October 11, 2003
Philips Arena - Atlanta, GA


Pete Yorn:

cs-PeteYorn1-Atlanta101103.JPG (40979 bytes)  cs-PeteYorn2-Atlanta101103.JPG (43602 bytes)  cs-PeteYorn3-Atlanta101103.JPG (46491 bytes)  cs-PeteYorn4-Atlanta101103.JPG (64331 bytes)

cs-PeteYorn5-Atlanta101103.JPG (30728 bytes)  cs-PeteYorn6-Atlanta101103.JPG (42480 bytes)  cs-PeteYorn7-Atlanta101103.JPG (56166 bytes)  cs-PeteYorn8-Atlanta101103.JPG (68511 bytes)

cs-PeteYorn9-Atlanta101103.JPG (52740 bytes)  cs-PeteYorn10-Atlanta101103.JPG (33920 bytes)  cs-PeteYorn11-Atlanta101103.JPG (42612 bytes)  cs-PeteYorn12-Atlanta101103.JPG (47620 bytes)

cs-PeteYorn13-Atlanta101103.JPG (56985 bytes)  cs-PeteYorn14-Atlanta101103.JPG (53923 bytes)  cs-PeteYorn15-Atlanta101103.JPG (43839 bytes)  cs-PeteYorn16-Atlanta101103.JPG (47477 bytes)




cs-R.E.M.-RoadCases2-Atlanta101103.JPG (77316 bytes)  cs-PhilipsArena-R.E.M.-Atlanta101103.JPG (84881 bytes)  cs-R.E.M.-RoadCases1-Atlanta101103.JPG (108568 bytes)


cs-R.E.M.1-Atlanta101103.JPG (45616 bytes)  cs-R.E.M.2-Atlanta101103.JPG (52943 bytes)  cs-R.E.M.3-Atlanta101103.JPG (47555 bytes)  cs-R.E.M.4-Atlanta101103.JPG (29668 bytes)

Once again, R.E.M. brought a show full of surprises and endurance to close out their tour a few miles from home. Jumping right in with the hard rocking spurts of “Finest Worksong” and “Begin The Begin,” the band didn’t let up until they’d covered almost every important base in their long history.

cs-R.E.M.5-Atlanta101103.JPG (36287 bytes)  cs-R.E.M.6-Atlanta101103.JPG (45239 bytes)  cs-R.E.M.7-Atlanta101103.JPG (44992 bytes)  cs-R.E.M.8-Atlanta101103.JPG (46329 bytes)

After declaring, we’re R.E.M. and this is what we do,” Michael Stipe leaned hard into “So Fast, So Numb,” adding an urgency not felt on the recorded version and displaying more energy than I’ve seen from him in recent tours. At the same time, Pete Buck was sawing through the air, accenting transitions with leap-kicks. Mike Mills lurked in the shadows of stage right. He was almost invisible and stayed that way except for a sublime “Nightswimming” and a caffeinated “(Don’t Go Back To) Rockville.”

cs-R.E.M.9-Atlanta101103.JPG (46512 bytes)  cs-R.E.M.10-Atlanta101103.JPG (40230 bytes)  cs-R.E.M.11-Atlanta101103.JPG (52675 bytes)  cs-R.E.M.12-Atlanta101103.JPG (29984 bytes)

Lest this start to sound like a re-tread of nostalgic favorites, songs from the last few years got a heavy airing, too. The best included the light “At My Most Beautiful,” the dark “Final Straw” and the sugary “Imitation Of Life.” Songs yet to be released also made the cut. “Bad Day” and “Animal” found the band balancing the agit-rock of Monster with the overwhelming pop melodicism of their earliest work.

cs-R.E.M.22-Atlanta101103.JPG (51544 bytes)  cs-R.E.M.14-Atlanta101103.JPG (43344 bytes)  cs-R.E.M.15-Atlanta101103.JPG (38522 bytes)  cs-R.E.M.29-Atlanta101103.JPG (31475 bytes)

The low points in the show were few. Special guest vocalist Pete Yorn didn’t really do justice to Patti Smith’s part on “E-Bow The Letter” and a late set pairing of “She Just Wants To Be” and “Walk Unafraid” found a majority of the crowd sitting for the only time during the show. That’s okay; the rest of the night was perfect. “Fall On Me,” “The One I Love” and “Losing My Religion” satisfied the arena-filling requirement, but “Find The River” felt more timeless and self-assured. “Electrolite” was also particularly well delivered.

cs-R.E.M.17-Atlanta101103.JPG (68446 bytes)  cs-R.E.M.18-Atlanta101103.JPG (34800 bytes)  cs-R.E.M.19-Atlanta101103.JPG (38864 bytes)  cs-R.E.M.20-Atlanta101103.JPG (37621 bytes)


Following main set ender, “Man On The Moon,” R.E.M. returned to really shock some diehards. A potent “Life And How To Live It” was greeted with peppery exclamations from individuals and the sound turned into a jumbled roar. That was just a start, though.

cs-R.E.M.21-Atlanta101103.JPG (45324 bytes)   cs-R.E.M.13-Atlanta101103.JPG (30090 bytes)  cs-R.E.M.23-Atlanta101103.JPG (30633 bytes)  cs-R.E.M.24-Atlanta101103.JPG (29860 bytes) 

After Stipe announced, “We’re going to play more songs than we’re supposed to tonight because home is 65 miles east of here,” a five-song fan’s dream began as a thank you for those who’d been around since they were “a shitty little band from Athens.” “Gardening At Night,” “Wolves, Lower,” Sitting Still,” “Radio Free Europe” and “Permanent Vacation” led the assembled to let go and spasm into what some would call dancing. The jerky, white kid movements of 1982 filled the venue. Stipe, Mills and Buck joined right in with the rest of us. Years melted away.

cs-R.E.M.25-Atlanta101103.JPG (48691 bytes)  cs-R.E.M.30-Atlanta101103.JPG (35572 bytes)   cs-R.E.M.27-Atlanta101103.JPG (41205 bytes)  cs-R.E.M.28-Atlanta101103.JPG (60596 bytes)

Soon after, “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It” heralded the passing of another show, another tour and another chapter in the history of one of America’s most needed and loved bands. Following their bows, the band started to exit the stage. Just before they stepped off, the three original members slowed to a stop and embraced each other in a grinning group hug. Johnny Cash’s “We’ll Meet Again” came down from the speakers as the house lights came up. I hope that’s a promise delivered soon.

Chris McKay / concertshots.com

cs-R.E.M.26-Atlanta101103.JPG (31376 bytes)   cs-R.E.M.31-Atlanta101103.JPG (66459 bytes)


R.E.M. Set List (Atlanta – Oct. 11, 2003)

  1. Finest Worksong

  2. Begin The Begin

  3. So Fast, So Numb

  4. Drive

  5. Animal

  6. Fall On Me

  7. You Are The Everything

  8. Bad Day

  9. The One I Love

  10. Electrolite

  11. E-Bow The Letter

  12. (Don’t Go Back To) Rockville

  13. Find The River

  14. Losing My Religion

  15. At My Most Beautiful

  16. She Just Wants To Be

  17. Walk Unafraid

  18. Man On The Moon


  1. Life And How To Live It

  2. Nightswimming

  3. The Final Straw

  4. Gardening At Night

  5. Wolves, Lower

  6. Sitting Still

  7. Radio Free Europe

  8. Permanent Vacation

  9. Imitation Of Life

  10. It’s The End Of The World As We Know It