21 August 1999 - Midway Stadium, Minneapolis, MN

By Mark Stevens

Near the beginning of the show, Stipe saw a nike hat in the front and said "Is that a Nike hat?...I fucking hate nike-nafta motherfuckers...you better throw it down, man....is it an r.e.m. hat....o.k., you can keep it on" The hat was thrown onstage and he picked it up, saying "I'll burn it in effigy for you later" Stipe went on to mention that Target, a minneapolis company, was one of the first to offer domestic partner benefits, "and I shop at target"-this drew some happy whoops from the crowd.

At some point close to this part of the show, Stipe said "This is the first hard-ball field wev'e played in a long time...there's a train, and that makes me extremely happy, It's not raining, and That makes me extremely happy.I'd like to be up in the stands with some store-bought Iced tea and some cheap rum,with my legs crossed just so,with a pencil and a crossword puzzle in case it gets boring...I don't think that's gonna happen, so i'll keep my pencil in my pocket". In itroducing "Day Sleeper", Michael mentioned that he'd received a fax recently about the passing of an 104 year old man "which in itself is applaudable".The man had done a study of circadian rhythms and r.e.m. sleep (I think this guy coined the term r.e.m.-not sure) and the study w/ a group of students took place "In the midwest,oh wait, I think it was in the desert".The study took something like 60 days to complete. Michael also mentioned that they had recently played for and met Brian wilson of the Beach Boys, and that "it was a real honour for us to meet such a great songwriter". At one point in the middle of the show, before the rainstorm , Mike Mills was at far stage right,near the lip of the stage, trying to hear what someone at the barrier was asking him. Later, he had a more serious look on his face, standing in the same spot, shaking his head "No" several times. Couldn't tell if it was overzealous fans or security people-or both.

In introducing his solo acoustic song, michael reacted to a thundercrack and lightning bolt off to his right by saying "I better watch what I say, sorry k-mart,sorry nike,sorry mc donalds,sorry coca-cola, I didn't mean it!" Near the end of the show,before going off for the first (and only) encore, stipe exhorted the now rain-soaked crowd to "take off your shirts and enjoy it"-by the end he was down to just his pants, clearly enjoying the absurdity of the whole thing.The stage crew had to set up a huge white plastic garbage can stage left, to catch a stream of water falling through a crack in the awning, and you could tell the crowd weren't the only ones getting soaked.

When Michael and the rest came back out for what would usually be the first encore, Buck was whispering something into his ear. Stipe then announced "Wer'e gonna have to cut the set short, because a lightning storm is coming this way, and we don't want anything to happen, so were going to do some songs you really like". After a raucous and inspiring "End of the world"-with the stage lights on full blast and colouring the rain in front of the stage, michael said "See you real soon, go home and have a warm slice of pizza!" Fantastic gig, you only see shows this special once every hundred concerts or so-special enough that it even deserved mention in the bands own website a few days later!

Back to the 1999 concert setlists