I “live-blogged” Bridge School Benefit XXIV Day One on Facebook yesterday. I’ll be expanding a bit here in the real blog entry.
We left for the show around 3. We stopped off at Dollar Tree and bought stock in rain ponchos and bottled water and headed for Shoreline. We got their and inside just before 5.
e- has one mouse to go in the Mousehunt Halloween Event. I should catch it as we are finding our seats at tonight`s Bridge School Benefit.
I actually caught the Gourdborg mouse as we were pulling in to our parking space in the E lot. Thankfully we were parked in a very easy to find space near two porta-potties and a lightpost, which really helped later in the night when it was dark to get into the nice dry car and out of the very light and spotty drizzle.
e- agrees with the guy that donates teepees every year. This is beautiful weather for an awesome Bridge School Benefit. Wisdom Dancers are done. Pegi`s out and doing her intro. There`s an organ, a banjo and a drum out for the pre-set.
We got in, bought a few raffle tickets, my wife snapped a photo of the set times for the day, and the Wisdom Dancers were already doing their opening prayer. It is rare for a Bridge School Benefit to start on time, but this year it did.
We headed to our seats and sat down just as Pegi Young was being introduced. We had layered ponchos over our coats and clothes. Strangely, our seats were dry. It didn’t look like we were under any cover, but looks can be deceiving.
e- In a shocking turn of events, Neil Young is here! He did Sugar Mountain and Comes a Time before introducing Grizzly Bear, who are using the drum that was set up but not yet the banjo or the organ.
Yes, this was a Bridge School Benefit. Neil did the same two songs he always seems to do to start the show, on acoustic guitar and harmonica.
Grizzly Bear were okay. They’re a Brooklyn-based band and had some hipster fans in the VIP area recording their set on their iPod nanos.
e- Okay it is a piano. It looked organ-like from a distance.
Grizzly Bear switched to the piano for the second song.
e- missed the banjo song getting food. Got back before Modest Mouse took the stage with three guitars, two fiddles and two drummers.
I was hungry. My wife wanted garlic fries. I got a hamburger and she got chicken strips and fries. It was Shoreline food. Not very good but enough to get us through the night. The garlic fries booth had a sign that they weren’t opening until seven.
e- Cool now Modest Mouse is using the piano and the banjo.
e- Bonus points to Modest Mouse for the appropriate use of a trumpet and a melodica at a Bridge School event.
e-‘s Friend: nice
e- Adding tuba and clarinet is a bit too extreme for me. Minus ten points to Modest Mouse.
Modest Mouse brought an excellent mix of instruments for their performance. It is just too bad that they don’t make very interesting music or have lyrics that have any relevance to me. I was impressed with their bravery in their first Bridge School Benefit performance.
My wife missed a few minutes of their performance but when she came back she quickly put in earplugs, which were removed and not needed again for the music for the rest of the night. She did find another need for at least one earplug later in the night though.
It was also at this point that two loud and somewhat annoying women arrived and sat down to my right. I’m a rather heavy person, they were both also heavy. This made our seating arrangement a bit too close for my comfort. After Modest Mouse, my wife offered to trade seats with me and I quickly agreed.
It was also after Modest Mouse’s set that the Giants game updates started coming in from the stage. 2-0 Philadelphia. The crowd voiced their dissatisfaction with a Giant roar. Smart phones started being pulled out. Transistor radios appeared from bags and pockets. The majority of the crowd wouldn’t care during the next few hours of the show. That was kind of sad.
e- Jackson Browne and David Lindley are pretty darned good at this Bridge School acoustic stuff.
Wow. I’ve never seen David Lindley perform before but he was great. Jackson Browne was okay when accompanying David, but Lindley was amazing. They opened with Warren Zevon and Bruce Springsteen covers that were great. Once Jackson starting singing his own stuff, the set suffered in quality. Their set was definitely one of the highlights of the evening for me though.
e- I am pretty bored with Lucinda Williams.
e-‘s wife: Still better than Modest Mouse.
e- Even Pegi Young and Emmylou Harris, both better vocalists than Lucinda couldn`t make this entertaining. Though her lyric sheets blowing off the music stand and into the wind was mildly humorous.
e-‘s wife: “Joy” was good. More like that would have been fine.
e-‘s other friend: You guys staying warm?
e-‘s wife: I have a blanket. If we were 5 seats over we`d be soaked! Lucked out.
Here’s the thing with Lucinda Williams. She writes okay but not good lyrics. She doesn’t sing very well. She plays guitar adequately. She has a lot of friends with more talent than she has. If Lucinda had been backing Emmylou Harris it would have potentially been a great show. In the way it was presented, I was very bored. This was also the point in the night that we discovered our seats were actually very, very good seats, despite the baseball chatter. Literally five seats to my left, people in the very same row were getting drenched. People directly behind us were getting soaked.
