The Bridge School Benefit concert is an annual event held in Mountain View, California at the Shoreline Amphitheater since 1986. It is a charity fundraising event that gives all of its proceeds to children that have severe physical impairments and communication disabilities. The event is put on by Canadian folk legend Neil Young and his ex-wife Pegi Young every October. With such a huge name curating the concert there is bound to be high ranking artists that will flock to Mountain View to perform. This year is no different as Young has yet again put together an astounding line-up of talent that will draw in huge crowds. One thing you will need to know before grabbing your tickets is that the event is an all-acoustic concert. This means that there will be very little electric instrumentation used and some songs played may not have the power that you are used to. However, this also means that you will get the extremely rare opportunity to see some of your favorite acts play an all acoustic set that could very well be the highlight of your concert-going year. Now, let us see the top five acts to catch at BSB 2014!
The daughter of Sitar genius Ravi Shankar, singer/songwriter Norah Jones will grace the stage at BSB 2014. Mixing folk, country, jazz, pop and soul, Jones’s versatility has earned her nine Grammy awards along with the respect of the entire music community. Not one for massive and theatrical antics on stage, an acoustic set is almost too perfect for Jones and her back-up band Puss N Boots. Get ready for some witty and at times touching lyrics that will soothe any worries you may have brought with you to the concert. Take a moment and appreciate a truly unique artist in a setting that will only bring out the best in her.
Recommended Tracks: “Come Away With Me”, “Happy Pills”, “Don’t Know Why”
Longtime touring rockers Band Of Horses are one of the most exciting American rock bands to see live. With four albums of classic Americana rock and roll, BOH is a popular choice for concertgoers around the world. Currently touring their very first live album, Acoustic At the Ryman, the band is performing at several locations across the U.S., in you guessed it, all acoustic form. With this extremely specific tour, it would only make sense that they are on tap for the BSB concert bill. Just imagine their greatest hit, “The Funeral”, played acoustically to a crowd that will more then likely join in on the epic choruses. You can be certain that this will be a definitive highlight of the concert.
Recommended Tracks: “The Funeral”, “No One’s Gonna Love You Like I Do”, ” Factory”
Grunge gods, Soundgarden are the stalwart rockers on the line-up. Formed in Seattle, Washington (same as Band Of Horses), Soundgarden has been around since 1984-1997 before calling it quits. The band reunited in 2010 and have been taking full advantage of their renewed popularity by touring the world and proving that grunge is not yet dead. It will be very interesting to see what a Soundgarden acoustic set will be like? Known for their heavy use of guitar and crashing drums, the band will enter less traveled roads when they perform an all-acoustic set at BSB. Not to say that it will be a bad set, but Soundgarden will have to pull out all the stops to craft an appropriate show that will cater to their more rock heavy style. Risky but at the same time it is exciting to see how they will adapt and if the past is anything to go by, the band will most certainly deliver.
Recommended Tracks: “Superunknown”, Fell On Black Days”, “Black Hole Sun”, ”
These two artists are both legends in their own right and have carved out a name for themselves in their respective genres. Pearl Jam is one of the most popular and adrenaline fueled bands in the world, while Neil Young is one of the most successful classic rock pioneers to ever grace the universe of rock. The main reason why they are tied for second is because both artists have played BSB multiple times over the years since the very beginning of the events inception, in some form or another. PJ has headlined or lead singer Eddie Vedder has experimented with his solo work, while Young plays every year solo or in any of his other well known bands like Buffalo Springfield, Neil Young And Crazy Horse, and Crosby, Stills, Nash And Young. It has been some time since PJ has headlined BSB and in all honesty I believe that they will put on the show of the weekend, but I will reserve judgement until the event actually happens. Regardless, the performances put on by PJ and Young will most likely be the climatic finish to this years annual event.
Pearl Jam Recommended Tracks: “Alive”, “Black”, “Even Flow”
Neil Young Recommended Tracks: “Old Man”, “Heart Of Gold”, “Rockin’ In The Free World”
1. Florence And The Machine
English indie rock band Florence And The Machine have been flying under the radar for the last couple of years. With no news of work on a new album or any tour announcements in the near future, FATM is becoming a rare act to see on any concert bill. What is even more impressive is that Young was able to coax lead vocalist Florence Welch to agree to briefly visit the U.S. for a one-off show. This is currently FATM’s only stateside show of the year and with no guarantee of an upcoming tour, this may be the only chance you will have to see the Queen of UK indie rock. With Welch’s soaring and powerful vocals, FATM is one of the best live acts around. Not only that but backed by her incredible singing voice, the group will be just as comfortable in an acoustic based setting as they would be for any other gig. The band is the most unique acts on the roster and will undoubtedly rival any other headliner. Do not miss Florence and her merry band of musicians, the group is not supporting the show, they are the show!
Recommended Tracks: “Shake It Out”, “Dog Days Are Over”, “Never Let Me Go”