Monday, October 25, 2004

Yeah....Let it Be.... Kerry!

Where was I.... oh, right, I was telling you about Saturday night...

The 18th annual Bridge School Benefit concert was fantastic. Neil, wearing his trademark thrashed jeans, flannel shirt and big floppy hat, opened with Sugar Mountain, then did Do I Have To Come Right Out And Say It? and then Pegi came onstage and joined him in "Field Of Opportunity." Outstanding as always.

Two chicks followed Neil: Tegan and Sara. Who? My thoughts exactly.

Peal Jam's Eddy Vedder followed T and S with a solo set. "Soon Forget" on ukelele, then Better Man on acoustic guitar, then the Beatles' hit "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away" and ended with Bob Dylan's "Masters Of War" -- the first political speech of the show.

Los Lonely Boys followed Vedder. Great. Great. Great.

Sonic Youth. Loud. Very loud. Off to the wine line.

Ben Harper. The workhorse of Blaine. I've seen him several times at Bridge and this time I actually liked his performance. Sure, he's always belting out solid, dependable, predictable sets, but this time his band got him going and he sounded looser, and he seemed to get into the music. Good stuff.

Red Hot Chili Peppers rocked. the. fucking. house. Love them. But what's with Flea's hair? Good Lawd, man. The banged-pixie has got to go! He looked like my aunt Mary on stage.

Tony Bennett followed TRHCPs. Yes, I wrote Tony Bennett. He opened with The Best Is Yet To Come and the crowd of 22,000 rewarded him with huge applause. Tony, dressed in a gray three piece suit, was having a blast, bouncing and bounding all over the stage; the crowd was digging him.

ZumaRust has the down low:

Tony and his jazz combo sounded great, and got great ovations from this rock 'n roll crowd. He seemed very moved by the response. He was very lively, moving about the stage, and having fun.

Paul McCartney came out and sang a song with Tony. It was a nice moment. Paul said it was a Tony Bennett song that his wife Heather had requested to be performed at their wedding.

Then it was time for Neil's full set. It was full of great moments like he and Pegi harmonizing on "Come's A Time", and Neil dedicating the song to Nicolette Larson. They also did "Old King"! Cool! Neil playing the demented banjo part, and he and Pegi harmonizing beautifully. Eddy Vedder came out and joined them on "Harvest Moon", with Eddy adding the guitar harmonics part with his acoustic guitar. There was a nice moment when Neil referred to Pegi and Eddy, the two of them, as his best friend and his close friend.

And then finally Paul McCartney and band hit the stage about midnight (!) He opened with "Drive My Car" and played lots of Beatles' songs, including "Yesterday", "Lady Madonna", "Michelle", "Get Back", "Let It Be", and some others. One song was an early song that he, John, and George had recorded on a cheap recording before the Beatles were formed. He performed a new song he'd written. And there was also a beautiful song written after the death of John. At one point, Neil came back onstage, and he and Paul sang Neil's "Only Love Can Break Your Heart." And then at the end of his set, Paul said "And here's our last song of the night", and proceeded to pound on the piano and started singing "Babyface- you've got the cutest little babyface!", and then he cut the song off after a minute, and waved his arms at the band, a la Elvis Costello on Saturday Night Live, or Jimi Hendrix on the Lulu show, and Paul said "That's the wrong song! I think this is the right one." And started "Hey Jude", and the crowd erupted. Other performers and backstage folks came onstage and gathered around mics for the big ending of the song, with Paul going crazy on the vocals. It was incredible! Earlier in the set, after singing "Let It Be", Paul said "Yeah....let it be....let it be Kerry!" And the crowd had erupted in positive response.

At the end of the evening, Neil encouraged everyone to vote.

What a night!


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