25 October 2003 - Lodalen, Oslo, Norway

By Robert Beresford

This was the Magical Mystery Tour of R.E.M. shows, we were told 2 days prior to the show to meet at a pub in the centre of Oslo called Bohemen, which is a Football Supporters Pub for Fans of Vålerenga, one of the bigger clubs in Norway.

The Pub was so busy that wasn't room for us inside, so the wrist bands were given to us outside, we also got little black tickets, that we later found out was for free Drinks.

From the Pub we walked to "stor torget" which means "The Big Square" there we got onto buses, which were full of Celebritys, Music Business people and Us the "Lowly Fans"

Not long after the bus was full then we were taken off to the venue, which was in an Industrial area of Oslo called Lodalen.

Then the gig happened, by far one of the best shows i've seen, so energetic and so beautiful, the opening 3 tracks set up the whole night Pop Song 89 / So Fast, So Numb / These Days, the last being one of the highlights of the show, such a great version of These Days, the crowd went ballistic.

After such a blistering start i think we were glad for a breather with "Drive", it was strange listening to Animal the way it was being performed, early in the tour Scott and Mike sang the chorus but now Michael is singing almost everything, i much prefer the Scott and Mike doing the chorus but its still a much better song live than it is on record.

Next up Mike takes a walk across stage and removes Scotts hat and placed it on his own head, then Michael welcomed him to the centre of the stage, for the fans it was great to hear an old song like this, but i looked around and seen alot of quiet people, evidently they hadn't heard the track before, this would happen again later with "Life and how to live it"

Rockville was great, especially seeing Peter sing back up, (If Peter keeps on singing like this will we see a solo album?? LOL)

The show rolled along with some rocking moments and some slow moments intertwined, Bad Day is like the end of the world mid set, also The One I Love & LMR really pleased everyone in the room.

The quieter moments came with I've Been High & Find the River.

Before the Encore was a rock out feast with Walk Unafraid, She just wants to be( I always wonder why Peter starts the song everytime standing beside Michael?) and an fantastic Man On the Moon which left the crowd chanting for more.

Then they came back, it was like a dream with those opening chords, something special was about to happen, that special something was "Life And How To Live It" my favourite moment of the show, Live theres something so energetic about this, it moves along so fast, i loved it.

Peter, Bill and Scott left the stage leaving the others for "Nightswimming" it sounds great.

Radio Free Europe comes next, i think Iste requests this earlier in the day from Peter while he was getting his Hibtone signed.

Then the show ended with a great performance of Imitation of Life.

We then made our way outside and got back on Buses and were delivered back to the centre of Oslo, all in all a great night and i think a show that will be remembered as something Special in the history of REM.


Back to the 2002/03 concert setlists