Sunday, October 25, 2009

R.E.M. Live At The Olympia

This is not a live album of greatest hits. It doesn't really feel like a live album, either. It feels more like R.E.M.'s gift to its most diehard fans.

For five nights, between June 30 and July 5, 2007, the band performed at the Olympia Theater in Dublin. The purpose was to test out material that would eventually appear on the album Accelerate, released in early 2008.

But what R.E.M. also did was to work harder; to play tighter and more urgently than ever. Rockers who are all around the age of 50 had to go back — way back — to their younger selves to recapture the sound that made the group "the biggest little band in the world," according to Rolling Stone.

Among these 39 live tracks, you'll find neither "Losing My Religion" nor "Everybody Hurts." You won't hear "It's the End of the World as We Know It." Same goes for "Stand" or "Man on the Moon" or "Nightswimming." In fact, to a casual or occasional R.E.M. listener, only a handful of tracks will sound familiar: "So. Central Rain," "Driver 8," "Electrolite," "Drive."

What you get here are the songs R.E.M. and its diehard fans love. "Wolves, Lower," for example, or "Carnival of Sorts" — tracks that were recorded shortly after art student Michael Stipe dropped out of the University of Georgia.

Read the rest: NPR REM

Listen to all 39 of the band's least-known favorites, performed live: R.E.M. Live At The Olympia

The sound is amazing, I gotta get this!

REM Set List
Above is one of my prized signatures - it's the set list signed by Michael Stipe after their awesome Majestic Theatre show for the 1985 Fables tour. I took Tish and we had perfect 5rd row center floor seats. At the time Maps was my my absolute most favorite REM tune and without any prompting from me Mr. Stipe, for whatever reason, circled it and then signed his name.

One other memorable thing from this show was the white bandage Michael wore on his head for the first part of the show. From what I understand they had rented bikes and he took a little spill while riding around downtown San Antonio.

REM 85

Make it louder,