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REM - Carling Academy, London, 25/6/2003 (2nd Night)

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 16 / 7 / 2003

REM - Carling Academy, London, 25/6/2003 (2nd Night)


...while the second night, in which they play a largely different set, finds him similarly hot but happy

Tonight is as full as the night before, but, as I was there then as well, I sort of know the set up by now. The stage is exactly the same, featuring on screens sparkling images of Michael Stipe, Peter Buck and Michael Mills. There are lots of lights, and the crowd are once more very excitable. Tonight we are presented as an an opener with the Scottish group, the Mull Historical Soicety, who do nothing for me at all. They are pleasant enough, but sound like a third or fourth rate Coldplay at their best. At around about 9pm, the same time as last night, R.E.M. return to the stage. Michael is dressed in different clothes, and I am in a paisley shirt that is as old as my long history with the band. Tonight's set lasts about the same as the previous evening, two and a quarter hours, but instead of 24 songs we only get 22. R.E.M. start the set with 'Finest Worksong' from 'Document', and then follow this with 'What's the Frequency, Kenneth ?'from 'Monster', which was their grunge album and probably their weakest record. Michael then thanks us and wishes us good evening, before the band goes straight back to 'Document' and plays 'Welcome to the Occupation.' After a perfect delivery of this great song, the band does a new song called 'Animal', which features great jangly guitar from Peter Buck. This is followed by 3 tracks of recent nature, 'All the Way to Reno', 'Daysleeper' and 'The Great Beyond.' Michael then spots his friend Calvin in the audience, who he claims has the best voice in R.E.M.'s native Athens, Georgia, and dedicates the next song, an extended version of 'She Just Wants to Be', to him. He then asks us "Are we making sense, right ?" before launching into 3 of the songs from their 'Life's Rich Pageant' album from 1987, a record which they never toured Britain with. They are 'Begin the Begin', 'These Days' and 'Fall on Me'. Michael then states to us what we already know. "It's fucking hot at the Brixton Academy tonight. I was programmed not to sweat. Are you sweating ? Well, hello. Well, we are mid way through. I'm gonna sing this song and quite talking." They go straight into the mega selling 'Losing My Religion' and then into 'Bad Day', which finds Stipe on mouth organ. After this they launch into another new number, before playing 'Imitation of Life', 'Walk Unafraid' and 'Man on the Moon'. They then leave the stage, but not for long. Again they encore with 'Everybody Hurts' and then another new number, an anti-Bush song, the all acoustic 'The Final Straw'. Michael then tells us that they rehearsed a pile of songs and that they are going to plough as many of them as possible and thanks us for coming. They then play 'Carnival of Sorts (Boxcars) from 'Murmur', a cover of Patti Smith's 'People Have the Power' and then finish off with 'It's the End of the World'. And, yes, we all do feel fine. The end of 2 great nights, and damn are we hot but happy ! Main Set : Finest Worksong What's the Frequency, Kenneth ? Welcome to the Occupation Animal All the Way to Reno Daysleeper The Great Beyond She Just Wants to Be (Extended0 Begin the Begin These Days Fall on Me Losing My religion Bad Boy People Have the Power Imitation of Life Walk Unafraid Man on the Moon Encores : Everybody Hurts The Final Straw Carnival of Sorts Revolution ? It's the End of the World

Picture Gallery:-
REM - Carling Academy, London, 25/6/2003 (2nd Night)

REM - Carling Academy, London, 25/6/2003 (2nd Night)

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