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R.E.M. Wrapup

Carey and I made the trip to Pittsburgh after the Steelers game to catch R.E.M. at the AJ Palumbo Center. The opening act was Joseph Arthur, and he more than impressed me with his one-man act. It seems he's already had some success - the O.C. and Shrek 2 soundtracks. He'd start each song by playing a few chords, singing, or banging out some "percussion" on his guitar. Then he'd loop 'em and play his guitar, harmonica, and sing the song. It was tough to understand the words (usually is in a live event), but again: he seemed good. I'll look for his CDs the next time I'm walking around the mall: the iTMS doesn't have much at all.

R.E.M. came out after the intermission and played their normal looooong set. Michael Stipe is a seemignly tireless performer, rattling off 18 songs before the encore and another seven afterwards. The set was gorgeous - hanging bulbs illuminated in different colors, large metal light reflectors hung behind the stage, and I was, after all, in the fifth row. I could see beads of sweat trickling down Michael's (and Bill's, and Mike's) face. I've been to enough R.E.M. shows that it's tough for me to say much more than that: their typical awesome performance. I think they're one of the best acts around, bar none.

One puzzling thing, though: they didn't end the evening with "It's the End of the World as We Know It (and I Feel Fine)," instead opting for a birthday wish and "Man on the Moon." I've never been to an R.E.M. concert that ended with anything but "End of the World."

Here's the set list:

  1. Finest Worksong
  2. Begin The Begin
  3. Wake Up Bomb
  4. Animal
  5. Boy In The Well
  6. Imitation Of Life
  7. High Speed Train
  8. So Central Rain
  9. The Outsiders
  10. Electrolite
  11. I've Been High
  12. The One I Love
  13. I Wanted To Be Wrong
  14. Rockville (Mike Mills On Lead Vocals)
  15. Final Straw
  16. Losing My Religion
  17. Walk Unafraid
  18. Life And How To Life It
  1. What's The Frequency, Kenneth?
  2. Drive
  3. Sweetness Follows
  4. Leaving New York
  5. Permanent Vacation
  6. I Want To DJ
  7. Man On The Moon
    1. Carey and I had a great time. Tremendous.