R.E.M. on tour - has anyone else heard about it?

It suddenly struck me that I haven’t read any threads about the current R.E.M. tour, and I know that there are other fans of the band here.

I saw them last weekend in Denver, at the Red Rocks Amphitheater, and I was hugely impressed by their energy and their enthusiasm. I wasn’t sure how exciting a show could be when it isn’t supporting a new album, but they made it well worth everyone’s while. They are playing a couple of new songs, and some “new” songs (reworked older songs we fans have heard in different versions on bootlegs, e.g. “Bad Day”). They were in Houston tonight, I believe, and I’ve heard some really enthusiastic reviews from last night’s Dallas show.

I’ve been wondering how many people besides hard-core fans are even aware that there’s a tour and that a new “Best-Of” album is due to be released soon. I saw an interview with Michael Stipe on a CNN show today, and they played the “Bad Day” video, but aside from that, I haven’t seen much at all about them in any major media. Have any of you?

I’ve heard the new single on the radio quite a bit, although in my office, I listen to British radio on my computer. I have heard it once or twice in the car though.

I’ve seen them twice and would go again in a heartbeat. They’re just a classic band. Michael Stipe will never get old.

They’re here tonight. Guess where I am.

Humph. :frowning:

If you get the chance to see them this time around, I’d recommend going. I’ve seen them four times before this, and I do believe this last was the best show I’ve been to.

Aw, I’m sorry, Blackeyes. One of the reasons I thought to post this thread is that I just read a review from a friend in Dallas who saw them from fanclub seats last night. I’m kicking myself for not getting tickets to that show for myself, along with the Red Rocks ones.

Are they touring with a drummer?

Yes, just like they always have since Berry’s departure. I don’t know if they have the same guy who did drums on Up and Reveal (the former drummer for Screaming Trees), though. There’s a whole big cast of backup musicians.

It’s interesting that R.E.M. allows their backup musicians to be seen. A lot of bands hide them. Hell, try spotting Colin Greenwood at a Radiohead gig. The bass is such an unimportant element in their sound they’ll stick one of their own members out of sight. R.E.M. on the other hand doesn’t mind if some backup guitarist is standing right next to Stipe on stage.


I saw REM when they came here to Seattle just a couple weeks ago. Them being my favorite band, I knew a fair bit in advance and wouldn’t have missed it for the world. I spent a lot of time in line but it paid off by my being able to park myself 20 feet in front of the stage for the whole show (it was a festival, so all GA) .

It was, bar none, the best concertgoing experience I’ve ever had. Better than the only other time I’d seen them ('99). Incredible show, incredible night. Well worth the money.

All’s I know is Bill Rieflin of KMFDM/Ministry fame is with them…

I saw them tonight.

I’ve loved them since I was 12, and never got to see them play live until tonight. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.

They were the closing band of the Austin City Limits Music Festival, so they were preceded by three days of great music. I’ve never had more fun at a concert.

Most impressive thing: they played “World Leader Pretend” for the first time since 1991 because someone requested it 27 times on their website.

He wouldn’t be the first bassist who prefers to stand near the drummer. And I disagree that he’s not important to their sound.

A heavy metal drummer?

I saw them tonight along with Fionn. We were pretty damn close to the front, just a little to the left, and personally, I had no giants in front of me, so I had a great view. And as she stated, it was “Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!” My first time to see them in concert as well, and it was just as crowd pleasing as I had expected. Damn good show!

Also, apparenty they have a little thing on their website where you can request songs, so if you’re going to see them play and you really want to hear a certain song, request it, and they will listen. That’s just really fucking cool in my book. Awesome band, great show, and amazing music! If you get the chance, go see them!

Interesting that you should mention this, since the first time I saw Radiohead was in Catania, Sicily, in 1995. They were just hitting the big time then, and were all on stage. A bunch of us from the Naval Air Station at Sigonella were there, since American and British acts didn’t get to Sicily much.

Radiohead was, incidentally, the opening act for R.E.M. It was one of the more memorable concerts I’ve been to.

I’m going on Saturday in Akron. R.E.M. is pretty much the last band I absolutely need to see live, so I’m pretty stoked. I just hope they play “Nightswimming”.

As for their popularity, I read an article recently about how they are much bigger in Europe than the U.S. right now. It said that Reveal sold 400k in the U.S. and 3.6 million in Europe.

For the people who have been: what’s the merchandise like? Cool? Expensive? Both? Neither? Do they have anything besides shirts?

They had a pretty good selection of T-shirts, including women’s sizes and what looked like a kid’s shirt, plus they had posters and an REM travel mug. The shirts weren’t cheap-my black tour shirt was $30-but they weren’t outrageous.

A couple of people worked their way through the crowd handing out free stickers to promote the greatest-hits CD.

Interesting. The last time I saw REM (Up tour) they were just phoning it in… they were there in body but not in spirit. If I hadn’t gotten the tickets free through work, I would have been seriously pissed.

I would not have guessed they could pull it back together.

Heh. Wilco did open for them in Colorado, and Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey (long-time sideman for R.E.M.), and Bill Rieflin played on their last song.