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R.E.M. Reunites and Plays First Show in 17 Years

Only hours after telling CBS Mornings it would take “a comet” for them to perform together again, R.E.M. fooled us all and did just that. The legendary alt-rock band took the stage for the first time in 17 years at the Songwriters Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Marriot Marquis Hotel in New York on June 13, playing a surprise rendition of “Losing My Religion.”

The ceremony also honored Timbaland and Steely Dan. In a speech recognizing R.E.M.'s induction, Stipe said, “Writing songs and having a catalog of work that we’re all proud of—that is out there for the whole world for the rest of time—is hands down the most important aspect of what we did as a band. Second to that is that we managed to do so for all these decades and remain friends, and not just friends, but dear friends—friends for life.”

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He added, “We are four people who, very early on, decided that we would own our own masters. We would split our royalties and songwriting credits equally. We were all for one and one for all. We set out to do our work accordingly. It turned out good, sometimes great, and what a ride it has been.”

R.E.M.'s Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills and Michael Stipe were behind numerous alt-rock hits such as “Everybody Hurts” and “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine).” They reached the height of their popularity in the 80s and 90s. Their final album was 2011's Collapse into Now.

Until the other day, R.E.M.’s official final concert took place in 2008 at the Auditorio Nacional in Mexico City, as documented on the band’s YouTube channel. After splitting in 2011, they have unvaulted a small mix of rarities for good causes, and recently embarked on a reissue campaign, the latest installment being Up.

Watch a short clip of R.E.M.'s latest performance below.

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Article Image: Michael Stipe of R.E.M. singing during an LA show. (wirestock_creators via DepositPhotos.)

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About Kathryn Milewski

  • New Jersey