This past weekend, Sleeptrain Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California hosted the 25th Annual Bridge School Benefit Concert. You may be wondering, just what exactly does the concert benefit? All the proceeds from ticket sales go towards the Bridge School, a non-profit school in the Bay area for severely handicapped children.
Peggy and Neil Young founded the Bridge School twenty-seven years ago when they couldn’t find a school with sufficient services for their son Ben, who has learning disabilities. You may now find yourself thinking Young…that sounds familiar. In fact, Neil Young puts the ‘Young’ in Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. In light of his clear musical talent and connections, the Youngs have been organizing the amazing musical weekend that is the Bridge School Benefit successfully for the past quarter century.
This year, the event boasted the big names of Arcade Fire, Dave Matthews, Eddie Vedder (former lead singer of Pearl Jam), Mumford & Sons, Beck, Carlos Santana, Tony Bennett, The Foo Fighters and many more. With lawn seats costing only $35, it’s mildly mind-boggling that one could see so many amazing artists for so little. I attended the event on Saturday, and though the show was running about 45 minutes late, it was well worth the wait. Flanked by a group of dancing hippies on one side and middle-aged hipsters smoking clove cigarettes on the other, a diverse collection of performers certainly brought an equally eclectic audience.
The event began and ended with a short set by Neil Young, with thirty-minute sets in between by each of the amazing artists mentioned above and more. Somehow, each artist got progressively better as the night went on, my personal favorite being Mumford & Sons. Their English charm, complete with a cello, a banjo, and cuffed pants were simply too endearing to resist. Lead singer Marcus Mumford’s unique, haunting voice made the audience alternatively awestruck in silence and dancing along in step to their folksy melodies. All in all, the Bridge School Benefit Concert was a win-win, excellent music at a cheap price, and it all goes towards an amazing cause.
To learn more about The Bridge School click here!