R.E.M maintained the momentum and pace of Tuesday night’s juggernaut performance with another strong showing at the Olympia in Dublin Wednesday. Alongside new numbers like “Mr. Richards,” “Accelerate,” and “Until The Day Is Done” –(all working titles)–the band continued to introduce songs from the deepest niche of the back catalog–from Chronic Town, Murmur, and Reckoning. Many of the newest songs are still being fine tuned during sound check as well as the show–the band even asked the audience at one point if they would object to them redoing a verse and chorus from a new song which they hadn’t done to their own liking. After some discussion amongst themselves, the guys nailed it the second time through.
In terms of the “olive branches”, “West of the Fields” was the biggest surprise, perhaps. In his introduction to the song, Michael told the audience of a trip he took during the early 80s in which he rode the Southern Crescent train to New Orleans and got inspiration for the song from The Elysian Fields neighborhood. R.E.M. also played a rare Monster track, “Circus Envy,” which was a definite highlight among the many highlights of the so-called olive branches extended this evening in addition to “harborcoat” from Reckoning and “Carnival of Sorts (boxcars)” from C-Town which Michael explained was based on a scene from David Lynch’s Elephant Man.
The new songs continue to gel and the band has gotten tighter as the week has progressed with tonight proving no exception.
Tomorrow night’s finale should prove to be a great finish to an incredible 5-night stand in one of the greatest cities known to man.
Finally, thanks for the fantastic support from Viarosa and Robyn Hitchcock!