Lotus opened the show of course and was a cool opener with all the neon going nuts. Followed by the standard Whats the Frequency which was insanely fast, but the lighting during it was unreal. While preparing for this show, I was listening to Hi-Fi a lot and wanted to hear a lot of the songs they'd been playing off Hi-Fi but wanted to hear So Fast, So Numb the most and low and behold they play it as the only Hi-Fi song all night. I was incredibly excited but this couldn't even compare to the surprise to come. Fall on Me followed introduced as "a song thats pretty old" and was the first big crowd pleaser of the night, it was really incredible.
I'm not certain on the order after this because this show became insane the second Michael stepped to the mic and told the crowd that they would be playing a song that for some reason they had only played a few times in the past 10 years and only twice this tour. Could it be? Nah, Stand was supposed to be a one-off!! But.... who could believe it. Lucky me I hear my favorite REM song in the world as a 1 in 100 shot. It was incredible to say the least. The crowd was very very into it and those who knew how rare it was to hear this song appreciated it even more. This really made this show a special one.
Shortly after this, Michael announced that he was having fun and that this was "one of our hottest shows so far" referring to his sweatiness but also said that it was one of their hottest shows besides the temperature. The early part of the set included great versions of Daysleeper, the Apologist, Suspicion (which wasn't nearly as impressive). They did Find the River and Sweetness Follows off Automatic and Half A World Away off Out of Time. At this point I'm just naming songs because I really don't remember the order. Somewhere in there was an excellent version of the One I Love as well. One of the highlights of the set was the Great Beyond, the new song from the Man on the Moon soundtrack. This song in the simplest terms ROCKS!
They closed the show with Losing My Religion, Man on the Moon and Walk Unafraid. MotM I feel was by FAR the best of these three. Few parts of any song live compares to the rush during the "Andy did you hear about this one...." part of MotM.
The encore started with Hope, nice but sorry Michael you cant play guitar. Live for Today, the spoken word thing with Mike playing guitar followed and then came a beautiful version of Why Not Smile with just Mike and Michael. They did Tongue which didn't really impress me. Then Michael introduced the band and finished the show with Crush with Eyeliner, Cuyahoga (appropriate for playing in Cuyahoga Falls!!) and an insanely fast Its the End of the World just as it started to pour upon all of us on the lawn, the rain perfectly timed to come just as End of the World started.
Well thats about it. Overall, the band really seemed to enjoy themselves and even the crowd, which was very modest, not huge for a Blossom show, was very into it and noticably enjoyed it as well. With Stand and a few other songs that have only been played a few times this tour... this one looks to be one of the more memorable ones from the Up tour. I personally had my doubts but R.E.M. honestly put on one of the best shows I've ever seen.
By Tanya K.
Wow. I am at a loss of words. I don't know where to begin. What I knew was going to be a great day turned out to be so awesome with our amazing luck. Here's the story...
On the drive up to Blossom Music Center it had been raining and we were pissed because we would get soaked being in what we thought would be the lawn if it didn't stop raining. But by the time we got to the venue at 4:45p.m., the sun was shining.
First thing we do is go to the box office. I had suggested earlier to my friend that we should try to see if we can upgrade our lawn tickets to seats in the reserved seating area. We got in line behind only one guy in front of us before the box office had opened. We then get up to the window and I really, seriously didn't think we were going be able to get any tickets in the seating area. I was just trying for the hell of it. But then the lady says she has two tickets in the 14th row!!!! I swear I could not believe it. Without thinking my friend and I just handed over practically ALL of our money. After we bought the tickets we couldn't believe we had got such good seats and spent almost all our money. But we kept saying to ourselves it would be worth it (which definitely ended up being true!).
We then headed to find our seats. We found them alright, but we were so impressed and shocked at how close up they were, we double checked and asked one of the staff people. I was freaking out. I looked behind me towards the lawn and realized how far away it was. Our seats were unbelievably CLOSE to the stage.
Wilco's set finished (who, by the way, I thought did a good job and were a lot better live) and now I was getting anxious and so ready for R.E.M. to come out onstage. About a half hour after Wilco's set, R.E.M. was ready to take the stage! They played "Airportman" as the intro, which I thought was appropriate, and then kicked off the show with "Lotus". This is one of my favorites off of Up. A good opener. Then out of NO where, being totally unprepared for it, came "What's the frequency, Kenneth?" And what's weird is that my friend and I were talking about whether they would play this song or not. But they totally rocked this song. It really got the crowd moving and going. Michael Stipe was just everywhere onstage dancing around. His dancing was really part of it and added to the whole concert.
Next up was one of my favorite songs off of New Adventures in Hi-Fi (even though I like every song a lot on this album) and the ONLY song they would play from this album: "So fast, so numb". I was really into this song. Probably because I was remembering when I would listen to this song and how the lyrics have a personal, special meaning to me. Plus I was feeling a little more relaxed with my recorder in a safe position.
