the first part of the song
Last night I attended my second R.E.M concert. I went to see them at Ullevåll stadion in 2006 and it was in the middle of the summer. Light summernight, big stadion, happy people and no one had seen R.E.M in Norway for a lot of years. For me, that night was a night of pure bliss. They played such a variety of all my favorite songs through the years. Even Country Feedback and Nightswimming. That was a whole other R.E.M in a way. They had also relased a whole other album just before that concert...
Last night was very strange in many ways. First of all the concert was moved from the stadion we went to the last time and suddenly (I think both we and R.E.M felt that) we found ourselves in the middle of a gigantic fotball indoors hall. It all started by The Diciplines. The bands front man is the man who used to play in R.E.M's backing band for several years: Ken Stringfellow, so that was no surprise. To be quite honest, I thought they were better then I thought but still quite boring. What was more alarming was the quality of sound in this horried bunker of a hall. After getting drinks and all ready we got up in the middle and found good spots, we thought, for Editors. They have been a favorite band of mine for the last year, so I was really looking forward to that. After about half of the first song, I realized that I could hear almost NO bass at all. So we moved... And we moved again.. And somehow we found a half ways decent place where we could see them and also hear quite well. After a quick smoking break it was time for the wait of the main attraction. At this moment I was so jazzed by Editors that I had almost had forgotten that I was going to see R.E.M. Let me rephrase that... I (!) was jazzed and my friend too. The rest of the crowd just stood there staring at the stage as a bunch of sheep. Really sad. Well, I said to myself. I am sure this will change when R.E.M goes on stage, and yes it helped a bit, but there where still about 500 people sitting down on seats high up in the walls, looking like hens laying eggs. And they hardly moved a muscle. I watched them form time to time and was just ... I can't even describe it... I just shake my head... Why the hell do you pay 500 kr.(about 50£ or 120 $) to do that??? I can't belive it.
Back to R.E.M themselves. First of all, I really really love the new songs, so I liked that there was a lot of them there and there was some good songs from the old time too. But the whole show lacked a bit of edge and thrill and amazement that I felt the last time. But MAN... they can play. You can see that they have played together for 26 years, and even more so hear it. They have this amazing dynamic and are so so so tight. They are the grandfathers of alternative rock. They can't really do anything wrong by now on stage.
I love Michael Stipe as a front man and I think he really makes a show live and lyrics come through when he sings. I love his little comments like "how the hell are you?" "I hate my goverment, you know that right" "You have gay marriages now right?". It's the same kind of politic thing as Bono, but in a so so more elegant way. U2 concerts can be a little overpowered by politics at times ;)
Last night though even he felt the bad sound. At one point he just laughed and said "I get so much reverb in here. My voice comes right back when I sing". So yes, the sound really sucked at time. How can we let legends like R.E.M play in such a horrible place like that, in front of a bunch of half drunk hens and statues of people. I can't belive it.... If you don't like the music, don't go to the concert. It's not a party or an event to get drunk and pick up chicks. Well .... maybe is when you are at the local community house somewhere in a forgotten wally of Norway, but this is R.E.M !!! Enough with the blasphemy.
As you can see below, the set list was a lot of new things and also a lot of great classics. I really wanted country feedback or be mine though ;)well that's what happens when you let Peter Buck choose the songs (according to Stipe he choose the songs). I love that they played Let me in and Horse to Water and
Living Well is the Best Revenge
Begin the Begin
What's the frequency Kenneth
Imitation of Life
West of the Fields
The Great Beyond
I'm Gonna DJ
Turn You Inside Out
The One I Love
Let Me In
Horse to Water
End of the World
Losing My Religion
At My Most Beautiful
Man on the Moon
And since I didn't get to see Country Feedback again last night, this is what it looked like a week a go
End of the world from the concert. One of the highlights. I yelled Fine!! To bad it's a only