The band play a host of politically-charged songs in New York...

REM played their first show since the American Presidential election in NEW YORK last night (November 4) – and showed how they felt by playing a host of politically-charged songs.

The band had openly backed Democrat John Kerry’s bid for the presidency by appearing on last month’s Vote For Change jaunt with the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Pearl Jam.

At Madison Square Garden, in a state where a majority had voted for Kerry, the band opened with ‘It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)’, the first time it has been played on the current tour, and normally a set closer when it is performed.

The band made minimal direct reference to the election, instead performing political songs from the new album ‘Around The Sun’ – ‘Final Straw’, ‘The Outsiders’, ‘I Wanted To Be Wrong’ – and oldies such as ‘Welcome To The Occupation’, ‘Cuyahoga’ and ‘Begin The Begin’.

One onlooker told fansite “When they did ‘Cuyahoga’, he (frontman Michael Stipe) said: ‘This is about Ohio and the audience gave a collective “boooooooo” – so you could tell the mood the band was in all night just from that alone.”

The fan added: “He (Stipe) barely spoke throughout the whole show. At one point, he mentioned that he didn’t know what to say so he’d let the music speak for itself.”

The full set was:

‘It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)’

‘Begin The Begin’

‘So Fast, So Numb’

‘Welcome To The Occupation’


‘Boy In The Well’

‘Get Up’

‘The Outsiders’


‘High Speed Train’

‘The One I Love’

‘Sweetness Follows’

‘Imitation Of Life’

‘I Wanted To Be Wrong’

‘Losing My Religion’

‘Final Straw’

‘Walk Unafraid’

‘Life And How To Live It’


‘What’s The Frequency, Kenneth?’


‘Leaving New York’


‘Permanent Vacation’

‘I’m Gonna DJ’

‘Man On The Moon’