Review: Jack Foley
"WE'RE REM and this is what we do" announced Michael
Stipe, ahead of REM's set at Live 8 in Hyde Park.
The enigmatic frontman (who bore an uncanny resemblance to the
X-Men character, The Crawler, because of the blue stripe across
his face) then delivered three songs that reflected the diversity
of REM's back catalogue, kicking off with a rousing version of
Imitation of Life, before launching into one of the song's
of the day, Everybody Hurts.
The ballad, comprised of painful yet inspiring lyrics, was a
truly unifying song for a unifying day - prompting the crowd to
sway together, hug loved ones and sing at the top of their voices.
Given the context of the occasion, its words took on added poignancy
and Stipe's striking vocals ensured that they were delivered with
Given the serious nature of the track,
however, it was good that REM followed it with one of their liveliest
numbers - not Shiny Happy People, as you might expect,
but Man on the Moon.
The song was delivered with carefree abandon and the whole band
seemed to relax properly for the first time - Stipe bouncing around
the stage like a man half his age, and gyrating his hips as he
yelled out 'hey baby' on several occasions.
Even the guitars seemed faster than normal, thereby ensuring
that the thought-provoking sentiment of Everybody Hurts
was quickly replaced with a real party song that kept up the crowds'
Then again, the song may have been selected for extra significance
- for if, as the chorus states, we put a man on the moon, surely
we can take action to prevent a child dying every three seconds
in Africa, can't we?
Live 8 London:
U2's set reviewed
Coldplay at Live 8: Live
at Live 8: Review
Snoop Dogg reviewed
no sign of nerves at Live 8
Madonna ensures her Music
makes people come together
Pink Floyd reunion reviewed
Live 8: Overview (the day in review)