On Saturday, I had the fortune of attending and being back stage at the Bridge School Benefit Concert in Mountain View, CA. Before jumping into the concert, I want to share a bit more about the Bridge School and the impact that this benefit has on the students.
The annual concert, now in it’s 23rd year, is the primary source of funding for the Bridge School. The school was founded in 1986 and opened to students in 1987 and my brother, Peter Schlegel, was a member of the inaugural class. Founded by Pegi Young and Jim Forderer, the school was created to meet the needs of kids with severe speech and physical impairments. A group that is marginalized more often than not, the focus on these kids prepares them to lead fulfilling lives.
The concert itself was an amazing musical experience. This year, the show featured Neil Young, No Doubt, Chris Martin (of Coldplay), Jimmy Buffet, Sheryl Crow, Monsters of Folk, Fleet Foxes, Wolfmother and Gavin Rossdale. Adam Sandler is scheduled to perform in place of Jimmy Buffet during the Sunday show. What’s unique about this benefit is that the artists all perform acoustic sets.
No Doubt was by far my favorite performer of the day. Students from the school are seated on the stage behind the artists, which presents a challenge for the musicians, performing for both the kids and the audience at Shoreline Amphitheater. Gwen Stefani and her band were the most successful with that by singing to both the kids and the audience throughout the set. Chris Martin was also amazing. As a solo performer, singing Coldplay songs, he had the unique challenge of using just his voice and a piano to woo the 20,000 or so people in the audience. He did it beautifully and was joined by a violin-playing friend of his after the first song. He was funny, making jokes about his bad choice in hat (which had a “where’s Waldo?” feel) and sharing an incredible musical performance.
Earlier in the evening, Jimmy Buffet took the stage with his happy island music and all had a good time dancing to songs like “Margaritaville”. Sheryl Crow shared an emotional set featuring a lullaby she composed for her son. Monsters of Folk and Fleet Foxes were new bands to me but both impressed the crowd, making the most of the acoustic sets. I was a little late so I missed Wolfmother and Gavin Rossdale but I heard good reviews from the people around me.
This is the one show I look forward to every year. The tickets seem a little pricey but you always get your money worth and it’s all for a good cause. I realize that this post has absolutely nothing to do with social media but is an event that I want to share with the community, especially bay area based people who may be interested in attending next year.
To learn more about the Bridge School, please visit: http://www.bridgeschool.org/
To check out the videos I recorded at the concert head over to my YouTube page: http://www.youtube.com/schlegelsteph