Thursday, June 16, 2005

R.E.M. Sheffield Arena June 15th 2005

Just a quickie to get things started then……

Re-arranged from February when Mike Mills fell ill on the night of the gig, there are actually still a few tickets left for this gig, which is a bit of a first for REM – but the place is still packed.

We arrive just in time, there had obviously just been an announcement that REM were about to come on stage, so there were no queues at the vastly over-priced bar when we stroll in. Downstairs we go and a minute later on they walk. We quickly make our way down as far forward as we can – suddenly discovering that although we had rear standing tickets, the Arena seem to have removed the pens, and we can get as far forward as we like! Which was nice.

REM are lively and tight and all that kind of thing that you’d expect from such a bunch of old pro’s. The stage looks lovely (very simple design, just a load of glass sheet things behind them which glow prettily) and Michael throws some very fetching bodyshapes, which he clearly enjoys doing a lot.

The set didn’t actually do a lot for me tho, far far too much of the recent albums (tho a friend who was at his third gig of this tour said that they’d actually dropped a lot of the Around the Sun songs), tho it must be said several of them sounded much better live than on album. There were the fairly obvious classics (Losing My Religion, Everybody Hurts, The One I Love etc), but not much else.

Until, very near the end, Mike comes up and apologises for the previous cancellation, and to make up for it he sings Rockville, which was magnificent and definitely made the night worth it for me.

They wander off for a wee while, than come back and do some crap announcements which ramble on, ten play a few more tunes and are gone.

If you weren’t a fan already, I doubt they’d have convinced you, but for those of us already convinced, then well done those boys. 6/10, or something.


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