Monday, October 27, 2008
THE BRIDGE SCHOOL BENEFIT ROCKED MY WORLD
The Bridge School Benefit (formed by Neil Young - benefiting the school for handicapped children they run) is a 22-year old concert tradition in Palo Alto's Shoreline Amphitheatre. This annual event has showcased every music legend under the sun. This year was no exception.
This epic all acoustic show ended the year's outdoor concert season and was definitely the musical highlight of the year for me! The lineup included, in order of appearance: Cat Power, Wilco, Death Cab for Cutie, Smashing Pumpkins, Josh Groban, Norah Jones, Jack Johnson and Neil Young.
We had great seats close to the stage and felt like the talent just progressed from one great performer till the next. Neil Young came out and did some amazing duets with several of the performers. Here are a few of my thoughts of the performances and some random thoughts on the performers...
Cat Power: Although I heard of them before - I think they played at Lollapalooza - this is the first time I've seen/heard them perform. The leader singer was a dead ringer for Fiona Apple, equipped with the quirky facial expressions and the smokey-bluesy-soulful sound - she even looked super strung out. Decent - not extraordinary.
Wilco: Finally I got to see Wilco! Many of my friends love-love-love them. I would say they were so very talented, Jeff Tweedy has a great voice! But I need to hear more before I start to pour on the love. Jeff Tweedy - most likely to rock out in his whitie-tidies!
Death Cab for Cutie: They were awesome. I knew almost every some and they really excel in a acoustic show. AND a small note - Postal Service was too cool - come back with more! I dub them the coolest geeky-chic band around.
Smashing Pumpkins: Billy Corgan showed up with his unique raspy voice and performed songs from his new album which were good - but I didn't hear a song that could be radio hit. Josh Groban took the stage to sing the only hit song they performed from the 90s. Billy Corgan - the coolest weirdo of my generation.
Josh Groban: He rocked it acoustically. Listening to his version of Simon and Garfunkel's "Bridge over Troubled Water" was like watching a maters class in vocal talent. I guess I am finally coming to terms with looking like him...and since he is so talented, I guess it is cool. I vote him most likely to succeed -AND-hoping to get as skinny as him real soon.
Norah Jones: With her new light brown short hair - she brought country western songs, backed by two accompanists, bassist Catherine Popper and banjo player and guitarist Sasha Dobson. She mentioned they are looking to form a group and looking for a band name. Norah, with her sweet sound and vocal prowess - definitely prom queen.
Jack Johnson: I have always wanted to see him perform live, and FINALLY this was my chance. He sang my favorites, some new tunes I haven't heard before and most of all, he brought me from a casual listener to a big big big fan! Jack Johnson, you make it look so effortless. I aspire to be as cool as you. Mr. Prom King himself stole the show...the best talent of the night by far!
Dear Mr. Neil Young:
Although I am not too familiar with your music and didn't know this 22-year old tradition even existed until I showed up on Sunday, I hope to come back every year and see the amazingly talented group of musicians you bring to the stage for the most worthy of causes. I appreciate your hospitality and hope to see you next year!