-host kept trying to get him to say bad things about Crosby, and, to his credit, Neil would not go there.

You're certainly free to express your opinion, but maybe you should follow Neil's example, and stop being a cantankerous old man yourself.

Gus Mozart

 
At 10/24/2014 01:59:00 PM, Blogger w san jose CA said...

you make some good points Anon. Living with War is dreadful. you are too hard on Americana. its better than most of what hes written since Ragged Glory. Pearl Jam will do Whos gonna stand up save the world with him. it will have to beat Walk with Me, which is not a good song and I believe their last BSB collaboration. If theres no webcast it cant try to compete with the World Series which the Bay Area is bananas over right now. GO GIANTS!

 
At 10/24/2014 02:47:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ANON@12:03 Croz, is that you posting anonymously again?
If not...
Fucking Doubters.
Go troll elsewhere.

4EVAYOUNGER

 

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