REM PLAY FOR MANDELA

The band perform in Trafalgar Square to mark seven years of democracy in South Africa...

REM played their first LONDON show in almost two years this evening (April 29) at a spectacular open-air concert in TRAFALGAR SQUARE.

The band headlined the ‘South Africa Freedom Day Concert’ in the square in central London, a show that commemorated seven years of freedom and democracy in South Africa.

REM performed a 30-minute, seven-song set in front of Nelson Mandela and British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The band included tracks from their forthcoming album ‘Reveal’, due for release in the UK next month, as well as the classic singles ‘Losing My Religion’ and ‘Man On The Moon’.

Speaking about the reasons REM played the concert, frontman Michael Stipe said: “I can’t think of a more fitting way of demonstrating the real changes in South Africa today, by performing outside the South African High Commission, symbolic of many years of protest, which have eventually achieved real change.”

REM played: ‘The Great Beyond’

‘Imitation Of Life’

‘The Lifting’

‘Walk Unafraid’

‘She Just Wants To Be’

‘Losing My Religion’

‘Man On The Moon’

Throughout the day a number of other pop acts performed, including Atomic Kitten, Mel B and The Corrs, alongside African bands such as Ladysmith Black Mambozo and Baaba Maal.

In addition, both Tony Blair and Nelson Mandela gave speeches to the 30,000 strong crowd. Mandela received a rapturous welcome, and said he was “proud” to be with the British people who “travelled the road to freedom” with him.

The whole event was delayed by approximately 40 minutes after a portion of the stage collapsed, leaving bands unable to perform in safety.