This is sort of “old home week” week on the east coast of America:

-Last night Raleigh and friends from last year all the way back to Carrboro and Kernersville and Chapel Hill and Raleigh, including most notably Mitch Easter and Don Dixon. We figured out before the show that the last time those 2 guys attended an R.E.M. show together was 1984 at the Park Center in Charlotte. They remain good friends and amazing musicians, and last night they sat in on a song that helped put the band on the proverbial map, Sitting Still, and the extra guitars in the hands of those dear friends,

was a very special moment and sound and memory indeed. It was a raucous and rocking show with a hot, sweaty crowd and an inspired band playing one of the best shows of the tour so far (but it is early yet). Check out this review of the show at Newsobserver.com.

-Tonight is DC, scene of many a “home away from home” moments in the band’s career, from legendary shows at the old 9:30 Club to the Tibet Freedom shows with Radiohead in 1998, to the Smith Center and Constitution Hall to the Vote for Change finale in 2004 (don’t mention the result . . .); I am guessing Merriweather Post will rock tonight, as will Boston and Jones Beach this weekend, then the final push in the US of Philadelphia, Madison Square Garden, and ATL next week.

By then all will be ready for a short break before starting Europe in early July; meanwhile, there are fantastic shows in these great American cities. I have never seen the band play tighter or more enthusiastically. It’s fun. Follow along from home, or make it up as you go along from the shows, on the tour page here. Twitterers/texters/bloggers

or just readers/fans all are welcome and encouraged . . .

Wonderful old/new couplets like Harborcoat into Living Well; Auctioneer next to Horse to Water . . . these are being discovered/unearthed/tried out every day and the setlists keep evolving. It’s fun to watch.