Stipe and Co., the Semi-National, and the Mice at Merriweather


Jun 12 2008, 18h30

Wed 11 Jun – R.E.M., Modest Mouse, The National

Whew! I was lucky enough to get tickets, especially Right Lawn V ones. I really wanted to go, because, lets face it, R.E.M. are one of the best bands of all time, regardless of what you think, and seeing 2 big name, great Indie Rock bands open suit just makes it even more worth it. Awesome, awesome show, anyone who thinks R.E.M. are getting too old or are way past their prime MUST see these chaps live. Merriweather is also a gorgeous venue, lots of intoxicated people, as ElectricMelody explained in her review, but ah well. Here are the reviews/setlists of the bands!

The National:

Woww... forget me calling them the Semi-National in my title, these guys absolutely flooded. Even though there's normally 5 people in the group, there were about 8 live. The singer was in tune (I thought) the whole time and seemed like a nice guy, there was a fiddleist/keyboardist (he switched roles between some songs) that was out of this world, and the drummer... my, oh my, does he have patterns (with regular percussion too, may I add). A perfect or near opening band if there ever was one. "Squalor Victoria" was especially a highlight! I really need to get into them more.


Start a War
Baby We'll Be Fine
Slow Show
Mistaken for Strangers
Squalor Victoria
Racing Like a Pro
Apartment Story
Fake Empire
Mr. November

Modest Mouse:

Issac, Johnny and co. were better than I expected based on a review for the Chicago show. Brock looked both serious and not into it, but you know what? He still poured lots of energy pretty damn well. As with the National, there were more people in the band than normal. There was even a stand-up bassist! While I wasn't familiar with some of the songs and most of those were forgettable, stuff like "Dashboard" and "Tiny Cities Made of Ashes" stormed the stage. Issac even played banjo on a couple songs! They also played "Out of Gas", which was pretty unexpected. I wasn't a big fan of We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank, but the tracks performed from that were much better live. The variation of "Float On" was the highlight.


Satin in a Coffin
Fly Trapped in a Jar
Truckers Atlas
Out of Gas
Dance Hall
Float On
Tiny Cities Made Of Ashes
The View
King Rat


What can I say? Just amazing. The whole crowd stood up, Stipe was funny as hell between some songs, and the band had great chemistry. The screening was cool as hell, pretty psychedelic, occasionally it had lyrics, speicifally on the songs from Accelerate (9 out of 11 tracks!). I was singing along to most of the songs, didn't get very hoarse tho. I was about to orgasm when they brought out Johnny Marr for "Fall on Me" and the final encore, "Man on the Moon". You could tell that Buck and Marr are best buddies, in a way. The setlist was very nice, my only complaint is they didn't play anything from my favorite album, Murmur D:. A big suprise was when they turned the otherwise completely distorted "Let Me In" into an acoustical jam with Stipe, Mills, Buck, touring drummer Bill Rieflin, and the touring guitarist. It just seemed like magic, you'll have to see it to get a better explination. Mike Mills sang the most famous song he wrote, "(Don't Go Back to) Rockville", and although I couldn't hear him all too well, he was excellent. Stipe kind of mush mouth masturbated into the mic during the middle of "Bad Day", which I didn't know how to take at 1st, but it was pretty funny :D. That's pretty much all I have to say, so if R.E.M. come anywhere near your domain, go see them, pronto! You hopefully won't regret it, I know I didn't.


Finest Worksong
Living Well Is the Best Revenge
Bad Day
What's the Frequency, Kenneth?
Man-Sized Wreath
Little America
Hollow Man
Walk Unafraid
(Don't Go Back to) Rockville
Pop Song 89
Horse to Water
The One I Love
Driver 8
Until the Day Is Done
Let Me In
These Days
Orange Crush
I'm Gonna DJ
Supernatural Superserious
Losing My Religion
Mr. Richards
Fall on Me
Man on the Moon


  • pilgrimage145

    Agreed about the set part, I was hoping for "Missed the Boat", but it was still interesting!

    Jun 12 2008, 19h01
  • rehabdoll0

    MM should have played more off of Lonesome Crowded West but I was satisfied with REMS setlist, i mean Finest Worksong? I didnt see that coming.

    Jun 12 2008, 19h07
  • pilgrimage145

    Hehe, yeah, thought I'd point that out tho. And rehabdoll, I think they should've played more off of The Moon & Antarctica. Btw, does anyone know if the 2nd song the National played actually was "Lit Up"? Cause I haven't been familiar with their material before, other than Boxer and "Abel" (which they shoulda done :/), but I checked performances/samples of their stuff and Lit Up sounds closest.

    Jun 12 2008, 19h56
  • pilgrimage145

    Nevermind, the song was "Brainy". I'm dumb.

    Jun 13 2008, 1h21
  • Binkster

    Great show all around, I haven't seen REM since 1989 and it was good to see them again. Michael seemed to be having a good time on stage, and seems to be enjoying performing again.

    Jun 13 2008, 13h29
  • pilgrimage145


    Jun 13 2008, 15h28
  • pilgrimage145

    If anyone's still reading this that was there, do you know what this one Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds song they played before Modest Mouse came on? I know before the National they played "O Children", but there was another, early day song they played by Mr. Cave that I'm really curious about.

    Jun 18 2008, 17h25
  • willcrazyiii

    R.E.M. didn't play It's the End of the World? I love that song would have been a bummer. Also, no "Reveal"? :-( no one respects that album.

    Jun 18 2008, 20h14
  • pilgrimage145

    Hehe, they're probably tired of that one. And yeah, nothing from Murmur either, like I said D: least there was none from Around the Sun!

    Jun 19 2008, 2h50
  • AmandaRae23

    Have you checked out the other set lists from other shows this tour? good god! we got a great one! but so did everyone else! I think its the only time REM played "Finest Worksong" and "Pop song 89" and possibly "Drive" this tour, atleast here in the states. I only briefly looked. REM did play "Its the end of the world..." at Jones Beach in NY. good review from one REM fan to another... Oh yeah, Modest Mouse was incredible as well. I didn't know The National. Boring.

    Jun 24 2008, 0h24
  • pilgrimage145

    Boo, why do you think the National's boring if you don't know them? :P

    Jun 25 2008, 3h20
  • AmandaRae23

    I meant to say didn't [i]like[/i] them... and they were boring. the stage presence was lame. sorry. i wanted to like them when I saw the show in Atlanta but it just didn't happen. I think that I gave them a fair chance. Saw them two times live and they just didn't do anything for me. that is all. have a good day!

    Jun 25 2008, 17h01
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