By Fred Mills
Out at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, Calif., this weekend is the annual Neil Young-hosted Bridge School Benefit Concert, two days of mostly acoustic-based performances aimed as part of the nonprofit’s annual fundraiser. (If I have to explain to you what the Bridge School is and its importance, you may be surfing the wrong website.) Putting in sets yesterday and today are Arcade Fire, Tom Waits, My Morning Jacket, Jenny Lewis, Queens of the Stone Age, Elvis Costello, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, fun., Heart, Jack Johnson, and Diana Krall – and with the exception of Waits’ set, all are being live-streamed via the event’s YouTube channel.
Today’s show will be gearing up at 5pm PST, but meanwhile you can check out a rebroadcast of the Saturday concert; sprinkled in are interviews and highlights from previous years’ concerts. Highlights are numerous, notably My Morning Jacket’s luminous set, CSN&Y’s breathtaking “Deja Vu” and the way Arcade Fire turns their disco-ball epic “Reflektor” (at about the 5-hour mark) into a delicate Latin-jazz shuffle. The closing singalong for Graham Nash’s “Teach Your Children” features all the artists, clearly having a ball; raise you hand if you spot Josh Homme toting his little daughter around in his arms.
Oh, and if you watch Young’s opening performance of “Heart Of Gold,” serenaded directly to the Bridge School kids gathered on the rear of the stage, and don’t find yourself getting misty, there’s definitely something wrong with your own heart – it must be made of stone. Donate to the school if you have a chance, by the way.