R.E.M – ” Houston ” Live At The Olympia Theatre, Dublin Best Live Albums

Posted: March 2, 2018 in Classic Albums, MUSIC
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Live At The Olympia

R.E.M. was as good as dead after 2004’s outta-gas “Around The Sun”, but while testing out new material for what turned out to be two comeback albums, the band played a five-night “rehearsal” in Dublin in 2007. Live At The Olympia whittles those shows down to 39 songs, including almost every track that would end up on 2008’s Accelerate (and a couple of solid ones that didn’t end up anywhere else). Coupled with those very new songs, they rollicked up some very old ones, injecting new life into songs that hadn’t appeared on set lists in many years, tripping through tracks from Reckoning and Fables Of The Reconstruction as if to draw a parallel between the classic band and the current one. From “Living Well Is The Best Revenge” straight through “Gardening At Night” (from the band’s very first EP), it’s a worthwhile history lesson on one of the 20th century’s greatest bands.

“The first time I heard the vocals for ‘Houston’ was the first day we played it in Dublin, which was kind of terrifying. I was kind of afraid that we would start it and Michael just wouldn’t sing it . . . you know, having never actually played it with the vocals before, and when I heard it I was like ‘Wow. That’s kind of amazing.’ I had no idea that that was coming lyrically and melodically.” – Peter Buck

“Houston” from the film This Is Not A Show, as available on R.E.M.’s Live At The Olympia, Dublin

“This is not a show”… Mike Mills, Dublin ‘07
R.E.M. Live At The Olympia was released on October 27th, 2009. The double live set featuring 39 songs, produced by Jacknife Lee, captures the band during their so-called “experiment in terror” as they “rehearsed” new songs and dug deep into their back catalogue for a live audience in Dublin, Ireland over the course of a five-night residency as Dublin’s venerable Olympia Theatre.

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