Guns N’ Roses Unplug for Neil Young’s Bridge School Benefit
When the lineup was announced for Neil Young‘s acoustic Bridge School Benefit this year, there was a little bit of surprise in seeing Guns N’ Roses name on the list, given the band’s penchant for blowing the roof off of venues. But Axl Rose and company worked up a set where the electric guitars weren’t needed and delivered it Saturday night (Oct. 20) in Mountain View, Calif.
Prior to the event, guitarist DJ Ashba revealed, “A lot of the acoustic shows in the past, I would still play on the [electric] Les Paul — but for this, we’re going all acoustic, no electric anything. That’s how Neil [Young] envisioned the whole thing, so we’re gonna stay true to that, for sure.” The group worked through an eight-song set that even found the uber-aggressive tracks ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ and ‘Paradise City’ slipping into the performance.
The show, which was available as a pay-per-view with the proceeds going to Young’s Bridge School, began with GNR showing off a funkier side with the opening number, ‘You’re Crazy.’ From there, the band kicked into what Rose called “a sentimental ditty” – the favorite ‘Used to Love Her.’
‘Welcome to the Jungle’ and ‘Better’ followed, before the band took on ‘Patience,’ a song seemingly tailor-made for the acoustic performance. The group did a little guitar teasing before launching ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine,’ with DJ Ashba handling the dexterous guitar picking for the track. The group also enjoyed a duet with the night’s host, as Young joined the Rose and company for ‘Don’t Let It Bring You Down.’ The band’s performance ended with a solid acoustic version of ‘Paradise City.’
Throughout the set, you could see multiple members of Guns N’ Roses interacting with some of the Bridge School students, who had a close-up seat to catch the performance.
All proceeds from the show go to the Bridge School, which Young and his wife Pegi founded to aid children with severe physical disabilities.
Editor’s Note: Video footage that initially surfaced after the show has been removed due to a copyright claim.
Guns N’ Roses Bridge School Benefit Set List:
‘Used to Love Her’
‘Welcome to the Jungle’
‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’
‘Don’t Let It Bring You Down’ (with Neil Young)