Saturday, June 28, 2008


R.E.M. @ Philly

No - I didn't get arrested for stalking Stipe. It's just taken me about a week to recover from my trip. Fewer details from here out, because it's been a while and things are starting to blur together. On to Philly.

The drive to Philly was uneventful. Beautiful day. Our hotel was right on the river. However, our room was in the back, providing not one, but TWO beautiful views of I-95. Excellent. We soon met up with Bob - Don's best friend from Dead-days past. Quite possibly the most fun person on the planet. Despite our begging, Bob wouldn't be going to the show with us. Oh well. He'll meet us afterwards. The venue is only about 8 miles away - a straight shot across Philly. We figured it would take about 15-20 minutes - almost all Interstate travel. An hour and a half later we manage to park about a mile from the venue. Ugh. No time to stop for even a beer - it's showtime.

We got to our seats (the worst of the tour) with about 5 minutes to spare. We were waaaay in the back on the far right aisle. I didn't really care. It made me think of all those Dead shows where all that mattered was getting inside. We were on the aisle in the front row of our section, so we had plenty of room to jump around and dance. The Mann is very much like Wolf Trap. Not really a bad seat in the house. Not so bad after all.

The come out blasting with "These Days", "Living Well..." and ..."Kenneth". Killer - Everyone is up and dancing and having a blast. Barely taking a second to say "Hello", they jump right into "Wolves, Lower." Son-of-a-b*tch. This is why I go to so many shows. I f--king LOVE that song. I can't believe that one is over 25 years old. They rocked-it like it was brand new. The trip to Philly has already paid off. Soon we get the tour debut of "Turn You Inside-Out" - oddly, sans megaphone, which was on stage the whole time. Nice surprise. Other highlights included the US debut of "Staring Down The Barrel Of The Middle Distance" - a song they worked on at the Dublin rehearsals last year, but didn't make the cut for Accelerate. They changed it around a little, but it was still quite good. "The Great Beyond" and "Departure" (a Dinger fave) made rare appearances for this tour. Lots of surprises tonight. Lots of fun.

The encore seemed pretty standard. After 2 songs we hear "Please welcome to the stage..."...Crap - it's almost over. Stipe is going to introduce Johnny Marr, play "Fall On Me" and "Man On The Moon" and it's time to go.

"Please welcome to the stage Mr. Eddie Vedder."

Holy Crap!

It seems Pearl Jam was in town for a couple nights and stopped by to watch. The crowd is f--king losing it. Peter jumps right in with the riff to "Begin The Begin" and they're off. Eddie trades verses with Michael and we're treated to possibly the biggest highlight of the tour. Amazing. I almost felt bad for Johnny Marr being introduced next. I wouldn't want to follow that one.

Back downtown - a trip that took about 12 minutes this time - more drinks with Bob and a late night breakfast got us back to our room at about 4am. Completely wired and exhausted at the same time. Another great trip with more to come.

6/18/08 Mann Center - Philadelphia, PA

1. These Days
2. Living Well Is the Best Revenge
3. What's the Frequency, Kenneth?
4. Wolves, Lower
5. Man-Sized Wreath
6. Turn You Inside-Out
7. Imitation Of Life
8. Staring Down The Barrel
9. Ignoreland
10. Bad Day
11. Hollow Man
12. The Great Beyond
13. Houston
14. Electrolite
15. Walk Unafraid
16. The One I Love
17. Find The River
18. Let Me In
19. Departure
20. Life And How To Live It
21. Orange Crush
22. I'm Gonna DJ

23. Supernatural Superserious
24. Losing My Religion
25. Begin The Begin (w/ Eddie Vedder)
26. Fall On Me (w/ Johnny Marr)
27. Man On The Moon (w/ Johnny Marr)

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