Following up on Bertis’ post from the Personal Fest concert in Buenos Aires Saturday night are a few reviews, including one English translation and a fantastic video of “Losing My Religion”:


La Nacion

Pagina 12

REM Closes Personal Fest with a high intensity performance

From the furnances to the electric storm…

Michael Stipe, Mike Mills and Peter Buck leaded a night that combined classics, recently pearls and intimate versions in a widely audience context. ‘with your allowance, we would like to play for you soon’, said the singer.

Outstanding?, brilliant?, unibelievable? Hmmm……taste a little: there is yet to invent the adjective to describe the shooted sensations by REM in their second show in Argentina. As during near 2 hours, the american trio simply kicked ass, sailing away with 30,000 people through good part of their rich discography. There were stainless hits, dark pearls, piano bar and furnace versions, energizing guitar flashes, intimacy for big crowds, seas of unstoppable tears and more. All courtesy of a band that show itself as vital and actuality as being rounding a 30 year old career. Michael Stipe (vocals), Peter Buck (recovered Rickenbaker guitar) and Mike Mills (bass, piano and cowboy hat), enjoyed of the contact with a fervorous audience that went to sell out the tickets for the 2nd date at Personal Fest 2008 and sang along the names of each musician with a lot of real tenderness. It was, in resume, a night of high emotions, those were adjectives not enough to describe it. And the perfect closing for a festival of international level, were bands such as Kaiser Chiefs, Bloc Party and The Mars Volta earlier in the day.

“Living well is the Best Revenge”, which opens the latest release Accelerate, it sounded yet more energetic at the beginning at the show kick off of the band from Athens. Two guitars (the second in charge of Scott McCaughney, leader of Minus 5), bass, drums (Bill Rieflin) and the intact voice of a electrifying Stipe was everything enough for the audience to get in sync with REM. We have to mention the images work: it was the most creative ever seen in this place, with different effects to express each song. After ‘I Took Your Name’ appeared the first hit of the night, “What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?”, and the venue started to dance along with those fathers of alternative rock, who turn out to be descendants of the New York punks, the Beach Boys and the Byrds. The rescue of Driver 8 was announced by Stipe as an homage to change’s hope in his country, as facing the presidential elections; “Man sized Wreath” was dedicated to George W. Bush, so booed as applauded the image of Barack Obama in the screens.

Walking through songs from the newly and good album (“Hollow Man”, “Horse to Water”), the trio got to include a long list of classics on the set list such as the notable “Everybody Hurts”, able to leave 30,000 hearts one latent beat. Stipe jumped into the floor to say hello in person during “The One I Love”, went to dance in front of one of the side stage screens while the guitar solo of ‘She Just Wants To Be’ was performed, and recurred to the megaphone for “Orange Crush”. For “Nightswimming” were just Stipe, Mills (piano) and McCaughey (keys) on a corner of the stage, right there was an impromptu of 4 acoustic guitars and piano for ‘Let Me In’. “It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” closed the main set with a Stipe on fire, whom threw to the audience the printed lyrics of the songs he had at hand (and which were never used).

The encore started with “Supernatural Superserious”, continued with the immortal “Losing My Religion” (with pure mandolin), “The Great Beyond” and the tip of the iceberg “Man on the Moon”, with 30,000 people emotionally jumping. With your allowance, we would like to play for you soon’ said Stipe. The audience’s answer is still blowing the city’s wind.

Although the memorable REM’s show (even better that the 2001 one, we need to say), has overshadowed every other band of the day for the 2nd date of Personal Fest.