January 20, 2004
REM Is On!
The concert of the month at REM Is On! is the Toronto, July 8, 1983 show. Any performance that begins with Wolves, Lower and ends with Carnival of Sorts (Boxcars) is special, especially from the early years of REM.
Posted by david on January 20, 2004
This is one of the best REM performances ever caught on a boot. The setlist is perfect. The band is on fire. Peter's guitars chime like church bells. Mike's basslines throb and flow and his harmonies are dead-on. Michael is in great voice, and still has his Georgia accent. This recording will quickly remind anyone why they were a great, great band, a band for the ages, and how they plainly were as influenced by bands like Television and Wire as they were uniquely Southern. It'll also remind anyone why they just haven't been the same since Bill Berry left, and never will be. He is a monster here. (No clever REM pun intended.) I was just blown away when I downloaded this show last week. I was 19 again, and I was in love with a beautiful girl, and I was obsessed with a band from my own home state that I had grown up with, and that I just knew would go on to be one of the greats. It was the best of times, for sure.
I wore out "Chronic Town", and "Murmur" blew me away. I remember being a [much younger] girl, seeing them perform when "Life's Rich Pageant" came out. Umm - yeah. I guess that would date me a bit. I was just a child. ;-)
I loved "Chronic Town," but the production ruined "Murmur" for me. I gave up on seing them live after "Life's Rich pageant." I had seen them so many times in small clubs and rehearsals that seeing them in bigger venues no longer had an appeal to me. Last year they headlined the Austin City Limits Music Festival, and we left before they played, I have little interest in a nostalgia act.