And what a crap year it’s been – however, in 2003 REM wouldn’t know that. On the surface, it’s a great set from Glastonbury and one of the highlights of the festival that year. But since Music has that uncanny ability to express the right moods at just the right time, this concert just said it all – put it in words – said it in music.
With a good, long run from 1980 until 2011, REM were one of the premier Alternative American bands, kicking off a whole genre on this side of the Atlantic and crossing genres, from underground to mainstream, and doing it all with relative ease. They have often been cited as the band which pinpointed the change from post-Punk to Alternative in the U.S. and their breakthrough success was an inspiration for a tidal wave of bands following in their footsteps.
This set was part of the 2003 European tour which criss-crossed most of the festivals that summer and came hot on the heels of a Greatest Hits package Warners put out that year. It comes a year before the release of Around The Sun and featured their full-time touring drummer Bill Rieflin, replacing Bill Berry who quit in 1997, even though Berry would appear from time to time.
REM’s influence was wide. To many, they recalled the heady days of the 60s while exploring new musical territory. Even though they’ve dissolved some 5 years ago, they continue to inspire and be discovered by new fans – so their legacy continues and just gets bigger.
If you missed this Glasto performance – here’s your chance to get caught up.
Crank it up and get ready for the weekend. End of the world and all . . . .