Atlanta’s Reckoning. R.E.M. Comes Home

I figure I might as well get it out of the way. This was my first R.E.M. show. Here’s the Blueshades “newsreview” version. Personal thoughts will be posted once I get back down from the musical high.
R.E.M. proved their stuff Saturday night to a homecrowd at Lakewood in Atlanta. With the crowd made up of old friends and relatives, Misters Stipe, Mills, Buck, Rieflin, and “McCoi” started fast and showed no signs of slowing down from the get go.
Opening bands The National and Modest Mouse warmed up the venue with McCoi and Bill Berry watching from the wings, sometimes snapping pictures of the young bands in full flight.
The lights turned off and the band walked onstage with the energy of a teenage garage band and the polish of a long touring act. Stipe was all smiles as he cheekily adjusted his suit right before launching into “These Days.” A brief pause for “Time After Time” allowed the crowd to catch its breath before hitting the ground running with a Driver8/Man Sized Wreath punch.
Buck spent most of his time airborne while Mills strutted for the crowd. Even the usually calm and collected Rieflin was thrashing around (while keeping every hair in place, naturally.) McCoi pulled triple duty on bass, guitar, and keys and lent his harmonica skills to Driver 8.
The highlight of the show came during Electrolite. Before the song, Stipe asked the crowd to “recreate Mullholland Drive” by taking out their cell phones during the song’s middle eight. We obliged. The looks on their faces was, well, priceless.
Mills spent some time on the ground during Losing My Religion as Buck played the mandolin part that we know so well. While many were hoping that the long missed Berry would return to the kit as the night’s “surprise”, Stipe and Mills opted for the beautiful Nightswimming followed by the now traditional Fall On Me with guest Johnny Marr.
Stipe also did some stumping for Obama, encouraging the crowd to help elect “Mr. November”. In another quasi-politcal but touching moment, Stipe dedicated Ignoreland to his father who helped the singer do a show after the re-election of Bush.
There was some trouble in the pit during the show. Several people were asked to move to the lawn seats though they had pit tickets. The pit was slightly overcrowded but it did not ruin the great night for R.E.M. and their fans.
Rapid Eye Movement my ass. R.E.M. means Remember Every Moment. And they made sure that the people in Lakewood saw something they’d never forget.
1) These Days
2) Living Well Is the Best Revenge
3) So Fast, So Numb
4) What’s The Frequency, Kenneth?
5) Time After Time (Annelise)
6) Driver 8
7) Man Sized Wreath
8) Walk Unafraid
9) Hollow Man
10) Ignoreland
11) Houston
12) Electrolite
13) (Don’t Go Back to) Rockville
14) Auctioneer (Another Engine)
15) Harborcoat
16) The One I Love
17) I’ve Been High
18) Let Me In
19) Bad Day
20) Horse To Water
21) Orange Crush
22) I’m Gonna DJ
23) Supernatural Superserious
24) Losing My Religion
25) Pretty Persuasion
26) Nightswimming
27) Fall On Me (w/Johnny Marr)
28) Man on the Moon (w/Johnny Marr)


  1. Seeing them in 6 says. At the start of the tour, I would’ve signed for this setlist. But this tour anything can happen. Plus, since it’s my first time, I’m happy with anything 😀

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