Almost two years after my first “secular” concert experience with U2 with a special guest appearance by Bruce Springsteen, I had my second “secular” concert experience with R.E.M. on their Green tour at the Mann Music Center in Philadelphia.
Like the U2 concert, I hitched a ride with a group of people I didn’t even really know, but since I was into R.E.M., I must be cool (I wasn’t). Or so I thought that they must think until…
…a conversation on the way to the concert:
Driver (smoking a joint, talking around me to the other Deadheads in the car): So, gentlemen, the next concert I think we’ll go to is the Dead down in D.C. since we’ve been following them around.
Other Deadheads in the car: Cool.
Me (not smoking a joint, honest, not to say I wasn’t enjoying the secondhand buzz): Hey, I’d like to go to that.
Driver (smoking a joint, talking around me to the other Deadheads in the car): I don’t know if he would fit in. I mean, he doesn’t know the dances. We’d have to think about it, but I doubt it.
I would have thought he was joking, but he went on for another 10 minutes about how uncool I would be and, I guess, how I’d harsh their vibes.
Doesn’t know the dances? WTF? After consulting with my wife since, who had been to see The Dead back in the day (I can’t say whether she inhaled or not, but with all the smoke around her, it probably was inevitable that she got a secondhand buzz, at least), you don’t need to know any dances.
I mean, look at Michael Stipe, say whatever you want to say about the man, but he cannot dance.
“Stand” was the first song they played at the 9/17/87 concert and “It’s The End of The World (As We Know It,” the last song before the encores. For complete setlist of the Sept. 17, 1989 show, see here for someone who has even more time on his hands than me.
Bonus video from actual 1989 tour: