Gazing at this photograph taken from above the grounds of #SlaneCastle and the epic R.E.M. concert 25 years ago Wednesday, I have a few memories flashing across my mind. It was the first show after the brief stoppage of the tour in central Europe when Mike Mills came down with abdominal issues necessitating emergency surgery and canceling a few shows through France and Spain. He recovered as quickly as any doctor had projected and was ready in time for the run of dates in the British Isles starting with Slane Castle on July 22 on the banks of the Slane River, an hour outside of Dublin city.
Mike was not at 100%, but it was safe medically for him to play–the band, including Mike, delivered an amazing performance in front of a crowd that had been watching R.E.M. in their country for 10 years but never in a venue as majestic as Slane Castle. It’s the kind of show that doesn’t happen very often with logistical challenges galore but an incredible physical experience as the sun goes down over the magnificent landscape.
It was one of many engagements that made R.E.M. consider Ireland a true home away from home time and again, year after year, and a quarter of a century ago today.
Glad Mike got better, and we went on to two more weeks of shows in Scotland, Wales, and England, then down to Tel Aviv and then finally, the third time was indeed the charm, in Prague.