The annual Bridge School Benefit Concert organized by Neil Young will feature a typically star-studded lineup of big names playing acoustic sets. In addition to a set by Young, performers include Pearl Jam, Florence and the Machine, Tom Jones, Soundgarden, Norah Jones and Puss N Boots, Band of Horses and Young’s wife Pegi, who will perform with her backing band the Survivors. The singer-songwriter is also promising surprise guests for the event, which will take place October 25th and 26th at the Bay Area’s Shoreline Amphitheatre. Tickets go on sale September 19th.
The concert raises money for the non-profit organization the Bridge School, which helps people with speech and physical impairments by providing them alternative means of communication and assistive technologies. It also comes up with educational strategies for helping impaired people.
Last year’s benefit concert featured performances by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Queens of the Stone Age, My Morning Jacket, the Killers, Elvis Costello and others, as well as a surprise appearance by Arcade Fire. It was the first time Young had shared the stage with his CSN bandmates in seven years.
The benefit this year will be the first concert both Neil and Pegi Young play since news broke last month that Neil had filed for divorce. A hearing for the filing is scheduled for December.
The Youngs held the first Bridge School concert in October 1986 and, other than 1987, have kept it an annual event. “Neil came up with the acoustic format idea,” Pegi told Rolling Stone in 2010. “It was genius. Nobody was doing that at the time. This is before MTV Unplugged or any of that. It keeps costs down and it took artists outside their comfort zone. Looking back, that first concert was an exercise in simplicity compared to what it is these days.”