Neil Young, Guns N’ Roses, Flaming Lips, Gary Clark Jr., Eddie Vedder And More Play Bridge School Benefit Concert
Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Guns N’ Roses, Jack White, The Flaming Lips and more took the stage this past weekend for the 26th annual, all-acoustic, Bridge School Benefit Concert at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, CA. The event kicked off on Saturday, October 20 with Neil Young offering an acoustic rendition of “Sugar Mountain,” before bringing his wife Peggy on stage for “Comes A Time.”
Gary Clark Jr., one of this year’s break out stars, followed Young with a three song set that included performances of “Don’t Owe You A Thang” and “When My Train Pulls In.” Foster the People and Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers delighted the crowd with their short afternoon set as well.
The Flaming Lips surprised everyone by bringing out beatboxer/comedian/former Soulive singer Reggie Watts to create the trippy noises for some of the band’s more effects laden tracks off their album Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. Watts stuck around to help with the vocals on the Lips’ cover of The Beatles’ “A Day in the Life,” though it was, perhaps intentionally, obvious to everyone that the musical comedian was reading the lyrics off his cell phone. Jack White hit the stage after the Flaming Lips. The former White Stripes frontman played a few his classic tunes, including “We Are Going To Be Friends,” though most of the songs were off his latest solo album Blunderbuss.
Things looked as though they might take a turn toward the unpleasant as Guns N’ Roses failed to show up at the scheduled time. While the notoriously unreliable band’s tardiness surprised absolutely no one, the unannounced appearance of Eddie Vedder most certainly did. The Pearl Jam frontman played a few songs, including “Last Kiss”, before leaving the stage so that Guns N’ Roses could perform. The band went through a few of their biggest hits, like “Paradise City” and “Sweet Child O’ Mine.”
Neil Young and Crazy Horse closed out the day with a set that included plenty of songs off their latest album, Psychedelic Pill, as well as classics like “The Needle and The Damage Done”. The band also played “Singer Without A Song,” a tune that Young co-wrote with Lukas Nelson. The show ended, of course, with an All-Star rendition of “Rockin In The Free World” that notably did not include Axl Rose.
The second day proceeded much like the first, though without any unannounced appearances by Eddie Vedder. However, that doesn’t mean the night was without its own surprises. Guns N’ Roses actually showed up on time, but their set took another interesting twist, as Neil Young joined the band for a performance of his classic song “Don’t Let It Bring You Down.” Rose and Young shared vocal duties on the track, with Rose mentioning that he had asked Young if they could play the song. You can watch a video of the performance above.
Neil Young and Crazy Horse again closed out the night. The band played “Love and Only Love,” “Powderfinger,” “Born in Ontario,” “Needle and the Damage Done,” “Twisted Road,” “Singer Without A Song” and “Ramada Inn” before concluding the day, once again, with a crowd pleasing, All-Star version of “Keep On Rockin In The Free World.”