Results tagged “Ben Gibbard” from kwc blog

Bridge School 2006: Trent Reznor

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NIN at Bridge School

Photo from nin.com

This year's Bridge School was filled with many fun performances: older folks groovin' to Brian Wilson (probably the fan favorite of the night), Dave Matthews Band and Neil Young performing a 13-minute jam of "Cortez the Killer", an all-hands performance of "Rockin' in the Free World". But I think the show was stolen by Trent Reznor. Instead of muzak-ing up his music (e.g. the Foo Fighters performance), he got a special acoustical arrangement with string quartet and piano. It absolutely blows Still (NIN's previous acoustic effort) out of the water. I can't believe they did this just for Bridge School -- if they don't make an album out of that it would be a shame.There was the goose-bump raising "The Fragile", a jazzy "Piggy", a haunting, slightly eastern, "Something I Can Never Have", and beautiful versions of "Right Where It Belongs" and the unreleased "Non Entity". NOTE: I didn't actually know the names of most of these tracks, but I was able to look it up using the video I shot video of every song. I would upload the low-quality video, except I have no desire to lose my Youtube or GV accounts.

As for the rest of the concert:

  • Gillian Welch did a great song together with Neil Young did a great song together that I don't know the name of; David Rawlings did some nice guitar solos but d says he was "off"
  • Death Cab for Cutie was rather boring acoustic. I've seen better from them
  • Foo Fighters was overly muzak-y even if Grohl went through the effort of having songs rearranged for violin, accordian, etc...
  • Pearl Jam gave a good performance but nothing amazing (cover of Tom Wait's "Picture in a Frame", a brief "I Used to Work in Chicago" ditty, an organ-accompanied "Betterman", "Crazy Mary" with piano solo)
  • Brian Wilson had even the security guards dancing. It was amusing to see old and young alike breaking out their best beach dance mooves. Wilson had the crowd esctatic even if he seemed like an unhappy puppet forced to perform his past hits -- he walked off stage even before the last song finished.
  • Dave Matthews Band was good even if Dave Matthews was a bit hoarse and I don't like their music. "Cortez the Killer" with Neil Young was awesome and I'm grumbling at my camera for running out of battery with 30 seconds left to record (still have 12 awesome minutes of it). It was as good as his 2001 All Along the Watchtower jam with Neil.
  • Neil Young was good but isn't the best closer. It is his concert, so it's only fair that he can close out the 20th anniversary concert however he wants.

The goods news is that Bridge School is finally releasing more of their back catalog on iTunes (November 14th). I've long wanted to buy many of the unique Bridge School performances (Billy Idol + Neil Young, Paul McCartney + Tony Bennett), but their previous release of 15 tracks doesn't do justice to Bridge School's 20 years of concerts. I'm hoping that will all the hyping they did for the iTunes release that it will be an extensive catalog of songs (and videos) to spend all my disposable income on.

Concert: Not So Silent Night

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The White Stripes rocked the end of Not So Silent Night in SF. They came on stage like the Ramones: song after song, no breaks, furious, and rocking. It seemed that it wasn't until every female had been rescued from the frantic/violent pit in front of the stage that Jack White pulled out the acoustic to calm things back down. I'm convinced that some of the White Stripes songs only make sense live. It simply isn't possible to play the record loud enough on your stereo to hear it at the volume it was meant to be listened to: freaking loud.

We also saw Death Cab for Cutie and Hot Hot Heat. I was strangely entertained by how uncomfortable Ben Gibbard of Death Cab was with his guitar cable. About every two measures he would fling his guitar cable off his leg. Occassionally he would step back from the microphone and give the cable a good kick/fling. Some of his efforts resulted in bottles of water and gatorade being knocked over and stage crew running out to pick things up. Perhaps I was amused that someone with so many bands under his belt can't handle such a basic piece of musical equipment. Gibbard ended his set by kicking over his mics and his amps, then scrambling to set them back up again so that he could walk off stage to a good feedback hum.

The only disappointment from the night was that the audience didn't bring the White Stripes back on for an encore. It seemed that an encore was in conflict with people catching the last BART out, so the set was a short 45 minutes or so.