City Ground, Nottingham - 6th July

R.E.M. summer shows 2005

published: Wed 13th Jul 2005

Friday 17th June to Sunday 10th July 2005
various (around the UK), UK
various
last updated: Fri 8th Jul 2005

Supergroup REM after many years of avoiding the great city of Nottingham decided to come and put on a show. However REM being one of those groups that like to try and push the boundaries decided that they weren’t going to play the ‘usual’ Nottingham venues such as Rock City (they played there in 1984), Nottingham Royal Concert Hall (played in 1989) Nottingham Ice Arena or even Wollaton Park, instead they decided that they would be the first band to hold a gig at the City Ground.

Upon arriving at The City Ground, it was obvious that car parking had not been organised terribly well. There are car parks around the stadium but very small ones, however there is a car park about ten minutes walk away, which is where most of the traffic decided to park.

Once inside the stadium, they had tried something which I had never seen done before, they had all of the food/drink stalls outside the stadium- the only thing that was inside the stadium was the merchandise stall. At first I thought this would be annoying to have to leave your spot to go to the toilets and get some food etc, however at the City Ground this system worked really well and in doing so it had the effect of cutting down time spent in queues because it was a constant moving queue and so maybe more venues should start to have this system.

With open air shows the sound is quite often very poor- a prime example would be Green Days crap sound at Milton Keynes a couple of weeks ago- so it was with crossed fingers that we were hoping REM’s crew had managed to get the sound perfect for this open air gig. To their credit they must have worked bloody hard because the sound was immaculate.

Support came via Idlewild and The Zutons. Idlewild have over the years improved their live act to such a point that it is now such a pleasure to see them play live. The Zutons however were even more impressive and they know all the right buttons to press to impress the audience.

As we stood waiting for REM to arrive on stage the weather changed from sunny to mild rain, in a flash the audience and transformed from a army of t-shirt wearing, sun bathing mass into a stadium full of anoraks and umbrellas!

The band arrived on stage and soaked up the applause from the crowd who were clearly not bothered about the rain.

Mr Stipe (vocalist) was wearing a blue stripe across his eyes, this used to be green when I last caught REM live, but he must have ran out of green for this year. Watching Michael Stipe dance is a like watching your own dad dancing embarrassingly at a family party- but whilst having an epileptic fit!

With so many hits it was a sure-fire bet that REM would be trying to squeeze as many into their set as humanly possible- sure enough classics like ‘Drive’ and ‘Whats The Frequency Kenneth’ were belted out within the first quarter of the show- which certainly got the crowd warmed up and took our minds of the pouring rain.

As expected REM saved their sing-a-long power ballad ‘Everybody Hurts’ for the last part of the show. They closed the set with ‘Man On The Moon’, which left the adoring fans feeling as if they had got their moneys worth.

REM are genuinely one of the top live bands around without exception!
review by: Luke Seagrave

Friday 17th June to Sunday 10th July 2005
various (around the UK), UK
various
last updated: Fri 8th Jul 2005


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