The four original members of R.E.M reformed at the weekend (October 8) to perform at the wedding of one of their roadies.
The performance marks only the second time Michael Stipe, Peter Buck and Mike Mills have performed with drummer Bill Berry since he left the band in 1997.
The four played seven songs at Kingpins Bowl And Brew in Athens, Georgia, at technician Dewitt Burton‘s wedding.
“It was awesome to look behind me and see Bill on drums,” bass player Mills said afterwards.
“By the time they got to the first chorus it was packed shoulder-to-shoulder,” owner Ed Connolly told Billboard.com .
“Nobody really knew it was going to happen. They didn’t know if Bill was going to make it, and I don’t know if they had a chance to rehearse.”
According to Connolly, the group decided to play while the real wedding band were taking a break.
Lead singer Stipe toasted the bride and groom during the set and invited requests from the 300-strong crowd. The bride requested ‘Begin The Begin’ from the 1986 album ‘Life’s Rich Pageant’.
“The beauty is it was in Athens on a warm Saturday night, with the band on the floor with no production,” Connolly said.
“I had three old disco mirror balls and they hung them up. That was the extent of the lighting show.”
It was the first time the original line-up has performed together since a concert in Raleigh, North Carolina, during the ‘In Time’ tour in 2003 when Berry made a guest appearance after turning up to see the band.
The set was:
‘(Don’t Go Back To) Rockville’
‘Begin The Begin’
‘The One I Love’
‘Radio Free Europe’