Oh yeah, the Giants tied it up 2-2.
e- Still to come: Kris Kristofferson, Billy Idol, Movie, Elvis Costello, Movie, PEARL JAM!!!, Buffalo Springfield, Free World?
I decided that since my mother had wanted to see Kris Kristofferson for many years in concert to call her and let her listen to his set.
e- shared the Kris Kristofferson set with my mom via phone. She didn`t like him. I thought it was pretty good. Simple country songs by an old man with an acoustic guitar and a harmonica.
Kris Kristofferson reminded me of what Johnny Cash might have been like, solo, with an acoustic guitar, dressed in black at a microphone. He did a mix of his own material, country standards and a really good cover of Me and Bobby McGee which he even stopped midway to include Janis Joplin’s name. He seemed very happy to be on the Bridge School stage. I was happy to see him. My mom didn’t seem to like it at all. Her loss.
e-‘s mom’s friend: I dont think Kris Kristofferson could sing 20 years ago when he did “A Star is Born”..which was your mom’s favorite movie at the time…LOL
Apparently she wouldn’t have liked the set either. Whatever.
Oh, 3-2 Giants.
e- Billy Idol rocks! Giants won the pennant in the middle of Ready Steady Go!
It was 8:30. It was the bottom of the ninth. The Giants were just three outs away from the World Series. The crowd didn’t care that Billy Idol was coming onstage. They were nervous for their Giants. I was worried they’d introduce Billy, have him come on and start a song and it would be interrupted by wild cheers randomly inserted. That’s exactly what happened.
I really like seeing Billy Idol in concert. This guy and his band put on an amazing show. He seems to be genuinely into putting on great and sometimes campy performances. They did a bunch of Generation X stuff, opening with Ready Steady Go, then Dancing With Myself, Kiss Me Deadly, King Rocker, which was stopped after the first verse and started over when Billy joked that they shouldn’t have spent so much time in the hotel room, Running with the Boss Sound and closing out their set with Rebel Yell.
The crowd was on their feet and dancing to Ready Steady Go and Dancing with Myself. They sat back down until Rebel Yell. The stadium-like roar of approval during Ready Steady Go wasn’t for Billy Idol, but the show was great. This was however the tolerance-breaking point for the chatty women next to us.
e- While this tribute movie plays to LA Johnson and Neil and Pegi dance to Dancin` in the Street on stage, I figure I`ll tell you all that my highlights of the show so far were Billy Idol`s set and Jackson Browne and David Lindley`s set. Elvis is next!
My wife started to type “Jackson over Kris? I liked Kris’ set bet…” then realized that I was referring to the David Lindley performance and wrote this instead:
e-‘s wife: Another highlight was when the obnoxious cunts weren`t sitting next to us when we first got here.
e- Kris Kristoferrson was good too. Lowlight was Lucinda and the obnoxious chicks next to us.
e-‘s friend: Go Giants! Although I wish I could have afforded to be at shoreline right now =( at least i’ll be there tomorrow! ( in the rain )
e- Don`t feel too badly about missing tonight. David Lindley`s covers of Warren Zevon and Bruce Springsteen were great. Billy Idol was good but not any better than he normally is. Everyone else good will be here again tomorrow.
e-‘s friend: sure but I’m missing my boys =(
e- Elvis Costello and Emmylou Harris` set would have been much better without the chatter and singalong from the OC (obnoxious women sitting to right. She really took a bullet for me tonight.)
The one woman singing along to Love Hurts actually hurt my ears. The earplugs went back in my wife’s ears. I guess without the Giants game to occupy their time, they were bored. Whatever. Elvis and Emmylou’s set wasn’t that great but it was cool to see them perform together. They also brought out some extra ammunition with Kris Kristofferson sort of joining them on a number.
e- Now Kris, Lucinda, Pegi, Emmylou and Elvis are all together on stage and the OC are yelling “The Giants won the pennant!” Seriously…
WTF. They really did that. The biggest collaboration thus far in the night, granted not that interesting, but not so bad that you have to start yelling “The Giants won the pennant!” We already knew that stupid bitches.
e-‘s wife: Ya know this was all positive and full of love before I said something. I`m sorry…
No, it wasn’t my wife’s fault. They were annoying by default.
e- Neil Young is still here? Awesome! Neil, Emmylou and Elvis are performing as the OC talk about loving Neil Young with Crosby, Stills and Nash but dislike him alone. They also think Buffalo Springfield SUX. Thanks for sharing this moment with me.
e-‘s wife (who picked up on the Wil Wheaton w00tst0ck reference there at the end of that note): I miss PAX/w00tstock.
e- Movie time. The OC apparently also hate Robert Plant. That`s random.
e- If they hate Buffalo Springfield WHY HAVEN`T THEY LEFT YET?
e- Pearl Jam have a grand piano, a strings setup and a giant drum kit out so far. I have a feeling this might be a tad different than their normal Bridge School set.
