So my boy Todd Gack calls me last nite at 1:35AM Eastern time and leaves me a voicemail saying that he’s at the Georgia Theatre in Athens and REM is playing. I was going to write it off given that it was Apirl 1st and all, but his message also included about 1/2 the song that they played, so I guess the joke’s still on me. Here’s what he had to say in an email today…
Yeah Man, last nite was pretty cool. Had a busy nite checking out an art show at the Georgia Museum of Art. Lots of folks who have hung art in our shop had a big show on campus. Really cool, world class shit. Went downtown and had some drinks, then went to head toward the car to go home bout midnite. Walked by the GA Theater and bumped into some friends. This band the Minus 5 was getting ready to go on. Its basically Pete Buck’s side project with Scott McCaghey who is like the 5th member of REM. Long Story Short, we check it out, half way through the set the stage clears and you see Bill Berry hit the stage first and so you know it’s on. The rest of the crew comes up and they do a killer rendition of Country Feedback. And thats it. Everyone was all REM! REM!, but they didn’t come back out. Anyway, it was still a killer moment. They are such a great band. You forget how awesome they are, and what a killer vibe they can put forward. I really wish they would pull their shit together. If nothing else just to go out on a high note. Well, it was cool that you could hear it over the phone. Stipe can still belt it out.
Jealous? You know it, but more than anything I’m beyond stoked that they’ve still got it. You see, I’d like to consider myself one of the biggest REM fans of all time, up until two albums ago. I’m not going to go into a big rant right now, but let’s just say that Reveal more than disappointed me, and with Around the Sun, I gave it one listen on MySpace and decided that my wallet was going to be staying safely put in my back pocket this time ’round.
So REM, if you’re out there, listen up. Your fans want you back. We don’t want any more Beach Boys wannabe albums followed by ginormo ampitheatre tours where we have to sit far back on the lawn with our binoculars with all the other yuppies who only know “Shiny Happy People” and “It’s the End of the World”. Get Bill back on board, cut another real REM album and do a theatre tour. You know, venues along the lines of The Fox Theatre in the ATL or The Warfield in San Francisco. Go that route, and we’ll forget the two most recent albums even exist.
I’ve got my fingers crossed.