Bridge School Benefit XXIV Day Two – Wet, Wild and Wonderful

After an amazing time at Saturday’s Day One of Bridge School Benefit XXIV, which bled into early Sunday morning with the closing set from Buffalo Springfield and the Rockin’ in the Free World encore, I was surprisingly not overtired and very excited for day two.

Then the rain started and slowed my motivation down a bit.

We decided we could miss the Wisdom Dancers/Pegi Young speech/Neil Young pre-set, even the Grizzly Bear and Modest Mouse sets if necessary.

We stopped for lunch at Panera Bread in Millbrae on the way and decided to go ahead and eat at the restaurant instead of carting the food into a potentially soggy venue for the show.

My wife and I split two sandwiches, one turkey on an asiago bread and one ham and swiss on rye. We also split two cookies for dessert.

We got to Shoreline Ampitheatre and I resumed posting on Twitter.

It all started as we were headed into the parking lot and I wrote:

“Is this thing on?”

A friend replied “Yes it is.”

My wife welcomed me back to Twitter and I continued updating both Twitter and Facebook with messages and updates from the show.

The plan was to do it similarly to what I had done on day one, but due to not having a seat under cover, things didn’t necessarily go as intended.

Here are my Twitter and Facebook updates with additional bonus commentary to hopefully fill in a lot of the blanks.

e- FB: Due to needing lunch and traffic on 101, we will be missing the beginning of Bridge School Benefit day two and hope to arrive before Kris Kristofferson. Also, I am back on Twitter: if you want to follow today`s live blogging.

e- is headed to Shoreline in the rain for Bridge School Benefit XXIV day two. I hope our seats are as dry as yesterday.

I walked in, took a quick camera phone photo of the day’s set times, which was a rainsoaked document, and headed for my seat. I somehow got detached from my wife, but she followed soon behind. We were in a rainy area in Section 204. I was fine in my waterproof jacket, but my wife helped me cover my jeans with a poncho that ended up being like a bright yellow skirt and later saved me from getting a wine stain on my pants from the somewhat eccentric woman to my left. I walked in as Grizzly Bear were thanking folks for coming out and braving the rain and such. We missed Neil do the exact same songs he did on Saturday again. We missed Pegi give the exact same speech. We really didn’t miss anything at all of merit so getting there a bit late wasn’t a problem.

e- We got rainy seats today and got here in time for Modest Mouse.

e- Dear Modest Mouse – Is God I Wanna Be Such an Asshole really BSB appropriate?

e- Modest Mouse were a bit more Bridge School than yesterday and played one of their hits. Kris K is next. We are a bit wet but not cold.

Modest Mouse put on a respectable show for their second go at Bridge School Benefit. I thought the horns on Saturday were a bit overbearing and they toned it down and did a much more acoustic, intimate set on day two. They also played their single, Dashboard, which still didn’t have good lyrics but at least is a catchy tune. I didn’t care for their set, but it was much improved over the day before. Still not a fan, but they put in a good effort.

e- It isn’t so wet now. Kris Kristofferson got a standing ovation and definitely deserved it.

Kris Kristofferson was great both days, but there was something magical in that second set, which had a lot of rain references in it. We were all getting soaked and suddenly it stopped raining and we were just watching a man with his acoustic guitar play classic songs on stage. He forgot the words a couple of times and stumbled a bit but put on an amazing performance two days in a row. I’m really glad we got to see him perform at Bridge School Benefit.

e- T. Bone Burnett’s Speaking Clock Revue onstage now with Master of Ceremonies Elvis Costello performing.

T. Bone Burnett came out and introduced the Speaking Clock Revue, which I hadn’t realized had done select performances on the East Coast and featured even more amazing bands on other dates because they had more time allotted to play. The format was based on something Bob Dylan did in the sixties. T. Bone introduced Elvis and Elvis performed some songs, then he introduced the next act, Neko Case.

e- Neko Case has taken the Speaking Clock Revue stage for her performance time.

Neko Case performed a quick three song set, which lead to Elvis coming out in a slightly different outfit to introduce Jeff Bridges.

e- Thank you for being patient and cool enough to take my pic with Jeff Bridges on stage behind me. Flynn Lives!

e- FB: I am really excited to have seen Jeff Bridges onstage and for my wife to have taken my picture, in my Flynn Lives shirt, from my seat with him performing behind me.

I essentially missed watching Jeff Bridges perform by being a dork and getting a picture in my Flynn Lives shirt which is tied in to the movie Tron Legacy, which features Jeff Bridges in two roles, one of which being the “currently missing” Kevin Flynn. He sounded great though and Elvis and T. Bone guested on his first song. He only played two songs though.

e- Dr. Ralph Stanley has taken the Bridge School/Speaking Clock Revue stage.

Dr. Ralph Stanley is a Country Music and Bluegrass legend. I used to see him on shows on Grand Ole Opry back in the day. He also apparently did the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack in the early 2000’s, which featured both songs he played at Bridge School Benefit. He was an old man, in his 80’s, who still had some fire in him and while his performance was the most lackluster of the entire show, he was also wearing a nice sparkly suit.

e- Now, Elton John + Leon Russell!

Let’s not kid ourselves, Elton John was the reason everyone was watching the Speaking Clock Revue. We all sat there through Elvis, Neko, Jeff and Dr. Stanley’s sets waiting for Elton. Elvis, Neko, Jeff and Dr. Stanley could have told fart jokes for their whole time on stage, the crowd wouldn’t have moved or cared.

So they introduced Leon Russell first. He came out with a cane and long white hair and beard. He looked like the wizard Gandalf. We anticipated that meant he would murder some piano keys with fiery solos and wicked piano bar style playing.

