An event for a few lucky people, a club atmosphere like there was a breakthrough band, instead there were R.E.M. : the biggest international band in the world (along with U2)
Usually in this TV show the people have to sit on the floor while the band is playing and so all of us were sitting when R.E.M. came out. Immediately Peter Buck did a sign with his hands telling us to get up and for few seconds we looked each other deciding whether to accept his advice, then everyone got up, causing almost a crisis for the TV operators, and Michael Stipe allow us to arrive at the edge of the stage.
So you can figure out how close I was to the band, I will never be so close in a concert, this one has been the best R.E.M. show I ever seen. They started with 'Losing my Religion' and for me it was like "Whoaa", I wouldn't expect that song as the first one. Perhaps it was a way to take off soon their biggest hit from the list or perhaps it was a way to create soon the feeling with the audience affirming we're still us, the guys of losing my religion, like a badge for the band.
During the show Stipe did various weird stuff : he invited us to take off our clothes like him cause "It's really hot"; he asked us "Who are you ?" and we couldn't answer one by one so we claimed "R.E.M. fans"; Stipe repeated our chorus "Mike Mike Mike, Peter Peter Peter , Michael Michael Michael, " and then "I love this Country".
He ended the show telling us "I'm starving, what about you ?" like he would invite us to dinner. How can I explain how exciting it was: Mike Mills came among the crowd on the stairs, Peter played the drums during a song, Michael did a guitar solo and they played 'Country Feedback' and 'Fall On Me' my two favourite songs ! and above all they dedicated 'Perfect Circle' to Bill .
Thank U R.E.M.
Back to the 1996-98 concert setlists