Friday, July 06, 2007

This is not a show, except it was

Okay, this was really incredible.

So, REM are about to record their new album. Normally they hang out in Athens, Georgia and practice their little hearts out before going into the studio. This time, they came to Dublin instead, and practiced in public. Last night was their last night.

It was like being invited in to a garage session. Except, you know, it's RE-bleedin'-M.

Michael Stipe had his laptop set up and his glasses on to read the new lyrics. Some of the new stuff is brilliant, and you really got a sense of how it was going to sound in front of 80,000 people. As a reward for enduring the new, we got some classics - Gardening at Night ("we hardly ever do this; it's a totaly bitch to sing") and Cuyahoga, my personal highlight of the night.

He was really chatty through the concert. When he searched online for some old lyrics he found "The animals. How strange. Try to stick it in. I did not write that shit!". That afternoon they'd discovered that Peter Buck had misinterpreted a song for the last 25 years. They had to take out one song from the setlist because they realised they'd just rewritten the theme song from Friends - they played us a snippet, and sure enough...

He said it was something they'd only have tried in Dublin. When they finished they lined up and took their bows, looking like a group of kids at a school play. Hope they got what they wanted out of it.

We certainly did :)

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