Then they introduced Sir Elton John, but never called him “Sir” all night. The crowd went Giants Win the Pennant roar crazy over Elton.

Their set consisted of nine songs which are all featured on their new album that they did together called The Union. Neil Young guested on a track called Gone to Shiloh. Elton brought his normal energy and showmanship to the piano. Leon Russell was an old man. He stared blankly, not really moving except for his hands and his lips when necessary. It was an odd pairing but it worked. Their gospel-like backing vocalists were great. The entire Speaking Clock Revue Band worked really well throughout their concert within a concert actually.

My favorite tracks from the Elton+Leon set were Monkey Suit and There’s No Tomorrow, which closed out the set. There’s No Tomorrow was where they introduced the band and brought everyone else back out who had performed during the Speaking Clock Revue. It was by far the coolest moment of Bridge School Benefit XXIV for me. It also stopped raining completely just before Elton and Leon came on stage.

I wish we’d gotten a full Speaking Clock Revue set, but even the abridged version was amazing.

e- That was fantastic. I feel like I’ve been sang the gospel according to Elton, Leon and Elvis and that I have been saved!

e- FB: I feel like I have had a very religious experience following the Speaking Clock Revue`s performance with Elvis Costello, Neko Case, Jeff Bridges, Ralph Stanley, Elton John and Leon Russell. It was very gospel-like and much like a revival. Also Jay Bellerose must know and perform with all of the best piano players.

Jay Bellerose has played with Vienna Teng in the past.

e- Seriously, Let’s Go Giants was pseudo-appropriate last night, but tonight?

e- OH: “I drove all the way from Pacifica.” That’s really far from Mountain View.

People were bored, Elton was gone. There was a somewhat lengthy break between music as they reset the stage from the Speaking Clock Revue to the Pearl Jam set. They showed the Bridge School movie and the LA Johnson Tribute movie. Neil came out pretty late to dance with Pegi to that one. It was still daylight.

It did get dark awfully fast though.

e- Yay! Pearl Jam! Opening with Daughter tonight.

e- Second – Down

e- Drifting, which was apparently written while Eddie was leaving Neil’s really long driveway on the back of a plane ticket.

e- Don’t know the last one, maybe Dark Horse.

e- Just Breathe with just Eddie, Boom and strings.

e- Walk with Me w/Neil

e- Lukin with strings!!!

e- Curse my not remembering Backspacer track names. Earlier with Boom and strings was Unthought Known. Now they do Just Breathe.

e- Black closes out the set again.

e- Or they will do Elderly Woman after to close out their set.

e- FB: I liked last night`s Pearl Jam set better.

The setlist was actually as such:

Other Side
The End
Walk With Me
Just Breathe
Eldery Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town

The song selection both nights was great, I just really liked the little speeches that Eddie made about the band and about the Bridge School and the Bridge School Benefits the first night. Plus, the second night was a bit less of a surprise. Lukin was pretty amazing though. Eddie introduced it as “we’re going to play a classical number now…” I’m sure any fan knew what was coming next. He apologized afterward, kind of a normal schtick at this point.

e- Now I am gonna win a teepee… I hope.

e- No teepee tonight, but I didn’t win anything else either.

How dare they only give one seven foot teepee away a year?

e- Buffalo Springfield is up next then the big finale might be a lot bigger than last night.

e- The Pearl Jam song that I didn’t recognize was Other Side which was the b-side for Save You and also on Lost Dogs.

e- Buffalo Springfield Again… on stage I mean.

While they played the same songs as they had played the night before “Buffalo Springfield 2010” put on just as awesome a show. It seems so odd to me that my main draw to Bridge School Benefit XXIV was Pearl Jam celebrating 20 years of playing together and I’m being wowed by these people that haven’t played together since the members of Pearl Jam were toddlers. Once again, For What It’s Worth was a big standout for me. I’m really glad they got back together for these shows and shared their music to several generations who may not have gotten to hear these songs live otherwise. Neil Young and Stephen Stills both play some of the Buffalo Springfield songs in their solo sets, but to have them all together was something remarkable.

e- Free World was even better than last night. Thanks for another great show to all involved in Bridge School Benefit 24.

The addition of T. Bone Burnett, Jeff Bridges, Kris Kristofferson and one of the Grizzly Bear guys sharing Eddie’s microphone and the addition of the gospel backing vocalists, Pegi Young, Neko Case and more with Stephen Stills playing one of the signature solos and everyone jamming to the song made it an even bigger blockbuster ending than the night before. I was a bit sad to not see Elton or Leon come out for the finale but they weren’t needed and probably weren’t even still at the venue.

e- FB: had a great time at Bridge School Benefit 24 this weekend and hope you didn`t mind my flood of updates. Now that I am back on Twitter, things should be much quieter over here. Also: Currently listening to The Social Network soundtrack as we head to dinner.

We met up with one of our friends at the In n’ Out Burgers parking lot on Rengstorff after a fairly quick escape from the parking lot. We attempted to go to a gelato and sandwich shop which didn’t look too promising and ended up across the street from the gelato place at Frankie, Johnnie and Luigi Too, a really tasty Italian restaurant.

I would love to go back there sometime soon for a proper dinner but my wife and I weren’t all that hungry, having eaten at the venue.

On the way out, my wife made a comment that lead to the following:

e- Our new mantra: Money, Food, Economy, Bullshit.

And with that, our Bridge School Benefit experience for 2010 was over. Oh wait except:

e- FB: Look it is my tiny set of photos from today’s Bridge School Benefit.

e- Waking up for work post-Bridge School Benefit weekend was pretty tough.

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