Thursday, January 13, 2005

Shiny Happy People

I just came out of an R.E.M. concert. When the tickets were sold about four months ago, I rushed to get some. This was before they released their latest album, Around The Sun. I figured it's R.E.M. and it's going to be awesome. It has been a while since I have been to a concert anyway, so I thought R.E.M. would be a good concert to start 2005 with.

Then came the album, Around The Sun. I listened to it and decided that I don't like it. It's to slow, to moody, sort of like Up. I like Monster and Automatic For The People, not Up. And it turns out that Around The Sun didn't do well. So there I was, holding a couple of R.E.M. tickets for a concert where they will be promoting Around The Sun when the fact is I don't like Around The Sun. What to do?

I still went anyway, because I was hoping they play some of my favorite R.E.M. songs like The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite, What's The Frequency, Kenneth? and Man On The Moon (they did play 2 of those songs). I had a spare ticket and was trying to sell it at the door but I gave up after 40 minutes standing in the cold with about 20 other people trying to sell their ticket(s). It was sold out though, but I guess Swiss people don't take risks.

Michael Stipe was his usual self. He painted his face with a thick blue line across his eyes, not sure what his statement was. Mike Mills on bass was the wannabe rock star. He keeps jumping around and clearly enjoys being in the spotlight. Peter Buck on the other side of the stage was really quiet. He was almost never in the spotlight and he seems bored. Even when playing uplifting songs he looked bored. While Michael Stipe mentioned Mike Mills a couple of times, he never mentioned Peter Buck. I read in Q the other day that these three barely communicate during tours and that Peter Buck actually hates being a rock star. Well it clearly showed tonight.

The concert was actaully quiet good. They made the depressing songs in Around The Sun a bit uplifting. It sounds much better live. They did play some of their old stuff (but not Shiny Happy People). Michael Stipe made some political statement. Mike Mills bopped around songs, switching from bass to piano and back to bass. Peter Buck was just bored in his corner playing his Rickenbacker. They did a two hour set, finishing of with Man On The Moon (no It's The End Of The World unfortunately).

The opening act was some bloke called Joseph Arthur. He came on stage with just his acoustic guitar. However he did have ton loads of effects running between his guitar and the amp and he fiddled around with it much. He created loops and loops and suddenly he has a 6 layer song from just his voice and his guitar. It's amazing what technology can do these days. Too bad that the technology was his strong point and not his singing or his songs. He lacks a bit of soul, but I guess that's just him being nervous. I mean, Michael Stipe was introducing him, Peter Buck joined him on stage and he is dependant on all this technology so if he fucks up a bit, he fucks up big time.

Another thing I like to say is that people who wear ear plugs during concerts should be moved to the back or to the balcony. If you can stand the noise why go to a concert? And why stand in front of me??? Move will ya! Protect your ears, go sit in the back. Or in the toilets where you won't be bothering no one and your ears will be fine. Stupid ear plugs!

"Dreams they complicate my life"


Post a Comment

<< Home