Thursday, November 13, 2008



10/24/86 - R.E.M./Camper Van Beethoven @ The Syria Mosque - Pittsburgh, PA

My 2nd and favorite R.E.M. show.

My senior year in college. There were 7 of us that wanted to make the 3+ hour trip to Pittsburgh for this show, so we had to take 2 cars. I drove one car and another guy borrowed a car from one of our frat brothers. We were kind of an odd collection of guys - all in the same fraternity, but we weren't the best of friends at the time. But a few of them needed rides and cars were scarce, so we all went to the show together.

The trip was pretty uneventful. Our seats for the show were in the balcony waaaayyy off to the side. So far that we couldn't see the whole stage. We sat there through Camper Van Beethoven - who were terrific. They played a big chunk of Telephone Free Landslide Victory and threw in a cover of Pink Floyd's "Interstellar Overdrive". Excellent.

Then R.E.M. came on and everyone on the floor rushed the stage. That, in turn, caused a bunch of people to leave the balcony for better seats. We moved over to the center of the balcony and had a perfect view, without having to deal with the crowd.

They were touring for Lifes Rich Pageant. The setlist was most of that, plus a smattering of songs from each of their other records. There wasn't a lot of downtime at this show. They just rocked rocked rocked. I'd kill for a setlist like this again. Opening with "These Days," "Harborcoat" and "Sitting Still" was just insane. We were all jumping around like idiots. I remember during "West of the Fields" I was dancing so hard that my glasses flew off my face and down a couple rows. Songs of note included "The One I Love" and "Oddfellows Local 151," both of which would appear on Document a year later. Also covers of "Radar Love" and Iggy's "Funtime." This may have been the only time I got to see "Flowers of Guatemala" and "Shaking Through." I should look that up.

Anyway - the show was just amazing. Afterwards, the guys I drove wanted to head home, but the other guys wanted to stay and hang out in Pittsburgh for the night. I gave my friends my keys and told them to go - I'd come back with the other guys. We ended up at one of their friends' apartments, drinking and listening to records all night. We wandered around Pittsburgh the next morning and headed home. I vaguely remember giving the only 21 year old $10 and he came back with a case of warm Red, White & Blue beer, which we consumed on the way home. I also remember us driving the borrowed car through a corn field at some point. Ah, college. We got back just in time to watch PSU stomp Alabama on tv.

This show also ended up being one of the first bootlegs I ever owned. This show was released as the "Rolling Stone" bootleg. Bootlegs were hard to find back then. Any R.E.M. boot was a real find, but a show I was at? I was more than thrilled - not matter how bad the sound quality.

These Days / Harborcoat / Sitting Still / The One I Love / West Of The Fields / Shaking Through / Feeling Gravitys Pull / White Tornado / The Flowers Of Guatemala / Maps And Legends / Driver 8 / I Believe / Seven Chinese Brothers / Unknown Instrumental / Superman / Can't Get There From Here / Pretty Persuasion / Auctioneer (Another Engine) / Little America
encore 1: Cushy Tush / Fall On Me / Cuyahoga / 1,000,000
encore 2: Oddfellows Local 151 / Radar Love / Funtime

10/24/03 - The Weakerthans/Maritime/Mico @ The Black Cat

I wanted to check out Maritime and had nothing better to do, so I swung by the club. For some reason I want to say I liked Mico, but I really don't remember anything about them. I didn't know them then. I don't know them now. Just a feeling. Maritime was good, once I got over the fact that they weren't The Dismemberment Plan. The place was pretty packed for The Weakerthans - a band I had never even heard of. I left early. I didn't leave early very often in 2003. They must have really, really bored me.

10/24/04 - Blogjam @ DC9 - Washington, DC

Not a concert, but a bunch of bloggers reading some of their more entertaining stuff. Jimbo, Chrisafer, Andrew Sullivan, JoeMyGod, Geekslut and a few others read. Bob hosted. Very fun night.

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