This year, Neil Young’s 27th annual Bridge School Benefit Concert shelled out a ridiculous line up that featured superstars Queens of the Stone Age, Arcade Fire, My Morning Jacket, Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, Heart, fun., Jack Johnson, Diana Krall, and a reunion of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.  It was an impressive turn out at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, Ca filled with very relaxed vibes and a mix of age groups all coming together to support a great cause while listening to industry legends.  Proceeds from the show benefit Hillsborough’s Bridge School, a program for the communicative and educational development of children with severe speech and physical impairments.

Arcade Fire hands down took the spotlight of the night for me.  This was my first time seeing them perform in person and it will not be my last.  Their musical talents NEED to be experienced live!  The large band all alternate instruments creating an amazing performance to witness.  Neil Young even took the stage with the band to sing their new song “I Dreamed A Neil Young Song”.  It was beautiful witnessing their dream come true on stage.

Queens of the Stone Age did not meet my expectations however.  I was expecting them to be a much needed rock interlude from the rest of the mellow concert but they performed a majority of new songs from their recently released album.  Though the songs were pleasant, I feel they could have balanced out the concert with some classics like “No One Knows”.  Following the electric Arcade Fire was not the best placement in my opinion.

Finally, CSNY took the stage after what seemed like a 30 minute intermission.  They have not all shared a stage in over seven years so I was expecting something amazing to happen when they finally did get up there.  I was a little let down at their set but just being able to experience these great artists really was enough for me.

Overall, the night was magical.  The line up was out of control and the crowd was loving it.  I even witnessed a couple get married 5 ft away from me! I will definitely be looking forward to the 28th Annual Bridge School Benefit.

Watch the entire live set here:

-Katie Stone