Tuesday, June 10, 2008

REM in Chicago

"You've got all the right friends"
So do to the kindness of my good high school friend, Tom Scott,who has been the business manager for REM for 20 years My wife and I got to have a really cool backstage experience at the show at The United Center last friday.

Tom and I sporting the back stage passes.

We got picked up at 6 pm in a Secret Service tricked out SUV and driven directly into the under belly of the United Center. I held the door for four guys walking in that turned out to be Modest Mouse but I was clueless. Backstage before the show is fairly locked down. I would say there was a dozen or show guests as oppossed to after the show when there was around 100 or so. First person I met was Mike Mills who had a 70's picture of Joe Namath on his id and the name Joe Willie. He said he got tired of looking at himself all the time and opted for Broadway Joe instead

The National was going on stage next and I really wanted to see them. The manager for REM had gotten us six seats in the 6th row dead center. I was really impressed by this band. Very tight, high energy, great tunes
After the National's set we went backstage for dinner. The had a room set up with a hot buffet/cold buffet/ carving station dessert station beer, wine etc. The guys from the National came into eat dinner and seemed really friendly. Peter Buck came over and thanked us for taking the time to come to the show...WTF are you kidding me thank you for playing. His girlfriend was the only "family member" of the band who was in attendance. They said they were waiting to take them to the Europe leg of the tour because thats more fun. I wandered out to the stage to see Modest Mouse and watched a few songs from the side of the stage. They are not really my cup of tea, but the crowd was into them and the REM team was really happy that they had agreed to open as ticket sales had been strong for this tour.

After Modest Mouse there was another 30 minute break. They had a vip lounge where all the members of the band and about 5 support staff and a dozen guests were hanging out. The Security guy came in about 15 minutes before the show and escorted everyone to their seats. REM doesn't allow anyone near the stage during the show.
Chicago, IllinoisJune 6, 2008(1) Band entrance (0:32)(2) Living Well Is The Best Entrance (3:22)(3) These Days (3:36)(4) Begin The Begin (3:35)(5) What's The Frequency, Kenneth? (4:01)(6) Pilgrimage (4:04)(7) Banter (0:51)(8) Hollow Man (3:02)(9) Animal (3:59)(10) Man-Sized Wreath (2:42)(11) Intro (0:55)(12) Ignoreland (5:02)(13) The Great Beyond (4:00)(14) The Great Beyond (reprise) (0:51)(15) Accelerate (4:09)(16) Houston (2:06)(17) Michael story (1:55)(18) Electrolite (4:19)(1) The One I Love (3:48)(2) The Final Straw (4:31)(3) Find The River (4:36)(4) Let Me In (3:43)(5) Walk Unafraid (3:54)(6) Orange Crush (3:44)(7) Horse To Water (2:15)(8) Bad Day (4:35)(9) I'm Gonna DJ (2:05)(10) Encore break (3:58)(11) Supernatural Superserious (4:31)(12) Pretty Persuasion (3:58)(13) Barack Obama endorsement (2:26)(14) Losing My Religion (5:04)(15) Fall On Me (3:12) *(16) Banter (2:37)(17) Man on the Moon (5:26)* w/Johnny Marr
After the show they had a reception room set up for guests of which there were plenty. Michael Stipe told the wife of my friend that he saw us out their all night long when he was singing. We were around for about 20 minutes when the SUV took us back to the hotel. Peter Buck was already in the hotel bar. We had breakfast the next morning with the bands manager and they were all catching a charter flight to Toronto. Each member of the band has their own bus but they would be hauling the crew to the next stop. They travel party is around 45 people, with stage workers brought in at each stop. It was a really cool night, but you can see the business side very easily and while you think its exciting to the band and their support it's just another day at the job.
Saturday afternoon I hopped a flight from Milwaukee to DC to get my teeth work finished. I got to spend a great night with a bunch of friends at the Cracked Claw, got to spend some time with my mom sunday morning, and at a cookout at another friends home sunday night. Monday I got to sit in National Airport for 4 hourse waiting for my delayed flight, get home at 6:30pm and pick up another volleyball win at 8:30.
A couple of friends shout outs and thank yous:
To Tom Scott and his family: Thank you for an incredible friday night in Chicago. Thanks for making the trip north to see us and thank you for your generosity. I can not say enough about how impressed I was.
To Timmy Dunn: Thanks for saving me 3,000 on my dental work and shuffling your schedule to accomodate me. I am really impressed by your practice
To Danny, Dan, Rag, Dave and Fran thanks for coming up to the Claw. Some of my fondest lifetime memories are hanging out with you guys. You always make me laugh and I'm glad we could make some money as well.
To Danny and Doc thanks for having me over to your house for thousandth time for dinner. I really miss the fun times I had in your house.
I hope everyone else is well. Madison and all of Wisconsin is drying out after massive rain. All else is well and I hope it is with you as well. Peace, Jim


Anonymous said...

Sounds like you are having MUCH more fun than I am! I did the Stop Sign hike yesterday in 1:17! I made it!! There were times I thought was never going to see that beautiful red and white beacon. I did the Gila hike today. That was a completely different challenge.
I'm having a good time. The day is A LOT more grueling than I thought it would be!
I am hoping the next two weeks fly by!


Anonymous said...

Just wanted to let you know that the Watermans here in Lexington, KY have been faithfully following your blog from day 1. Keep up the good work!

I am SO JEALOUS of your REM experience. I'm a huge fan and actually saw them around Athens many times when I was in college. Lucky you (and you look great in those pics)!


Kerry said...

Hi Jim! I'm at the Ridge with Kristin this week (and last, and next, and the week after). Your blog was seriously good info. Especially about the oh-so-yummy breakfasts.

Loved your REM post!