Bridge School Celebrates 25 Years With Box Set - Rolling Stone
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Bridge School Celebrates 25 Years With Box Set

Set features performances by Thom Yorke, David Bowie, Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen and the Who

neil pegi young bridge school benefitneil pegi young bridge school benefit

Neil Young and Pegi Young perform as part of the 24th Annual Bridge School Benefit in San Francisco.

Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

Few yearly music festivals manage to assemble as consistently a jaw-dropping and unique line-up as the Bridge School Benefit. At the 1999 show alone they booked Neil Young, Pearl Jam, the Who, Green Day, Tom Waits, Brian Wilson, Lucinda Williams, the Smashing Pumpkins, Sheryl Crow and Emmylou Harris. The show – organized by Young and his wife Pegi – raises money for the Bridge School, which educates children with severe physical physical handicaps and complex communication needs. To keep costs down and make the event more special, all artists are required to perform acoustic sets. That’s no big deal for an artist like Dave Matthews or Paul McCartney, but it has led to some once-in-a-lifetime sets sets by Metallica, Trent Reznor and Thom Yorke.

The sets have been widely bootlegged for years, but to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the festival a three-DVD, two-CD set drawn from the festival’s complete history is coming out on October 24th. That’s just days after this year’s festival, which features Arcade Fire, Eddie Vedder, Beck, Dave Matthews, Carlos Santana, Foo Fighters, Mumford & Sons, Tony Bennett, Diana Krall, Jenny Lewis and, as always, Neil Young. 

Last year, we spoke with Pegi Young about the festival’s history. “It was my idea to have Bruce Springsteen play that first year,” she said. “He was just coming off a three-year rock and roll tour with Born In The USA and I thought that if he was anything like me, he’ll want to do something completely the opposite now…We’ve been so blessed over the years with artists donating their time. Looking back at that first year, it seems like an exercise in simplicity compared to what it is these days.”

Here is the track listing for the complete set.

The Bridge School Concerts 25th Anniversary Edition DVD

Disc 1:

Bruce Springsteen, “Born In The USA”

Patti Smith, “People Have The Power”

Pearl Jam, “Better Man”

David Bowie, “Heroes”

Ben Harper, “There Will Be A Light”

Bob Dylan, “Girl From The North Country”

R.E.M., “Country Feedback”

Emmylou Harris & Buddy Miller, “Love Hurts”

Fleet Foxes, “Blue Ridge Mountains”

Devendra Banhart, “At The Hop”

Bonnie Raitt, “The Road Is My Middle Name”

Billy Idol, “Rebel Yell”

Disc 2:

Brian Wilson, “Surfin’ USA”

Gillian Welch, “The Way It Will Be”

The Pretenders, “Sense Of Purpose”

James Taylor, “Fire and Rain”

Simon and Garfunkel, “America”

Tom Petty, “Shadow Of A Doubt”

Dave Matthews, “Too Much”

Neil Young,  “Crime In The City”

Tom Waits, “16 Shells From A Thirty-Ought Six”

Elton John and Leon Russell, “A Dream Come True”

Paul McCartney, “Get Back”

Metallica, “Disposable Heroes”

The Who, “Won’t Get Fooled Again”

Disc 3:

Bridge School Documentaries:

Backstage At The Bridge School Benefit Concert

• The Bridge School Story

• Special Feature – Student/Artist Interviews


The Bridge School Concerts 25th Anniversary Edition CD

CD 1:

Bruce Springsteen, “Born In The USA”

Dave Matthews, “Too Much”

No Doubt, “Magic’s In The Makeup”

Jack Johnson, “Gone”

Fleet Foxes, “Blue Ridge Mountains”

Neil Young & Crazy Horse, “Love And Only Love”

Sonic Youth, “Rain On Tin”

Pearl Jam, “Better Man”

Gillian Welch, “The Way It Will Be”

R.E.M. & Neil Young, “Country Feedback”

Willie Nelson, “The Great Divide”

Nils Lofgren, “Cry Just A Little”

CD 2:

Sarah McLachlan,  “Elsewhere”

Paul McCartney, “Get Back”

Elton John & Leon Russell, “A Dream Come True”

Band Of Horses, “Marry Song”

Metallica, “Disposable Heroes”

Thom Yorke, “After The Gold Rush”

Sheryl Crow, “The Difficult Kind”

Tony Bennett, “Maybe This Time”

CSNY, “Déjà Vu”

Norah Jones, “Jesus, Etc”

Jonathan Richman, “I Was Dancing In The Lesbian Bar”

Brian Wilson, “Surfin’ USA”

The Who, “Won’t Get Fooled Again”

Bridge School Benefit to Feature Arcade Fire, Foo Fighters, Mumford & Sons


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