After having heard stories about it for years, I finally got to play Neil Young’s Bridge School benefit with Tom Jones in late October. The concert lineup was formidable – Neil & Pegi Young, Brian Wilson & Al Jardine, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Florence & The Machine, Band Of Horses, and Norah Jones – and every set of music was engaging and refreshingly casual. Soundgarden and Florence in particular blew me away and, based on what I witnessed onstage and off, Eddie Vedder was the true mensch of the weekend.
My favorite non-musical moments – precious family time with my cousins Christian & Eunji Averill (Christian was interviewed for Vice.com’s event coverage - see here), Al Jardine commenting on the strength of my handshake, gear-nerd conversations with Hutch Hutchinson and Bob Lizik, and seeing first hand what a “LincVolt” was.
Music aside, what made the event truly special was the presence of the Bridge School kids and families who shared the stage with every artist, all day long. In the midst of all that rock-and-roll royalty, their beautiful spirits and smiles were a constant, welcome reminder of life’s beauty and fragility.
I myself took only these few photos during the events but the benefit was certainly well-covered online.