R.E.M. Still Have What It Takes

As I settled into my seat at the Bell Centre Friday night in Montreal with my wife to catch R.E.M. I only had one wish, that they didn’t suck. There has been so much hand wringing and debate in the R.E.M. “fan” community of what has become of their favourite band that you almost feel they are trying to explain away their perceived pain. The band on the other hand are just happy doing what they are doing, something they have always done since they started 24 years ago. Well two hours later, the only complaints we had were of some of the “stick-in-the-muds” in our section who refused to get up and dance because R.E.M. not only did not suck but they rocked out with wild abandon with a set list that combined the old and the new into a satisfying rock and roll party. Not only that, they actually encouraged me to re-listen to their latest CD Around the Sun with fresh ears and a new appreciation, which to me signifies that this CD is a keeper in the long run. A fantastic concert through and through. If this is the end of the world as we know it, then I feel fine.