Monday, June 9, 2008

Hey, baby, are you having fun?

Of all the bands I currently like, R.E.M. holds the record for staying power. I've probably been aware of U2 for longer, but I became a bona fide R.E.M. fan when "Out of Time" came out - so, I've been a fan since I was eleven years old. I took a mini-R.E.M. vacation coinciding with the release of "Around the Sun," but their albums have never really left my rotation.

After working nights and then flying back right after a shift on Friday, I hadn't originally been planning to attend the R.E.M. show at the United Center. But Paul came through with an offer I couldn't refuse (free ticket)! And the company promised to be good. So Friday night found Sooz and me perched in the first row of the 300-level, more or less above the stage. We didn't make it in time for The National's set, but did catch Modest Mouse. They seemed pretty good, but I don't think watching a band scurry around below you like large ants is the best live introduction one can have.

R.E.M. was a good time, though, distance be damned. I last saw them from the front of Red Rocks amphitheatre in Colorado back in 2003, so this was a slightly different perspective, but watching Michael Stipe cavort below us had its own charms. "Man on the Moon" and "Find the River" were both played, and as two of my favorite songs, I was really happy about that. However, the highlight for me came when Michael started introducing a song, and I figured out it was "Ignoreland." I'd never seen that one live, and always wanted to. So Friday night I got my wish.

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