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Bridge School 2009

The post comes a bit late, but d got me tickets to this year's Bridge School. This year was lacking the headline acts that normally accompany the event, but there was the bright spot, as always. In this case I was surprised that it was Chris Martin of Coldplay. I like Coldplay's Parachutes, but latter albums went towards "wall of ambient noise" and other overdone production. As a complete counter to that, Martin came on stage with nothing more than piano and occasional violin accompaniment, playing through several hits and a Back-to-the-Future-inspired "Earth Angel" cover. He flubbed here and there, but it was like watching him teach you how he came to write these songs, where their heart was, and even mixing in some ragtime to deconstruct them.

No Doubt was the "big act" of the night -- though Neil Young still closed. Watching them on stage made me realize that it's been 17 or so years since I last saw them on stage. Although they gave good performances of those nearly two-decade-old songs, it was exactly like watching them 17 years ago and I was a bit sad to realize that the songs nor the performance felt relevant anymore.

As for the rest of the acts: Sheryl Crow and Jimmy Buffet were entertaining, Monsters of Folk felt like a bunch of incomplete songs, and Neil Young delivered one of the better sets I've heard from him in the several years I've gone.

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