About the concert: The Bridge School Benefit is an annual concert organized by Neil Young and his wife to support the Bridge School, a school for students with special needs. (Attempting to be sensitive to this issue Seanie and I attempted to not call each other or other things retarded. We failed. Miserably.) All the sets are acoustic and none of the bands are paid - it's 100% voluntary.
A medicine man opened the show with a prayer to the Great Spirit. His son and members of their tribe (I didn't catch the name) did a dance, blessing the four directions. Then Neil Young came out and sang a few songs with his wife. I think this is when my mind wandered off to other things. When I tuned back in Tegan & Sarah were on stage. I've never heard of them, although one or two of their songs sounded vaguely familiar. The vocals reminded me of the girl from Aqua. They only sang a few songs anyway, but I was half paying attention. People watching was much more interesting. So much bad fashion...and once in a while, some fabulous fashion.
The next performer was a last minute addition, but he was also one of the major reasons I was there. Eddie Vedder came out and did a short set. I have heard all the songs before but I only know the names of two - he sang "Man of the Hour" and "Last Kiss." Vedder's a good performer. Too bad his set was so short. There was a dry spell after he left the stage.
Los Lonely Boys was the fourth act. They're older than I thought they were - I was a bit surprised. I guess I assumed they couldn't have been that old 'cuz the song's new, but I was wrong. Oh well. Another act to space out through. While they were performing a woman from Sacramento sat down next to us and she and Seanie talked a bit. We never got a name outta her, tho'. Los Lonely Boys ended their set with their current (and only) hit, "How Far Is Heaven?"
Up now: Sonic Youth. I was getting cold so I totally was thinking about that and not the band. Sacramento Lady lent us an extra tarp she had brought with her so that we'd stop sitting on Seanie's leather jacket. (The grass was wet from rain the night before.) She was a Ben Harper fan so she was excited when he came out with the Innocent Criminals. Sets were getting progressively longer - I think Ben Harper sang 8-10 songs, including "Diamonds on the Inside."
By now it was getting dark enough to use the projection screen, so they turned it on for the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Anthony Kiedis is hot. I'm sorry, I had to get that out of my system. ANTHONY KIEDIS IS HOT. They opened with "By The Way" and also performed "Under the Bridge" and...other songs. For the life of me I can't recall the specific names. Man, I suck. Oh well. At the end of the set he said that Paul McCartney's set (coming up!) brought tears to his eyes several time. It was cute. Anyway, the Chili Peppers were the first band people stood up for and paid attention to.
The transition to the next performer was bizarre. The Chili Peppers...to Tony Bennett? Yeah, you heard me. The "I Left My Heart In San Francisco" guy. Sure. Why not. So weird! He was good, but it was just so weird. Best part of his set: Paul McCartney sang a duet with him. At the end of the song, he got all excited and said "I just got to sing with Tony Bennett!!" Man, Paul's adorable.
Did I mention that it was getting cold? Well, it was freezing (for California. You New Yorkers or Canadians probably would think it was bloody tropical.) My toes were numb, my legs were covered in goosebumps, and I was eating my tongue. (Chattering teeth. Apparently I'm the only one who uses the phrase 'eating my tongue.') Since I'm not a Neil Young fan, his set seemed to last forever. I think I spent most of it trying to find constellations in the sky. But we couldn't leave! We were there to see an (ex)Beatle, dammit! Eddie Vedder came out and sang with Neil Young, but that's honestly all I recall from the set.
And then there was Paul. I <3 Paul. Let me think, what did he sing? "Drive My Car," "'Til There Was You," "Michelle," "Hey Jude," "Let It Be," "Lady Madonna," a song written for John Lennon, and a song from an upcoming album. (Hooray! New album!) Probably more songs that I can't remember - my memory sucks in my old age. Paul McCartney is just a brilliant performer. (Unlike a certain someone who made a recent appearance on SNL *cough*ashleesimpson*cough*) He had so much energy and spent ore time talking and telling stories than all the other performers did combined. No way he's sixty-something.
All the artists were extraordinarily political, all leaning toward Democrat. (As Paul shouted, "Let it be...Kerry!") I mean, it was starting to bug me and I agreed with most of 'em. Seanie was getting seriously irritated 'cuz he's Mr. Redneck Republican. Oh well. Election year's only one outta four.
After his set finished we turned around to give Sacramento Lady back her tarp, but she was gone. So now Seanie's got a free tarp bouncing around in his trunk. So not only did he get a free concert he got a door prize to boot. Whee.