Bridge School Benefit Concert

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On Saturday I went to the Bridge School Benefit Concert at Shoreline with Erick and his two colleagues, Stefan and Kim. They arrived in S.F. earlier in the week on business, but of course one can’t pass up the opportunity to catch up, and to indulge in some solid touristing – only Erick of the three had even been here before.

So we started off with that concert. We arrived about an hour or so late, at 6pm, so we missed Wolfmother and maybe one or two other acts. But we did catch No Doubt, Jimmy Buffett, Chris Martin (front man of Coldplay), Sheryl Crow, Fleet Foxes and Monsters of Folk. We also missed Neil Young because he was on last and the three wanted to go, as we had an early start the next day (as detailed later). Which kinda sucks, but then if we’d stayed for that one final act, it wouldn’t have just been the extra half hour of the performance but an extra half an hour (or worse) stuck in gridlock trying to drive out. We also didn’t get to see Adam Sandler, as he only attended the Sunday concert. He was apparently there Saturday night, though, oddly enough, and Matt played basketball with him Sunday – and got a free ticket which he didn’t even use, bah.

The concert was really good. Fleet Foxes and Monsters of Folk I had never heard of, but they were quite good. Sheryl Crow was surprisingly good – I was only vaguely aware of her newer stuff, but it was all good, and performed perfectly. Jimmy Buffett I had of course heard of, with his Coral Reefer Band – they play constantly in California – but I’d never knowingly heard them. Of course they closed with Margaritaville, which drew one of the loudest applauses of the night, so now I recognise that as theirs. 🙂

No Doubt were good, though they came out and just launched into their first song without a word, from a darkened stage, which was quite against the informal atmosphere the preceding acts had all set – lots of random banter and comments and whatnot, particularly from Jimmy Buffett about the Shoreline staple, the every-present smell of weed. 🙂

They were good, no doubt (ahahahaha, pun genuinely not intended but lovingly abused in hindsight), just a little distant, maybe a bit too polished. Also, Gwen Stefani is really really short. I was a bit disappointed she didn’t sing any of her solo stuff, some of which I quite like also, but ah well.

And I had no idea who Chris Martin was and hadn’t even sold the concert to Erick & Co. on the basis of his presence, but of course everyone knows him. He was the rawest of the acts and consequently I think my favourite… lots of random tinkering on his piano, a few false starts and all sorts. It made it interesting. Funniest was when he was half way through a song, absolutely nailing it, when the microphone in front of him, on a long arm, suddenly drooped down – a pivot screw not tightened sufficiently, evidently. He abruptly stopped playing (as did his accompaniment), commented “yeah, that’s happened before” to much laughter, fixed it, and then launched straight back into the song. It was totally appropriate for the mood, and just so well executed that you can’t help but be skeptical that it was really a random accident at all. 🙂

So that was that – all in all a great way to spend an evening. 🙂

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