R.E.M.

Live From Austin TX (New West)

DVDs

R.E.M.

Live From Austin TX (New West)

Studio 6A brought out something different from every artist that stepped into the historic home of Austin City Limits. The lights and cameras, the pin-drop clarity, and the unnerving intimacy could expose an unexpected vulnerability, a rare glimpse into the emotional struggle and weight behind the music. Filmed in March 2008, this reprieve from the hustle of South by Southwest was obviously relished by R.E.M., with frontman Michael Stipe offering colorful introductions to most of the material. "The new stuff is really brilliant," he jokes early on. "If you don't like it, most of the songs are like two-and-a-half minutes." From the opening salvo of "Living Well Is the Best Revenge" and "Man-Sized Wreath," the Athens, Ga., outfit attacks the material from its 14th studio album, Accelerate, which made up nearly half the set, with a lean, call-to-arms urgency that ripples through unexpected highlights "I'm Gonna DJ" and "Horse to Water" as well as a chilling "So. Central Rain" and greatest hit "Losing My Religion." While slightly expanded from the original hourlong broadcast, this doesn't offer the entire taping – it was a 19-song set by my count – but the 70-minute program manages to capture what it felt like to be in the room that Thursday afternoon, this close to greatness.

***

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More R.E.M.
Top 10 Box Sets of 2018
R.E.M.
The Best of R.E.M. at the BBC (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, Dec. 7, 2018

Heart-Shaped Box Sets
R.E.M.
Automatic for the People (25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, Dec. 8, 2017

More Music Reviews
The Infinites
The Infinites
The Infinites (Record Review)

Rachel Rascoe, May 10, 2019

Texas Platters
Rod Melancon
Pinkville (Record Review)

Scott Jordan, May 3, 2019

More by Austin Powell
Record Review: The Young
Record Review: The Young

Aug. 22, 2014

Pickathon Polishes Off No. 16
Pickathon Polishes Off No. 16
Oregon fest boasts IPAs, ATXs, camping, and sustainability

Aug. 4, 2014

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

R.E.M.

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle