For Your Easter Sunday Listening Pleasure: R.E.M. Sends One Out to the Grads of SMU

Categories: Music
rem87.jpg
Via.
Speaking of great shows at Moody Coliseum ...

Floating out in the ether, all by its unmarked lonesome, is this resonant echo: R.E.M. at Moody Coliseum on November 18, 1987 -- a stop along The Work Tour in support of that year's Document, the band's fifth and final album for I.R.S. Records. I was a sophomore in college at the time, and R.E.M. was The College Band without which college radio would have consisted of nothing but static, Smiths and Replacements songs. But Michael Stipe, Peter Buck, Mike Mills and Bill Berry, supported on that tour by the db's, didn't play my college town; the band skipped right over Austin on the way to College Station and Houston. If the fog of collegiate memory serves, that perceived slight broke more than a few hearts on the University of Texas campus and around The Daily Texan's entertainment office; I mean, really ... A&M and SMU? R.E.M., which had once opened for The Judy's at the long-gone Club Foot, wouldn't step foot in Austin again till a March 21, 1989, show at the  Erwin Center.

So here, for those who missed it and those who fortunate enough to pay a mere $16 for seventh-row seats, is the show to end all shows, at least at the time -- a set list that ranged from Murmur ('Moral Kiosk") to almost the entirety of Document (which remains both the commercial breakthrough and the artist highlight, though Out of Time would later have something to say about that) to songs that would appear on Green one year later ("Orange Crush," "Pop Song 89") to a slew of covers, ranging from but not limited to Gang of Four's "What We All Want, Syd Barrett's "Dark Globe" and the show-closing "After Hours" by the Velvet Underground.

Also contained herein: the giddily chatty Michael Stipe's Hilltop dedication of "Exhuming McCarthy" to Mustangs past and present. "This is a really special song with an introduction on this evening, a special song which is sent out a very special group of people, that is to say the graduates of the fine Southern Methodist University. This goes out to the graduates of the past and the graduates of the near future." So, Dad, this one's for you.

Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
14 comments
p weller
p weller

Anything out there from their show at the Bronco Bowl in support of Reckoning? Top 5 concert on my list.

Lastangelman
Lastangelman

OMG, I was in hospital recuperating from abdominal surgery - I wanted to be at show so bad - thanks much Robert!

Judd D. Bradbury
Judd D. Bradbury

Yes Robert that is correct. Apologies for the heartbreak. With the Darrell Jordan thing we will call it even. The Town Hall student association at A&M won that one away from the Austin gang. REM hit the cover of Rolling Stone for the first time the week they took the stage at A&M. As bands go they were not too picky about the backstage setup. The main thing that I recall was the incandescent lights only clause in the contract. Town Hall had a couple of other wins that year including George Strait, the Judy's, and Joe King Carrasco. We were very close on INXS and Sting but you can't win them all. It was one of the better shows I have seen. You could not mistake Michael Stipe, scented oils and all with entourage. Talking to Peter Buck was like talking to your buddy from college. Many thanks for the good memory.

dicky van tastic
dicky van tastic

A strange note on this show at Moody, was I got offered to go backstage, because Turner was working as one of the roadies. I opted not to do it, because I would have gotten lost from my ride (girlfriend) at the time. Turner gave me an allied REM shirt instead. He told me later that I was lucky for not going backstage, because everyone got food poisoning from the food backstage.

Darryl
Darryl

They played the arcadia on the pleased to meet me tour. tommy stinson stepped on my pack of cigs that I threw on the stage. chesterfields. last time i ever smoked.i saw them nine times. 8 of those in austin. best one was let it be tour. bob stinson in panties and bra. they tried to do within your reach which wouldn't make it on record for several years. first song was "start me up."

Paul Semrad
Paul Semrad

The irony of the dedication was completely lost on the SMU alumni judging by the explosion of cheering after Stipe said it.

frank
frank

Hey I was there too. Fantastic show, requisite Reagan digs and all. The dB's opened with a fine set themselves, and after the show my buddy and I were intrigued to find a little yellow flyer under my wiper balde, which I still have, for a benefit gig after the show at Clearview featuring "The dB's and... guess who?"

It was a weeknight but fuckit. So off we went, to a *maybe* quarter-full old back room at Clearview. After a short wait, the dB's ambled in, played IIRC a four or five song all-cover set, when I turned around to see Mike Mills and Peter Buck standing right behind me.

Then after a couple more numbers, members of REM began to saunter onstage in what quickly became an Athens supergroup jam. I don't recall any standouts, but to get what amounted to a short private show from REM and the dB's was something you don't forget.

Thanks for the memories and the music, RW!

Bob
Bob

Waiting patiently for you to find and post a Replacements performance in Dallas. I think there was only one, yes?

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

Several, actually -- including their opening stint for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in July 1989 at Starplex. I was there -- among the few hundred who'd gotten there early on a sweltering afternoon to see the Mats, who clearly wanted to be anywhere else. Westerberg hopped off the stage and played a few songs sitting in the front row, chatting up a fan.

I have a copy of this show. Now you do too.

http://www.bootsdaily.com/?nav...

There were other gigs too -- including a Bronco Bowl show with Fishbone opening, and that farewell gig in support of All Shook Down (when the band was barely a band anymore) at the roller rink off Northwest Highway. Now THAT was something I'd like to find -- a top-tenner, though I can't for the life of me remember why. Which is very Replacementsy.

Jason
Jason

You made me curious about that last show of theirs. I think it was the old roller derby place over on that little side street (Markville?) that ran a couple of blocks approximately from Greenville Ave. to 635. I know I saw a few shows there and, man, it sure was a weird place. Metroplex Arena. I remember seeing the Replacements there, a not so good Cocteau Twins show, as well as the Posies and maybe a couple more. Here is what I dug up from an old message board - 1/24/91 DALLAS - METROPLEX ARENA. I was hoping I could find a recording of that show. I did find a listing with a CD cover that makes it appear to exist. http://www.colormeimpressed.co...

Bob
Bob

Thanks, Robert.

Liles
Liles

The Replacements last show with Bob Stinson on guitar was at the Theatre Gallery. At the time, Russ Hobbs and I lived across the street from TG in a loft space above the original Prophet Bar. About nine o'clock the morning of our show, the band loudly showed up on our doorstep looking for beer. They had driven straight to Dallas from their show the night before and were ready to drink! By the time they were supposed to sound check that afternoon, they were totally blitzed. Bob was nowhere to be found, and when he returned an hour or two later he was wearing a silver spandex onesey outfit with huge bell bottoms.

That show was LOUD.

Paul Semrad
Paul Semrad

I was at that show too, I wouldn't let Tommy Stinson cut in front of me in line to the bathroom. I thought, "who is this cocky little kid".

Bob
Bob

Ah, so they played here during the Bob Stinson farewell tour in '86, eh? The shows during that tour were awesome; fueled by 8-balls, whiskey and animosity. I would love to get my paws on that show.

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...