R.E.M., Sarah McLachlan, Barenaked Ladies, Wallflowers, Phish Come Out For Bridge Benefit

R.E.M. gave a sneak preview of material from their upcoming album, “Up,” at this year’s annual Bridge Benefit concert at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California.

They played the first single from the album, “Daysleeper,” as well as a second song, “At My Most Beautiful,” which Michael Stipe introduced as the “first love song we’ve ever written.”

As R.E.M. took the stage near the end of the day-long concert, the sun set and chilly winds began to sweep through the outdoor amphitheatre, but most of the crowd hopped to their feet for the 45-minute set, which consisted of several hit songs, including “Everybody Hurts,” “Losing My Religion,” “Man on the Moon,” and “Electrolite.” Event organizer Neil Young joined R.E.M. on stage for “Country Feedback,” which Stipe noted was his “particular favorite R.E.M. song.”

The second day of this year’s two-day Bridge concert featured more casual mingling of musicians on stage. During the last song of Neil Young’s otherwise
solo set, he was joined onstage by a few musicians he introduced just as “friends,” but whom many in the crowd identified as Mike Mills of R.E.M. and Sarah McLachlan. McLachlan played her own set earlier in the day, then she and Young returned to the stage to join Phish for the last song of their show-closing set.

Other highlights of the day included acoustic offerings from the Wallflowers, Eels, and Jonathan Richman, who performed several of his songs from the film “There’s Something About Mary.” Barenaked Ladies got the crowd moving with a rousing mid-day set, which ended with their signature medley of pop hit covers. This time they included “The Boy is Mine” by Brandy and Monica, Will Smith’s “Jiggy wit it,” and Madonna’s “Ray of Light.”

The twelfth annual benefit concert raised money for the Bridge school for disabled children, which is run by Neil Young’s wife, Peggy. The couple took the stage at the end of the show to thank the crowd for supporting the benefit efforts.
“Every year we feel so fortunate,” Neil Young said, “to have so many people come out, both on this side of the stage and on that side.”