Spinning Platters Picks Six: An Early Educated Guess At Bridge School

by Dakin Hardwick on August 12, 2009


Photo From Last Year's Big Event

So, Neil Young’s Bridge School Benefit is October 24th-25th. For those that aren’t already aware, Neil and Pegi Young have a school for the developmentally disabled. Every year, they put together an acoustic show with a few friends in the business.  In the past, these friends have included Tom Waits, Paul McCartney, Green Day, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Ministry, and, well, the list can go on for miles.  Today, I am going to try to predict six of the bands playing.  They usually announce the bill about six weeks in advance, so we have a bit more time, and as some acts get confirmed, I will revise the bill. Well, on with the show:



In the early part of the decade, Weezer recorded a holiday ep.  It was never released, but Neil Young produced a couple of songs on it. They have been known to play acoustically, and they end all of their touring duties a few weeks prior to the show. Since they are based in Los Angeles, it’s not a tough call to get them to play.

neko caseNeko Case

Usually one of the acts that plays the Strictly Bluegrass will also play Bridge School. Neil also seems to like an intense female singer, and with her popularity being greater than it has ever been, she’s definitely a contender.

rufus wainwrightRufus Wainwright

Rufus is on a brief tour right now, playing out of the way places, as well as opening up shows for family members. This is generally the type of outings that end up with Bridge School as part of the itinerary. He also fits the mold of acts that Neil likes to have, which  is singer-songwriters that focus heavy on lyrics and americana.

stpStone Temple Pilots

STP have played a few random shows this year, just to prove that they are still active. Their performance on MTV Unplugged proved that they are a force to be reckoned with on the acoustic stage. I think they can pull this off nicely, and they have the kind of audience that buys tickets to this.

monsters of folkMonsters Of Folk

It’s not uncommon for Neil to book a band that is playing elsewhere that same month. (Ryan Adams, Jack Johnson and Emmylou Harris, to name a few have played within four weeks of another local show.) My Morning Jacket & Bright Eyes both played sets to highly receptive crowds in recent years, and this foursome is the exact same kind of project that Mr Young would love to be able to sit in with.

jason mrazJason Mraz

He had arguably the biggest hit of 2008 this side of “Single Ladies.” He’s got a rabid following that buys concerts tickets.  His sound is already pretty bare bones, and obviously he is a Neil Young fan.  His tour dates take him out til a show at Hollywood Bowl on October 10th, but since he lives in San Diego, he can just grab a flight up here whenever he pleases. I am actually pretty surprised that he hasn’t played before, but this looks like his year. In fact, if I were a betting man, this would be the performer I would put money on.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Gordon Elgart August 12, 2009 at 10:29 am

Now I want to see Jason Mraz cover “Single Ladies” at Bridge School. Doesn’t seem like that much of a stretch.


Gordon Elgart August 12, 2009 at 10:57 am

Just noticed Andrew McMahon of Jack’s Mannequin is doing a solo show at Swedish American Hall on October 25th. His band could easily do an early set at Bridge School. It’s very much in the tradition of this show to have a young “WTF?” band on the bill.


Moody Two September 2, 2009 at 8:59 pm

Phish could also make the bill. They are playing that week in LA as they warm up for their Halloween Festival 8 in Palm Springs and they played the Bridge in 98


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