Flagpole reports on this weekend’s 30th anniversary celebration at the Melting Point. Read an excerpt below and visit flagpole.com for the entire article…

A “Thank You”

The R.E.M. 30 Celebration

Once upon a time in Athens, there was a party held in a nearly collapsed old church on Oconee Street. Word spread quickly through town, boiled down to the essentials: birthday, bands and beer. In order to get to the stage, guests had to enter through a hole in the closet and then make their way past many a rotten floorboard. But it was all worth it because that night, Apr. 5, was Kathleen O’Brien’s birthday. And who among the guests would have thought that 30 years later another party would be thrown for the unnamed band that premiered that night?

That unnamed band soon became R.E.M., and during the years that followed, it would take over the world with jangly guitars, a singer who mumbled most of his lyrics, melodic bass and harmonies, and a drummer with a taste for the quieter side of life. Through a mixture of hard work, talent and just sheer luck, R.E.M. has managed to go from basically nowhere to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, taking the name of Athens along with them on the ride. Thirty years and 14 studio albums later, the band is still going strong, albeit as a trio now. R.E.M. is even currently working on the follow up to 2008’s Accelerate.