Saturday, February 26, 2005

This One Goes Out

Well, the weekend started on a bit of a high. The brother came up and we both set off to the Odyssey Arena to see REM in concert. And very good they were too. We arrived pretty late, an hour late in fact, but I think the band had only been on stage 20 minutes or so.

At first, things seemed at little dead. The people sitting in the posh bits were staring at the stage like a convention of restaurant critics. I wondered if they were dead. And the band were doing all their new stuff which I'm ashamed to say I don't know at all. We did question whether we should just set off for the bar. But it's a good thing that we stayed.

Things hotted up once REM moved onto Orange Crush. All of a sudden everyone was dancing, even the people in the seats, and Michael Stipe started buzzing, and then it was brilliant. They went through a few of the classics and some of their more upbeat new stuff.

The brother was commenting on how relaxed Stipe is on stage and it's true: once there was some feedback from the crowd, he was amazing. He chatted away and danced and generally ran about in a rock-starrish fashion. And the music really flew. Especially, to my REM-amateur's mind, Losing my Religion.

Just as a quick aside, one other thing the brother noticed was the amazing pride of people in Belfast. Every time the city was mentioned, the placed erupted into a frenzy: great to hear, especially given my general pessimism about a feeling of shared space in NI.

Anyway, I'm off down in Dublin for the weekend, seeing the folks, visiting friends and, on Monday, doing a spot of library work. More blogging upon my return home.

No comments: