R.E.M. have called it quits:
"To our Fans and Friends: As R.E.M., and as lifelong friends and co-conspirators, we have decided to call it a day as a band. We walk away with a great sense of gratitude, of finality, and of astonishment at all we have accomplished. To anyone who ever felt touched by our music, our deepest thanks for listening." R.E.M.
A sad day. My wife and I had our first date at an R.E.M. concert in 1989 at Memorial Coliseum. It was a great night and a great concert and the rest - 22 years, a dog and two kids later - is history. Which, of course, means two things:
1. A seminal part of my youth and young adulthood is now gone.
2. I am OLD.
Truth be told the time was probably right - their music of recent vintage has lost that certain edge (e.g. Rolling Stones), still great but no longer transcendent. They will be missed.
My first ever R.E.M. concert was at the Civic Auditorium - back in the day when Portland was more civically minded (Civic Auditorium, Civic Stadium, etc.) - for their Life's Rich Pageant tour. Over the years I have caught their shows in many places, the best venue perhaps being Red Rocks in Denver which is incredibly cool. But I had managed to score fifth row center seats for the concert with my future wife (apparently this was impressive enough that she agreed to a second date) and it remains my favorite concert for obvious reasons. Besides it was the Green tour and the band were, by that time, incredibly tight and had learned all about arena showmanship. Big fun.