We are enjoying the Scandinavian swing of the tour. On Tuesday, we dodged a bullet with the thunderstorms prior to the show at the beautiful Botanical Gardens where the band played. Then in Oslo and Stavanger…beautiful sunny evenings and packed, enthusiastic football stadiums greeted the band, and full-throttled, rock shows ensued.

Going all the way back to 1984, one of our first trips ever to Europe, Norway has always been a special destination for R.E.M.–on that trip, we did a broadcast on NRK Radio and many fans still remember that. And on the Reveal promo tour, the “secret” Fan Club/promo show in a warehouse out from town, was one of the best things of its kind the band has ever done.

We enjoy a devoted core of supporters in this part of the world, and this trip through, it was fun to venture beyond the usual stops and travel to less likely cities like Gothenburg, Stavanger and, tomorrow, Horsens in Denmark.

Stavanger, on the southwestern coast of Norway, in particular seemed a wonderful place–totally intact old town area, great shops and nightspots, wifi rampant–wish we had more time there. The shows seem to go from strength to strength, with the band really hitting its stride night after night. And the last few shows, it’s been great hearing Driver 8 , These Days, and Nightswimming making occasional appearances in the set.

Today is a good day off/travel day, with shows in Denmark, the Dutch festival in Nijmegen tomorrow, and Germany, Live 8, Switzerland, Belgium, England, and Wales all on the immediate horizon. And then on July 11th, we stop. Until then, we continue on…


P.S. For an interesting take on the Live 8 concerts see alternet.org from yesterday; we are all really looking forward to being in London for a short set on July 2nd and then back for the full R.E.M. show on July 9th.

P.P.S. Depending on the vagaries of time zones and bandwidth, you might want to check out R.E.M. shows on the web in coming days in the following locations:

June 26th: nijmegen
July 2nd: st gallen
July 2nd: live 8
July 3rd: werchter