REM back Barack Obama at New York show

Band give Democratic US presidential candidate their backing

R.E.M got political as they enthralled a packed house at Madison Square Garden in New York last night (June 19) on the penultimate show of their US tour.

During the two-hour set, frontman Michael Stipe spoke glumly about the last time R.E.M played the world famous venue in November 2004 – just after the Presidential election which saw George W Bush win a second term in office.

Madison Square Garden never looked so bleak as it did that night,” remembered the frontman before giving another endorsement of Barack Obama in the upcoming 2008 election along with the rest of the band.

The band’s performance was packed with songs spanning across the vast majority of their back catalogue, as well as another guest appearance from Johnny Marr, who played on both the 1986 track ‘Fall On Me’ and the regular finale of ‘Man On The Moon’.

Stipe also stepped aside to let their cowboy hat-clad bassist Mike Mills take lead vocals for an unexpected performance of early single ‘(Don’t Go Back To) Rockville’.

R.E.M played:

‘Living Well Is The Best Revenge’

‘These Days’

‘What’s The Frequency, Kenneth?’

‘Bad Day’

‘Drive’

‘Hollow Man’

‘Ignoreland’

‘Man Sized Wreath’

‘Leaving New York’

‘Disturbance At The Heron House’

‘Houston’

‘Electrolite’

‘(Don’t Go Back To) Rockville’

‘Driver 8’

‘Harborcoat’

‘The One I Love’

‘Until The Day Is Done’

‘Let Me In’

‘Horse To Water’

‘Pretty Persuasion’

‘Orange Crush’

‘I’m Gonna DJ’

‘Supernatural Superserious’

‘Losing My Religion’

‘Begin The Begin’

‘Fall On Me’ (w/Johnny Marr)

‘Man on the Moon’ (w/Johnny Marr)

The band play a final US show in Atlanta on June 21 before heading to Europe next month, where their jaunt includes headline slots at T In The Park and Oxegen.