e- Last Kiss dedicated to Maricore to open the set. Maybe this won`t be that different…
e-‘s friend: damn. least they got it out of the way early . . .
e- Eddie`s hat is cool.
e-‘s wife: ”Eddie`s hair is cool.” Fixed that for you.
e- Unthought Known. Boom on a real piano is pretty cool.
e- The people in front of us held up a Happy Anniversary cutout as Eddie acknowledged the 20th and thanked Uncle Neil for helping them get past five or six. Now they`re doing Santa Cruz which I don`t think is yet released.
e- Subliminal footage from Channel 2 news about Haiti. I don`t think that was intentional.
e- Dancing Barefoot (Patti Smith cover)
I’d never heard them do Dancing Barefoot and it is pretty much the only Patti Smith song I know, so it was cool to hear Pearl Jam do a rocking version of it.
e- Eddie`s playing uke on Better Man.
Wow. He “new Jeremy”ed it. No one could sing along. It was great!
e- That was a cool and different arrangement. HOLY SHIT NEIL YOUNG WHAT A HUGE SURPRISE! But I don`t know this song.
e- (It was Walk with Me by Neil and it was awesome.)
e-‘s friend: Walk With Me (Neil Young)
e- Thanks for the late assist, . Walk With Me and new Better Man were really cool and I hope they do stuff that cool tomorrow for all of our sakes.
Walk with Me is from Neil Young’s 2010 album Le Noise. I don’t own that one yet. That explained why I didn’t know the song. I am pretty sure that it and new Better Man were the highlights of the Pearl Jam set for me.
e- Those string players are out now.
My wife made me take down the cell phone during the next bit. The strings were actually a bit hard to hear.
e- Just Breathe with strings followed by Black with strings.
e- Eddie hugged Maricore at the end of the set. It is raffle time! I am SO winning the teepee this time!
Eddie also gave a cool speech at the end of Black. He talked about how when they first came to Bridge School they didn’t realize it but he now thinks that the school was for them (Pearl Jam) and that they’ve learned so much over the years. He went immediately to his favorite alumni of the school, Maricore, now a Berkeley graduate student and gave her a big hug.
e- I didn`t win the teepee. Movie time.
My raffle tickets were 830 665, 666 and 667. 830 167 won. Sad.
e- OC update: still babbling. How the hell can they talk for like five hours straight without a few minutes of STFU.
e-‘s friend: it is a magic power. hopefully they didn’t score a powerup and sit next to you today!
e- Hooray! Hot cocoa! has retreated to someone else`s vacant seat. I gave up and am just going to stay here. There is only like forty minutes left of the show.
It was cold in the other seats. I was also curious what the OC would do during Buffalo Springfield’s set.
The hot cocoa sucked. Oh well. I downed it anyway.
e- 42 years later… Buffalo Springfield.
e-‘s wife: Didn`t believe it til I read it on Wikipedia. Thought raffle dude said 4. They look and sound good.
The raffle dude MC actually said “40” but I didn’t feel like correcting her.
e-‘s wife: Also how many bands is Neil in??
e- About as many as Dina… probably more.
e- For people who think Buffalo Springfield “SUX” the OC are certainly dancing and singing along with Stephen Stills right now with the rest of the remainder of the crowd.
e- For What It`s Worth has rocketed into the evening highlights. These guys still rock. They aren`t showing any signs of not spending the last 42 years together even.
Seriously, For What It’s Worth was probably the best song of the entire night by any band. For those of you that don’t recognize the title: It is a song from the ’60’s that goes “Stop, hey, what’s that sound? Everybody look what’s going down.”
e- An hour ago, the OC said they paid good money for their seats and wouldn`t give them up until the end of the show. Show isn`t over. They left.
e- And to close out the night: Rockin` in the Free World (w/Buffalo Springfield, Kris Kristofferson, Jackson Browne, David Lindley, Eddie Vedder, Emmylou Harris, Elvis Costello, Wisdom Dancers, Jeff Ament, Pegi Young, a couple people from Grizzly Bear and Modest Mouse.)
e- This is basically just an Eddie Vedder song. This kicks ass.
It was at this point that I came again to a realization that I have every year at Bridge School Benefit. What happens when Neil retires or dies? Eddie takes over? I could definitely see it happening. Neil and Eddie trading lines just seemed so torch passing and respectful. It was a great rendition of a powerful song. Predictable but very cool.
e- We got out and found our car without incident. Later today: Bridge School XXIV day two with lots of people we saw Saturday plus some dude named Elton and the Kevin Flynn, who I learned at WonderCon “lives”. I didn`t realize he played country music though at the time.
We also heard “21 Concepts” by MC Lars blasting from a car stereo on the walk back to our car. Also random but cool.
I braved the horrible porta-potty. Not a pleasant experience at all.
e- /This concludes my Bridge School Benefit live blogging broadcast for the day./ *American flag waves on the screen then test pattern*