My brother, the family's biggest R.E.M. fan, and a member of their fan club, scored us great seats twenty rows up from the stage. He blew into town this weekend as we are celebrating our birthdays. As you can see, we had a perfect view of the night's festivities.
The National opened to a half empty but raucous crowd. They played a brief but frantic 45 minute set that included such faves as Abel, Mr. November, and Lit Up. I'll definitely be keeping an eye open for their return to town as a headliner.
Modest Mouse followed for another 45 minute set. I'm not all that familiar with their stuff, but after getting off to a slow start they really picked it up and by the time they were done they had the mostly full arena on their feet. Dashboard was one that I recognized. I'll be digging into more of their stuff in the near future. I'd never heard The Good Times Are Killing Me before. It was my favorite song of their set, as well as a possible new theme song for me!
Then the boys from Athens came out and rocked the house! I'll have to hunt down a set list from somewhere, but in no order they played the following:
Orange Crush, Pretty Persuasion, Man On The Moon, Losing My Religion, Electrolite, Let Me In, What's The Frequency Kenneth, Pilgrimage, Begin The Begin, Fall On Me (featuring guest guitarist Johnny Marr. Yes, THAT Johnny Marr...), The One I Love, Find The River, Walk Unafraid, and Ignoreland. They also played a song that they released several years ago on their website, but we can't remember the title.
Those were just the old songs. They played eight tracks off the new album. They opened the show with Living Well Is The Best Revenge, and also played Man-Sized Wreath, Supernatural Superserious, Hollow Man, Houston, Accelerate, Horse To Water, I'm Gonna DJ.
It was a rocking good time and R.E.M. seemed to be enjoying themselves immensely. At one point Michael Stipe posed for the cameras so the entire arena could see him pinning a Barrack For President button on his lapel to thunderous applause and cheers.
I saw these guys in Memphis at The Pyramid in 1995 and the show was awful. That's mostly a testament to the horse shit arena that now sits closed a mere 15 years after it opened. But last night's show was the polar opposite. Great venue, great performances all around (Luscious Jackson did a large amount of sucking in Memphis that night too), and a great time was had by all.
Note to the lady sitting to our right. My brother and I were having a great time. Honest. It's just that we paid $85 a seat TO LISTEN TO THE FUCKING BAND, NOT CHIT-CHAT WITH YOUR DRUNK ASS ALL NIGHT!!! We weren't all that impressed by your showing up three songs late, leaving for a beer every other song, endlessly listing of all the shows you've seen, leaving three songs early, scary Roseanne Barr look-a-like ass!!
I was amazed at the age disparity of the crowd. There seemed to be just as many 20 year olds there as there were 50 year olds. We were also lucky enough to be seated near one of the 50 year olds who still hasn't gotten over the fact that she's not Stevie Nicks. Sad. But. True. Honey, The Edge Of Seventeen was about thirty-five years ago for you. Let it go.
To the two PYT in our row. Wow. Simply amazing.
Happy Birthday Mark. I had a blast and I hope your old ass did too.