REM 23-6-99 Earls Court London
Last night was the first time for 10 years since I'd seen REM in concert and I wasn't disappointed. After having tickets for one of the cancelled shows in 1995 I was really excited at finally seeing the boys after a decade. After starting with the great new song Lotus they ripped into Whats the Frequency Kenneth. At this point I cant remember the exact order of songs due to my alchohol intake but I can recall a lot of newer material early on. The only disappointing aspect of the evening were the crowd who were like statues for most of the night. I mean you pay £30 for a ticket, at least look like your enjoying yourself! Sad people who obviously jumped on board around the "Out of Time" era. Despite this, the music was superb, particular favs were Finest Worksong, Star 69, Crush With Eyeliner and Cuyahoga. A welcome addition the the set was Everybody Hurts which I dont think they have played so far this tour. A funny point in the evening occurred when Michael started doing an Elvis Presley impression (i think Suspicious Minds) which the band started to play, but then Michael stopped singing with embarrasment. All in all an excellent concert but unfortunately not memorable due to the lack of crowd participation. End of the World as We Know It ended the evening on a big high though.
I am a huge fan of Wilco and was brutally disapointed by their opening performance. It was sort of asleep. But, REM came out and saved my mood by playing the best show that Ive seen them do for ten years. They had energy, drive and desire. The country feedback was just about the best piece of music I have heard live for ages- so mesmerizing. I felt it. I know that sounds absurd, but I truly felt a connection during the tune, all lit in blues and greens behind them. They looked ghostly, spectral, beautiful. Stipe told a joke which was fun, and generally was honest and human as a front man. The girls in the first few rows took their clothes off and he thanked them for it. The version of sweetness follows was sublime. Star 69 (a song I do not love) was relentlessly powerful. So was finest worksong. I beliewve was fun to hear again too. Anyway, great show.
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