Mountain View, California
October 24-25, 2009
The gorgeous solo-piano version of the Penguins classic "Earth Angel" by Chris Martin was a highlight of Neil Young's annual charity event, even if the Coldplay frontman couldn't forget where most people his age first heard the song (he stops midverse at the beginning and cackles, "Back to the Future One!"), it's always one of the more interesting lineups of the year, and this year Young recruited No Doubt, Wolfmother, Monsters of Folk, Jimmy Buffett, Adam Sandler and Fleet Foxes. Highlights include a spine-tingling "Don't Speak" from No Doubt; Young busting out the 1977 obscurity "Hold Back the Tears" (from American Stars 'n Bars); and Sheryl Crow's sing-along version of "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away." Most bizarre was Adam Sandler and Young trading verses on "Powderfinger." Unfortunately, Sandler does most of the singing.
This story appeared in the November 26, 2009 issue of Rolling Stone.