Sunday, June 25, 2017

Successful Crash #1: REM at the United Center

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Posted by admin On June - 7 - 2008

~Z.T.~ I’ve really gotten good at this crashing thing. Sneaking into a concert or movie is much easier than you’d think. You just need to realize there’s always at least one person guarding a door who doesn’t give a damn. Then walk in with authority.

OK, I wasn’t authoritative. I pretended I was on the phone looking for someone, then briskly walked through as I yelled at an imaginary person inside. I made my way to the front row of the 100 level just in time to see an underwhelming opening set from Modest Mouse.

The older crowd stayed seated during Modest Mouse (except during their singles) before giving it up for two full hours of R.E.M completely in their element.

Michael Stipe was his usual endearing, charming self as he “suited up” and took over the stage.

With a 14 album catalogue to pull from, R.E.M. can afford to avoid hits like “End of the World As We Know It,” “Stand,” “Radio Free Europe,” “Everybody Hurts” and “Night Swimming” and still have a couple dozen crowd favorites up their sleeve.

Stipe mixed in old fan favorites like “The One I Love,” “Electrolite” and “Bad Day” with “Hollow Man,” “Houston” and “I’m Gonna DJ” off their new album.

A video screen switched between fractured images of Stipe and highlighting key vocals in a Post Secret-esque display, but the real visual is Stipe himself. He moves around the stage with the bravado of someone who knows they kick a lot of ass.

The sold out crowd was enthusiastic throughout, but Stipe got the biggest applause of the night when he showed off his button and thanked Chicago for giving us Barack Obama and telling us he was “so fu**ing excited about it.”

They closed with a powerful five-song encore featuring “Losing My Religion” and the essential ending song, “Man on The Moon.”

I’m just happy I made it inside.

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