Watch Bob Dylan, CSNY, and Tom Petty Perform at the 1988 Bridge School Benefit

By Matt Dolloff (@mattdolloff)

The second-ever Bridge School Benefit concert took place on December 4, 1988, and clearly Neil Young had plenty of pull back then as well as now: 1988 had a stellar lineup of artists even analyzing it even decades years later. Watch Bob Dylan’s full set from the annual acoustic benefit in the video above, via Music Vault.

Also on the bill were Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and, of course, Neil Young himself, who performed with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. You can watch their performances below. The lineup also boasted Bruce Springsteen, Jerry Garcia & Bob Weir, Billy Idol, and Nils Lofgren.

Young introduced Dylan as “my favorite songwriter in the world for many many years”. Ironically, Dylan opened with two songs he didn’t write: “San Francisco Bay Blues” by Jesse Fuller, and “Pretty Boy Floyd” by Woody Guthrie. At the time, it was only his third live performance of “Floyd” ever. He closed his set with “Forever Young”, which he had only played live on an acoustic guitar once prior to that night.

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s performance was as powerful as one would expect at an event so dear to Young’s heart. Their pristine vocal harmonies shine through tremendously, and Stephen Stills shows why he’s a great (and underrated) guitar player with his acoustic licks.

Tom Petty’s set came pre-1989, so nothing from the smash hit Full Moon Fever was played. But that doesn’t mean he didn’t still have a deep well of songs to draw from: the setlist was spread between Petty’s first six albums, with a left-turn cover of Bill Monroe’s 1946 bluegrass jaunt “Blue Moon of Kentucky” mixed in. A shimmering, powerful rendition of “The Wild One, Forever” (at 4:54) served as the set’s high point – unless you count Billy Idol’s cameo.

Keep checking in to for more coverage of Music Vault’s ongoing release of remastered classic concert clips.


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