« Previous Post | Pop & Hiss Home | Next Post »

Bridge benefit: Gavin Rossdale, Wolfmother, Fleet Foxes go unplugged

Gavin_bridge An unplugged setting like Neil Young's annual Bridge School Benefit presents musicians who usually rely on megawatts of amplified music the opportunity -- and the challenge -- to find alternate means of channeling their music.

Bush front man Gavin Rossdale chose a nugget from the Fleetwood Mac/Stevie Nicks songbook, "Landslide," in his reverential 25-minute set. Bush's "Comedown" lent itself nicely to the intimacy of Rossdale's spare trio -- two acoustic guitars and piano.

Wolfmother, however, struggled to find its footing without the electric instruments that constitute its core Zeppelin-inspired sound. "Woman" worked well enough; its bluesy shuffle connecting more clearly with its rootsy underpinning. But a guitar solo by lead singer-guitarist Andrew Stockdale lacked the same bite he mustered in his Robert Plant-like vocals.

Overheard: "They're a little understated," a fan behind me stated rather accurately.

Seattle's Fleet Foxes, however, took to the format like orcas to water. Their Crosby, Stills & Nash-influenced harmonies brought a touch of old-school flavor to the bill, which was admirably heavy on acts that have surfaced this decade. That came as no surprise given their strong classic-rock influences. But the stripped-down musical framework emphasized just how gorgeously this quintet's members can sing.

--Randy Lewis

Gwen_bridgeRelated: Bridge benefit: No Doubt's Gwen Stefani tears up; Neil Young wraps up
Related: Bridge benefit: Sheryl Crow's 'favorite gig in the world'
Related: Bridge benefit: There 'comes a time' for Neil Young
Related: Bridge benefit: Chris Martin goes Coldplay-ful

Photo credit: Randi Lynn Beach / For The Times

Comments () | Archives (0)


Recommended on Facebook

In Case You Missed It...


Recent Posts

Tweets and retweets from L.A. Times staff writers.



Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: