I managed to scramble my way to about 15ft from the stage when Stereolab came on, I think the band need to mature a bit, it wasn't the greatest set I've ever seen and they certainly weren't going to upstage rem.
8:30 struck and the lights dimmed, a massive roar ripped through the concert hall and on popped the band. It was at this point my diaphram was starting to push against the back row of people. Joey struck up the familiar start to the Lotus and everybody just went for it. Again it wasn't long before I needed air..........but I was 15ft from Michael stipe, there was no way I was leaving although I did start the gig over by Mike mills and was 'carried' over towards Peter near the end.
The highlight of the night has to be Gardening At Night, why?, because it was probably the only song that I'll ever duet with Michael Stipe again, I think that most of the crowd thought that it was a new one or at least an old b-side, nevermind Michael and I enjoyed it.
As the night grew old and we became even more sweatier and tired, something happened to the band, the energy pulsating from Michael and Pete jumping and twisting around as if he'd just won the lottery, Mike just looked happy to be there, but something's happened to that band that has led me to believe that we are still waiting for the greatest thing to happen to them.
The band went off and the crowed asked for more, the band replied by sending on the front man loaded with his new acoustic guitar and looking really smug about it, he pulled off I'm Not Over You without a glitch..............he looked even more smug now.
R.E.M finished with It's The End Of The World........ what a great end to a great show, I was more than happy, it was completely different to the 1995 show that I saw which was great.
You know when you go to a steakhouse and you order a BIG steak, it has the chips, salad, dips, it's got the works. You've almost finished it but it's way too much for you, but you feel great, it's just enough and you know that there's more left. Well that's how it was, they didn't overplay it was just right and I can't wait for the next course. Until next time!
Well gardening at night was awful, just didn't sit right between toungue and end of the world. excellent versions of what's the Frequency, man on the moon and finest worksong, all songs I think work really well sung live and fast!!!
micheal Stipe communicated seetly with the audience, saying he was nervous as this was the first big gig they had done since Bill Berry left. He also tried to tell a joke but messed it up. The plea for Jonathan to meet him afterwards was interesting.
micheal sung I'm not over you very hestitantly, which added to the appeal. No mention of any of there favourite songs, and no Country Feedback. the only song with a byline was New Test Leper- a beautiful song. apart from the two songs mentioned all songs were sung to perfection, classic REM
By Stefan Burkey
Suits. Suits everywhere. In the bar, at the champagne stand (!) filling up the toilets... Milling, talking into mobile phones, not really getting into it.
We bought our beers and headed for Stereolab... real empty in here, man. "Leave the beer at the door" says big big BIG blonde guy in bomber jacket, so we do.
Stereolab kick and kick. No-one apart from us seems to care. End of set. All the suits decide REM will come on now. They are wrong. We go back out to the bar. The queues that could previously be measured more accurately in yards than feet no longer exists... they are all waiting for that band that did 'Losing My Religion'. They're not here yet. We buy expensive beer. Time passes.
Walk in at the right moment and end up 6 or 7 rows back. They arrive. I jump up in the air. Some guy with a bright tie smacks me upside my head for 'getting in the way of his view'. I growl at him.
The gig? All I can remember now from a high I haven't felt in many years was the isolated pockets dancing like dervishes on speed to Gardening at Night, Michael announcing that someone in the front row had told him he "rocked", to which he replied "get a life", then considered and concluded "I DO rock". Crap aborted joke telling and the most sublime music I have ever heard in a post war shed the size of 5 football fields designed as a monument to a crumbling colonial matriarchy.
You shoulda been there. And we led the sing-along while we waited for the security to let us out. "Afterhours". Perfect.
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