Review - Bridge School Benefit - Day Two (10/23/16)

Kevin Keating
Roger Waters performing at the Bridge School Benefit (Photo: Kevin Keating)
Every October for the past 30 years, Neil and Pegi Young have put on a two-day benefit concert at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, CA to raise money for their Bridge School, a non-profit school for children with severe speech and physical impairments that they founded after their son Ben was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

The stars of the show are the kids and parents who make up the foundation of the Bridge School. And every year, the Bridge kids, along with their parents, are invited to sit onstage behind the performers for the duration of the show. There’s not a dry eye in the amphitheater when the performers take moments out (or during) their sets to interact and play to the kids sitting just behind them. I encourage you to read more about the school’s efforts here and donate or attend the event next year!

And so over the past 30 years, the all-acoustic concert has featured a who’s who of performers as diverse as Elton John, Billy Idol, Trent Reznor (of Nine Inch Nails), Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, CSNY, Paul McCartney, the Foo Fighters, and the list keeps going!
Roger Waters (Photo: Kevin Keating)
This years’ show was no exception and personally speaking, one of the best so far! Joining Neil Young and the Promise of the Real was Metallica, Roger Waters, Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds, Willie Nelson, Norah Jones, My Morning Jacket, Cage the Elephant, and Nils Lofgren… Talk about one heck of a line-up!

Only Roger Waters and Cage the Elephant were first-timers at the show, and as a long-time Pink Floyd fan, it was an incredible opportunity to see Roger perform an all-acoustic set! Not a single performer on the line-up this year was sub-par, and although Metallica on Saturday night had to re-start one or two of their new songs debuting on their forthcoming album, Hardline (out in November,) Sunday’s Metallica performance was silky smooth in comparison. It even included a happy birthday serenade to bassist, Robert Trujillo, who turned 52 and got a few pies in the face to aid in the celebration.
Metallica w/ Neil Young (Photo: Kevin Keating)

The only question in my mind was how didn’t Roger Waters get the headlining slot for the evening? Maybe it was due to Metallica being a Bay Area native? Maybe they got preference as Bridge alumni? But for as good as Metallica is, Roger Waters was the legendary act of the event and I respectfully believe he should have headlined the show. In any event, let’s hope Neil & Pegi extend a headlining offer to Roger at some point in the future!
Roger Waters w/ Neil Young (Photo: Kevin Keating)
In terms of Roger’s set, he was joined by legendary guitarist, G.E. Smith, and backed by My Morning Jacket while they worked their way through a 7-song set that spanned Floyd’s Wish You Were Here and Wall albums, Roger’s solo Radio KAOS, and two covers, including the closing number and Dylan track, “Forever Young”. The setlist details are below.
Roger Waters (Photo: Kevin Keating)
Simply put, an amazing and once-in-a-lifetime performance.

Not to be overshadowed, each of the other artists put on impressive performances themselves. Nils Lofgren shared stories before each of his songs; My Morning Jacket brought their usual rock/psychadellic/country sound that translates so well to an acoustic set. Norah’s soulful vocals never disappoint, and possibly most impressive of all, Willie Nelson, cranked out his hits and sounded absolutely unbelievable for a spry 83 year old.

All-in-all, this show was absolutely amazing and a testament to the Bridge School.

For more pictures, check out our Facebook page here and here and be sure to follow us on Instagram!

Roger Waters Setlist Bridge School Benefit 2016 2016, The Best of Pink Floyd

Metallica Setlist Bridge School Benefit 2016 2016

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