Friday, September 23, 2011

R.I.P. R.E.M.

I was very saddened to learn that one of my all time favorite bands decided to call it quits earlier this week. I became a big fan of R.E.M. back in the mid 90's after the Monster record came out. Before then I wasn't a huge fan. When I was in junior high and high school, the time they first started to get popular, I was into heavy metal and didn't appreciate their "college" sound. But once I started listening to those early albums again, I started to really get into them. My wife and I got to see them twice. The first time was in St. Louis on their Up Tour in 1999 with Wilco opening up. It was a good show but it was heavy on songs from the most recent album which was hit and miss in my opinion. Four years later they came to Kansas City on their tour promoting their greatest hits record and played the wonderful Starlight Theatre, in my opinion the best outdoor venue in KC. We got really good seats not too far back from the stage.
Since this was a sort of greatest hits tour, they played songs from their entire career. Here's what they played that night just over eight years ago. Star 69, These Days, World Leader Pretend, Drive, Animal, Fall On Me, Gardening At Night, Maps And Legends, Bad Day, The One I Love, The Great Beyond, Daysleeper, Electrolite, Losing My Religion, I've Been High, She Just Wants To Be, Imitation Of Life, Man On The Moon, Encore, Everybody Hurts, Nightswimming, Country Feedback, Walk Unafraid, and It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine). I was extremely happy to hear Nightswimming, which was and still is my favorite song of theirs. I didn't expect them to play it but it was the highlight of the night. Here's a video of them playing it on the Jools Holland Show in England around the same time. Thanks to ladyleide. I was also happy to hear Maps And Legends, a song I just started to get into at the time of the show. Here it is from a show in Germany earlier that summer. Thanks to RyanGosling. Even though I'm sad there won't be any more records from them, the greatness of R.E.M. will live on through bootlegs and the internet. Of course there'll probably be a reunion tour in 5-10 years. In the meantime I think I'll break out my worn out Automatic For The People CD right now.

1 comment:

Todd Franklin said...

Yeah, too bad they're hanging it up. Great post!