Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Bridge School Was A Stinker

This weekend the much anticipated Bridge School Benefit concert at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, CA came and went. It left us with sort of a bitter taste in our mouth for the event, one that has us saying, "unless the lineup next year is absolutely amazing, there is no way we're going!" That's not to say we didn't have fun, either. My Morning Jacket, the first act we saw at around 7pm Saturday night, was cool enough to watch, but didn't leave us aching to run home and download all their music from iTunes. John Mayer was next, and his set was the highlight for me (and I think Darcy too). He played four songs off his new album Continuum, and then finished his set with a Tom Petty cover (Free Fallin'). The rest of the night didn't exhibit any more highlights, not even from the much anticipated Metallica, who opted to play cover songs rather than their classic hits that everyone in the crowd paid to see.

The biggest bummer was the time it took to get from John Mayer to Metallica. After John Mayer was Tom Waits. His music is indescribable. Having never heard him before, I literally wondered if he was joking the way he sings. I read some blog reviews on the event yesterday and to my surprise, there were some people in attendance who really enjoyed Mr. Waits. Darcy and I were not among them who did. Following Tom Waits was Neil Young. Young is a staple Bridge performer who you can count on seeing every year. Although we accept this fact, we don't enjoy watching him perform. He's a great musician, and is a good friend of our beloved Eddie Vedder, but he's not our cup of tea for whatever reason. Perhaps it's his winy voice or his oafish stage presence. We do like a few of his hits, such as 'Keep on Rockin' in a Free World', 'My, My, Hey, Hey', and 'Needle and the Damage Done', but he never plays those for us. Following Neil was Jerry Lee Lewis, who is a legendary piano-playing act who cut his first demo in 1954. It's amazing how he can still perform at the age of 72. Even though we got to hear 'Great Balls of Fire' live, his music would be more appealing to our parents than it is to us and quite frankly sounds kind of cheesy. Plus, at that point it was late, and we were only there because we wanted to see Metallica.

At 11:30pm, Metallica finally took the stage! As I mentioned above, they proceeded to play cover after cover until we finally said, "forget this," and left. No 'Nothing Else Matters'. No 'Unforgiven'. No 'Enter Sandman'. No 'One'. I didn't pay all that money and wait all that time to watch them perform other artists songs! After midnight, we disappointedly walked to my Ford Explorer, contemplating never coming to another bridge school again.

Beyond not particularly enjoying the music, the time gap between performances was nearly unbearable. There was literally a 20-30 minute break between each performance! We had to wait nearly three hours between John Mayer and Metallica, and well over an hour of that break was dead time, while the stage crew lethargically set up the next act. I'm convinced that if they hustled they could do it in ten minutes, which would shorten the show by nearly two hours.

But why would they want to do this when they would rather we had ample time to blow all our cash on concessions?!

PS... Bruce Springsteen did not make a surprise appearance as was speculated/rumored.

No comments: