R.E.M showcased new album ‘Accelerate’ during their first UK performance since 2005 at London‘s Royal Albert Hall tonight (March 24).
The band, making their first ever appearance at the prestigious venue, played nine songs from the record, out next Monday (March 31). These included set opener ‘Living Well Is The Best Revenge’, the title track and new single ‘Supernatural Superserious’.
There was also time during the show, broadcast live on BBC Radio 2, for old classics including ‘Drive’, a punky version of 2000 UK Top Five hit ‘The Great Beyond’ and perennial set closer ‘Man On The Moon’.
Frontman Michael Stipe, wearing a suit and tie, was in chatty form, telling the sold-out crowd: “It’s a great honour to play Wembley for the seventh night in a row.”
He added: “I know where we are, for those who are listening on the radio.”
Stipe also responded to a heckle asking the band to play their version of The Clique‘s garage rock classic ‘Superman’, “We’re definitely not doing that one. For a start, we didn’t write it.”
Bassist Mike Mills went into the crowd to play his bass during new song ‘Hollow Man’, while guitarist Peter Buck, who rarely speaks onstage, revealed he was arguing with support act John Paul Jones what year he performed at the venue with his band Led Zeppelin.
Buck said: “He told me 1970 but I told him 1969 – I’ve got the bootleg.”
The full set was:
‘Living Well Is The Best Revenge’
‘Man Sized Wreath’
‘Losing My Religion’
‘The Great Beyond’
‘I’m Gonna DJ’
‘Horse To Water’
‘Imitation Of Life’
‘Until The Day Is Done’
‘Man On The Moon’
The show was part of London venue the ICA‘s 60th birthday celebrations, and also featured supporting performances from Robyn Hitchcock with guest John Paul Jones, Foals and The Duke Spirit. Read our sister site Uncut.co.uk’s review of the REM gig now.
R.E.M will also play another London show this week – at the theatre in the Apple Store in Regent Street on Wednesday (March 26). NME.COM will bring you a full report immediately after the show.
The band return to the UK and Ireland with headlining performances at the Oxegen and T In The Park festivals in July, followed by a stadium tour in August.
The shows will take place in Manchester, Cardiff, Southampton and Twickenham.
The UK and Irish dates are:
Oxegen Festival (July 12)
T In The Park Festival (July 13)
Manchester Lancashire County Cricket Club (August 24)
Cardiff Millennium Stadium (25)
Southampton Rose Bowl (27)
London Twickenham Stadium (30)