Live - REM Yet Again Prove Their Worth In Los Angeles

I have to admit a bit of shock at when I told some
random friends that I went to see R.E.M. play earlier
this fall. They had the audacity to say ìAre they
still around?î. It seems Athensí finest needed
to hit the road and hump a bit to get back into the
stream of consciousness of us Yanks. Hopefully, the
massive promo and touring blitz helped rectify that
situation. On this, the final night of their 2003
tour (though it technically ended a couple of weeks
Ago) ñ Buck, Mills & Stipe played without the snazzy stage set and went nearly bare bones at the very
intimate Palace Theatre (ok, itís been renamed Avalon
but nobody can bear to call it that). With a balcony
full of WB mucketies and a floor full of lucky fans,
R.E.M. laid to rest that theyíre over the hill.

Michael Stipe patted his head and tugged at his belly frequently all the while shimmying about like a man happily possessed by being on a stage, his voice strong as ever. Peter Buckís kicks, leaps & lunges were caused more by the music itself rather than a geezer taking a last grab at the rock star ring. Mike Mills reconfirmed that heís one of those rare commodities of the distinct background singer and keeper of all the bottom rhythm. While they jumped
through only a few big hits (funny since it was the
day after their Best Of album was released), this show
was more for the band as a testament to what theyíve accomplished. Material covering their entire career confirmed that this group is one of Americaís finest and we should all be quite glad that theyíre still around ñ because it seems theyíre just picking up steam again (at least in terms of John Q. Public) and donít seem to be playing dead anytime soon. The normally sedate and cross-armed LA crowd took a while to loosen up but by the end gave good noise ñ and
deservedly so. Whether just a voice & piano on the
beautiful ìNightswimming,î full-tilt boogie of ìWalk
Unafraid,î the call and response of ìMan On The Moonî or
dropping the seriously obscure, old school ìPermanent
Vacationî ñ R.E.M. were spot on delightful.

- Setlist -

ìFinest Worksongî

ìThese Daysî

ìThe Wake Up Bombî

ìSo Fast So Numbî

ìGet Upî


ìSweetness Followsî

ìBad Day î

ìWorld Leader Pretendî

ìStrange Currenciesî

ìLosing My Religionî

ìAt My Most Beautifulî

ìShe Just Wants To Beî

ìWalk Unafraidî

ìMan On The Moonî

- encore ñ

ìLife And How To Live Itî

ìWelcome To The Occupationî


ìFinal Strawî

ìPermanent Vacationî

ìImitation Of Lifeî

Source: Matt Surrena,

Live - REM Yet Again Prove Their Worth In Los Angeles