Sport Damo leaned over to me and said “it’s nights like this that you really appreciate the job we do. Well, the job you do…”
Last night was one of those nights that make you realise just a how weird a job this can be. There were tickets for the gig exchanging hands on the ‘net for 4 grand a pop allegedly. The couple in front of us has flown in from Berlin and were flying back the next morning. The whole REM office from Athens, GA were there and Michael Stipe was giving shout outs to his mates in the crowd, specifically Bono and The Edge.
Even this guy was there.
You know him – he’s yer man who was in that film with that other guy. The one where he goes rogue at the end, points his gun and says “I’m sorry, I can’t let you do that” (Thanks Ray. He also has the boob story which is by far the most loopy bit of the night.)
It was just what it said on the tin – a live rehearsal (with an audience just happening to be there) with them chatting to the crowd in between. Yes, they were great, yes it was a once in a lifetime music-going experience, yes I and quite a few among us that I spoke to during the course of the evening felt like complete frauds for being there when there were hardcore fans hanging around outside the barrier in the smoking area looking for information as to what the gig was like, what they played etc. Seriously.
For any band to hold the crowd the way they did playing entirely new material and the occasional extremely obscure oldie (oh, and Electrolyte) was an achievement in itself. They did it in spades with Stipe reading the lyrics from a laptop for the vast majority of the time.
I must have consumed a beverage or two to have allowed my picture to be taken…
Particularly with the stupid grin.