Tuesday, October 26, 2004

East of the Mountain Third Party Call

R.E.M. - 10.25.04 - Auditorium Theatre - @@@@1/2

Now 36 and officially an old geezer, pop culturally speaking, I was oblivious to the maelstrom over the Ashlee Simpson lip synching incident on Saturday Night Live until I read about it on the Internet yesterday. Despite the fact the Internet was supposedly "burning up with discussion about Jessica's sister's humiliation" followed by news stories detailing Ashlee's excuse after excuse after PR spin, I still couldn't understand why this mattered. An at-best marginally talented singer was revealed to actually be talentless; why did this matter? Are the 12-year-olds buying her album really that discriminating? Or outraged?

But the point I'm desperately trying to get to is this: Ashlee's debut album recently hit #1 with something insane, like 400,000 copies sold in the first week and who knows how many after that. Which means she's selling a ton more albums -- and getting a ton more publicity, even for her embarassments -- than R.E.M. is these days. So as I was about to comment on the great R.E.M. show I saw last night, with a reference to the fact they're getting a bit long in the tooth, I realized I would -- and anybody else should -- happily see them until they're 100 rather than concern myself with the Ashlee Simpsons of the world.

Good setlist, as you can see below. Great mix of old & new, with the new songs sounding much better than they do on the albums. Great seat, 3rd row, about 10 feet directly in front of Mike Mills, which means I got "bass-prominence" more than I ever had before at an REM, or any, show. I didn't hear the Peter Buck's ukelele at the beginning of Losing My Religion, I heard the bass line, which was a nice change of pace. It was a pretty interesting perspective. Especially for a band that I've seen dating back to 1986. Sure they're getting a bit long in the tooth, but last night's show was a nice mix of past glories and a still vibrant -- if a bit less astonishing -- future.

Setlist:

Around the Sun
Begin the Begin
So Fast, So Numb
Exhuming McCarthy
Animal
Boy in the Well
So. Central Rain
High Speed Train
The One I Love
Outsiders
Bad Day
I Wanted to Be Wrong
Imitation of Life
Don't Go Back to Rockville
Final Straw
Losing My Religion
Walk Unafraid
Life and How to Live It
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What's the Frequency, Kenneth?
Sitting Still
Leaving New York
Sweetness Follows
Permanent Vacation
I'm Gonna DJ
Man on the Moon

1 comment:

sarah said...

* w O w * an R.E.M. show must be so cool!!!losing my religion is jus so awesome!