I never really "got" REM when they were getting huge. One day a friend of mine said he had an extra ticket to see them on the MONSTER tour and I'll never really pass up a free show, so I went and was blown away with how great they were live. Since then, I was able to like their music a little better. Definitely a MUCH better band live than on record, IMO.
REM really were a great band. I would say they peaked around Out Of Time/Automatic For The People, although I can totally dig why some would say they peaked earlier. And they've continued to put out good stuff.
I saw them twice. The first was just before the release of Fables...they came and played at the college I was attending. I was an usher for the show, only time I've ever done that (because it was a cheap way to see the show!).A couple of them came out to play catch with us ushers before the show--I still have my t-shirt for the event autographed by Mike Mills. Also saw them years later at Madison Square Garden. Great live band indeed.
I don't know whether to give them credit for not cashing in with a farewell tour, or to chide them for not giving people who haven't seen them fair warning. B^)
Originally posted by Mr Heel III sort of lost track of them after "Up" (which I thought was a great, great album). I knew they were still around, but they just seemed to be fading into obscurity.
I was kinda giving up on them for a while too, but their last two albums (Accelerate and Collapse Into Now) are actually pretty good. I'm glad they went out on a bit of a high note, by which I clearly mean Michael Stipe posting a video of his cock to his Tumblr account. (NSFW if your workplace frowns upon celebrity cocks)
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I haven't seen them since 94 or 95, so I can't give any first-hand accounts. I have a friend that saw them over the summer and said it was one of the best Rush shows he's ever seen. (and he's seen them a TON)