This was followed by "Fall On Me". "This song is pretty old" as Stipe commented. I thought it was pretty cool. I liked the variety and range of songs they were playing.
"Suspicion" came next. Although this was cool and performed well live, it seemed rather long, but not to disappoint.
"Well, here we are. Yup, here we are. This is it and here we are, all of us, I mean you. I mean we're here, we know that. Are you here? Thought so. There's a song that we wrote several thousand years ago that we don't perform ver much, um... yeah actually probably never... once? twice? twice. We've done this song twice in like three decades. Anyway...for whatever reason we just felt like doing it tonight so here it is. We hope you like it." And right after Stipe says this, they jump right into "Stand" which was just SO good. Right before they started playing it, my friend guessed that they were going to play "Stand". I knew they didn't play this song much which made it even more special that they played it at the show I was at. They really should consider playing it live more often because I don't see why not.
Stipe introduced "Daysleeper" going into a little talk relating to a section of the lyrics from the song. Out of all the songs from Up that they played, this was the most well known among the crowd. Next came "Half A World Away" followed by "The One I Love". Stipe kept saying "ok, ok, ok" as he was walking around and I thought he was then going to say something more, but then all of a sudden the band jumps into this song which they played well.
"The Apologist" was next and this is one of the songs I like better on Up. It was played live great and Peter Buck was just so into it towards the end. I liked watching him being so into this song, one of the songs I like a lot.
Then came "Sweetness Follows" with "The Great Beyond" after it. This new cool song was introduced from the new movie coming out entitled "Man On The Moon". As Stipe tells the name of the movie, he says "We've been working on this movie called, well, it's a great title actually. We've been working on this movie called 'Man On The Moon'. Great title, right? ...this movie's coming out sometime later in the year... Anyway, we did the score for it and we wrote a bunch of music and we also wrote a new song and this is that song and it's called 'The Great Beyond'. We hope you like it."
"Find The River" was a nice song to throw in there followed by "At My Most Beautiful". A balloon out of no where comes across our heads and gets pushed up to the stage where Stipe then pops it. Personally, I think he was mad about that which is why he popped the balloon. Probably because it happend during this 'beautiful' song.
"Finest Worksong" was cool and after it there was a small pause. My friend and I were wondering what would be next and then BAM - they go into "Losing My Religion". I started to lose it at this point. I knew they would play this song, but it was so great to actually HEAR it.
Then comes "Man On The Moon" which was incredible causing me to totally lose control of myself and almost saying "fuck the recording" screaming, singing, moving and dancing around. This song was performed really well live and sounded a lot better with the whole tone to it and the way the crowd was into it. A memorable moment is when Stipe came over to our side of the stage and kept reaching his had out towards the crowd as we tried to reach him. It was a neat site seeing everybody's hand reaching out at the same time.
Stipe starts singing the chorus part to "Walk Unafraid" for an intro to this song. "Walk Unafraid" is my favorite song off of Up and I was so ecstatic that they were playing this song. Tears started forming in my eyes while I was entranced. It was a great song to end the main set with.
For the encore, Stipe comes back out by himself with a guitar. He sings the first line of "Hope" and then stops asking "What day is today? Wednesday?" He then continues. I don't particularly like this song as much as the others on Up, but I thought it was much better live.
Then Mike Mills comes out and they do "Live for Today" which I thought was really cool and also because I'm not sure if this has been officially released on any R.E.M. album or single, but I have a copy of this from the '97 Pearl Jam Xmas single and I found that kind of weird, but cool.
Then came a sweet "Why Not Smile" followed by a rocking "Crush With Eyeliner" with rest of the band coming back out for this one. Then the "this song has tits" song was performed, being "Tongue" where Stipe almost takes his shirt completely off only to put it back on at the end of the song.
The other song I knew they would play, "Cuyahoga", came next for after all, we were in Cuyahoga Falls. I was wondering when they would get to it. It was a nice song, and somehow, to me at least, also had a serious touch to it.
Then they played what I could tell was only part of a song called "Suspicious Minds". I wish they would have played more of it so I could have actually heard what it was like.
Now, this is the perfect closer of an awesome night: "It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)". R.E.M. just ROCKED on this song and fully delivered. I was amazed to see that Stipe could keep up with the lyrics and I loved how he let the crowd sing towards the end as he kept saying "What, what, what?" When I thought the song was over, it was only to start back up again which was cool and then finally ending one of the most amazing nights of my life. Around at the beginning of this song though, it had started raining again. I didn't even notice until my friend pointed it out as I looked over and saw the full moon.
R.E.M. performed really well with no disappointments whatsoever. Having been so damn close to the stage just added so much more to the overall experience in being able to actually see the band clearly perform. In a way, I think the overall experience was better then the Pearl Jam concert I went to at the same venue almost a year ago and mainly because of our great seats. But these two bands itself aren't comparable. I just never expected to have been sitting in the seats we were sitting in. I don't have much to compare this to since I'm not a big concert-goer, but the concert was definitely awesome with lots of energy coming from the band.
Back to the 1999 concert setlists