Finally, I’ve seen R.E.M. in concert. They have been one of my favorite bands for years and years, since Shari Kornelly and John Young and Greg Thompson first helped me develop some critical faculties concerning music. The show was a week and a half ago (Wednesday night) at the Patriot Center, a horrible venue for concerts, but the show was nevertheless superb. The setlist was perfect. I can actually remember most of it [update—they have the setlist up on the official website, and I had it right except for three songs I had forgotten. It is complete below.—ed] They played:

  1. Finest Worksong
  2. Begin the Begin
  3. Exhuming McCarthy [!!!]
  4. Drive
  5. Animal
  6. Fall On Me
  7. Daysleeper
  8. Bad Day
  9. The One I Love
  10. Rockville (Don’t Go Back To) [sung by Mike Mills]
  11. Orange Crush [!!!!!]
  12. World Leader Pretend
  13. I Believe
  14. Losing My Religion
  15. Find The River
  16. She Just Wants to Be
  17. Walk Unafraid
  18. Man on the Moon

The band abruptly left the stage after an underwhelming choice for last song, and we stood there clapping for a good ten minutes hoping for an encore. Our arms were getting tired and sore, and the clapping was audibly flagging as several people left the show, before the band finally returned to the stage and Michael Stipe announced that he had found a new burst of energy, and that they would play a little longer than they “were supposed to.” They then played the best encore imaginable, ending in my life’s theme song:

  1. Life and How to Live It
  2. Nightswimming
  3. Final Straw
  4. Imitation of Life
  5. It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

Thanks, guys. It was, all in all, a horrible week, but the show was fantastic.

NP: R.E.M., We Walk