4 July 1999 - Werchter Festival, Belgium

By Robbie Tubee and Gwen Neven

For the fourth time in 14 years REM played the Werchter festival and for the fourth time it was raining. So they started the set with the organist playing Creedence Clearwater Revival and Stipe (green eyes and "rain" written on his hand) singing : "I wanna know have you ever seen the rain, coming down on a sunny day". Then the band kicked off with lotus, WTFK and wake up bomb. Stipe was really talkative all time, joking and letting us in on what his favourite song is : country feedback and Peter's fav : sweetness follows.

Set included further : daysleeper, at my most beautifull (personal highlight), electrolite, find the river, finest worksong (another personal highlight), man on the moon, the one I love, the apologist, I'm not over you, sitting still, losing my religion, fall on me (and another personal highlight), everybody hurts, nightswimming, and a great new song. Something with "pushing an elephant up the stairs" A great up tempo song, something between "WTFK" and "the sidewinder sleeps tonight". Setlist is not in correct order and I might have forgotten one or two songs.

For the encores Stipe came up solo with acoustic guitar and started playing the first verse of "black boys on mopeds" by Sinead o'connor, starting over a couple of times cuz he couldn't get the chords right and tried some other song which I don't know. Then Peter took the guitar and they played "why not smile" , followed by crush with eyeliner, tongue (Stipe : "This next song has tits, it's dedicated to all the women out there") and cuyahoga. Then Stipe told us he was talking to Placebo earlier on that day and they told him today would be the end of the world according to Nostradamus. Stipe asked if it was past midnight yet, the crowd replied yes and Stipe : "fuck, we made it" followed by a real loud version of "end of the world".

It was a real great show, not as loud as the Monster tour but there was this great atmosphere with people singing along with the slower songs and jumping around with the fast songs, Stipe dancing in his own particular way, crowdpleasing, crowdteasing ("you guys look pretty sexy, being so wet, I wanna stand between you with a glass of ice tea and cheap rum") More than ever REM is Stipe. I bet he'd make a great actor.

Back to the 1999 concert setlists