The National, Modest Mouse and R.E.M. @ Merriweather Post Pavillion, 6/11/08


12 jun 2008, 23:44

Wed 11 Jun – R.E.M., Modest Mouse, The National

The National came on around 6:30 and played a great show. They started off with "Start A War" and continued with various songs from both Alligator and Boxer until they ended with "Mr. November", the last song from Alligator. Highlights included "Racing Like a Pro", "Fake Empire" and, of course, "Mr. November". The musicianship was quite good, especially their violinist who played some pretty awesome solos on a couple of songs.

After the National left the stage, there was a bit of a break until about 7:30 when Modest Mouse hit the stage.
Since they were the main reason I came to this concert, I was of course extremely excited. They started out strong with "Invisible", which is a surprisingly good opener for being the closing song on We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank. After that Isaac Brock grabbed his banjo and started up "Satin in a Coffin", which was, of course, just awesome. After this, one of the drummers started up a nice drum beat for a little while until Johnny Marr finally joined in with the opening of "Dashboard". Of course, this got everyone excited, since this is either the first or second most popular Modest Mouse song in existence. An intense version of "Fly Trapped in A Jar" followed, and then they got to what was probably the best one for me- "Trucker's Atlas". Even though they didn't play the full 11 minutes of this song, it was still probably the best thing of their set and maybe the entire night. They followed it up with another Lonesome Crowded West Song, "Out of Gas", and then played "Dance Hall", which is insanely better live than in the studio. Of course, they had to play their breakthrough hit "Float On" somewhere in here, so that came next, and I think pretty much everyone watching was singing along to the chorus. The ending bit where Brock shouts "Alright!" a bunch of times worked great with the audience echoing back "Already, we'll all float on", making the song immense. As an unexpected surprise for me, "Tiny Cities Made of Ashes" came on next and, with it's epic chorus, was quite amazing live. Then they played "The View"! Ah, it was so good and includes one of my favorite Modest Mouse lines("If it takes shit to make bliss, we'll then I feel pretty blissfully"). For their
closing song, they played "King Rat", and it was quite an epic closer, I must say. I was sad when they left because I hoped they might play "Teeth Like God's Shoeshine" or "Spitting Venom", but it was a great setlist anyway.

By the time R.E.M. was on stage at around 8:55, there were probably more people in the crowd then were in the crowd for the National and Modest Mouse combined- well, they're not headliners for nothing. They started off with "Finest Worksong", a song I'm not really familiar with because I've mainly listened to AftP, Green and Accelerate(I've heard some of the others, but not as much as these three). It was, however, a good opener and a rather enjoyable song. They went on and played "Living Well is the Best Revenge", the first track off their newest album, which was great live. From here on out, I'll just talk about the highlights. "Bad Day" was great, with it's catchy chorus and impressive Harmonica solo by Micheal Stipe. The next four songs in a row completely floored me. They played "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?", one of their bigger hits that you would expect at a concert and it was great as always. The next song made me jump for joy. It was "Drive", my absolute favorite R.E.M. song! Oh, it was so amazing live, the only issue was the lack of orchestra, but that's to be expected, of course. After this, I really didn't care what they played, as they had already satisfied my desires, but they managed to go even further beyond expectations with the politically charged
"Ignoreland". The next real highlight, though all the songs were really good, would have to be "Houston", one of my favorite tracks off of Accelerate. I love the acoustic guitar and Hammond organ in this, as well as the lyrics)"If the storm doesn't kill me, the government will"). "Electrolite" is a nice song that was beautiful live. "Pop Song 89" was something I really did not expect, since I hadn't seen it on ANY of the setlists floating around, but it was a great treat. "The One I Love" is another one of their bigger hits and it was quite amazing when Stipe passionately fell to his knees for the chorus. Definitely a great live song. Then Stipe said to us, "This next song is a request... from me." They went on to play "Driver 8" which was quite nice. The next three songs were nothing short of awesome, but I also really don't have much to say about them either. The song after them, though, is a completely different story. "Orange Crush" is almost definitely my favorite R.E.M. song after "Drive" and I think live, it actually surpasses it. Seriously, this song was just amazing live. From the booming intro, to the softer but still amazing and catchy verse, to the chorus with Stipe shouting at the top of his lungs into a megaphone, this song was perfection. The definite highlight of this song was the little psychedelic bit in the middle, right before the solo, which had to be one of the best moments I've ever witnessed at a concert. "I'm Gonna DJ", the fun, quirky closer to their newest album was also the set closer. Of course, everyone knew there would be an encore, so we just cheered for a while , while waiting for the band to get back on stage. Finally they came back and started off their encore with their new radio single "Supernatural Superserious", a nice little song with no real flaws. They went on to play what is quite possibly their most famous song of all, "Losing My Religion" with a thoroughly emotional performance from Stipe. They then played "Mr. Richard", which Stipe said was a message to Dick Cheney. After this, Stipe took the time to recognize the members of his band as well as thank the National and Modest Mouse for joining them. He then spoke to us about Amnesty International and an environmental agency, which I thought was nice. Afterwards he told us that he'd been keeping something in his pocket the entire show and was going to bring it out to show us now. It turned out to be a Barack Obama '08 sticker! "WHOOOOHOOO!" I cheered at that! After this he welcomed Johny Marr to the stage!
With Johnny Marr on guitar, they played "Fall On Me", which was great. After Marr left the stage, they played
another one of their biggest hits "Man on the Moon" which is a great song that was made better by Stipe shouting "Are you having fun?" as if he was talking to the audience more than filling out the requirements for the song. Then they finally left us all in awe. Even without being the biggest R.E.M. fan(as I already said, I was mainly here for Modest Mouse) I have to say that was quite an impressive concert and I'd recommend anyone even remotely interested in the to see if they can see a show this tour.

The National Setlist:
Start a War
Baby, We'll Be Fine
Slow Show
Mistaken for Strangers
Squalor Victoria
Racing Like a Pro
Apartment Story
Fake Empire
Mr. November

Modest Mouse Setlist
Satin in a Coffin
Fly Trapped in a Jar
Trucker's Atlas
Out of Gas
Dance Hall
Float On
Tiny Cities Made Of Ashes
The View
King Rat

R.E.M. Setlist
Finest Worksong
Living Well Is the Best Revenge
Bad Day
What's the Frequency, Kenneth?
Man-Sized Wreath
Little America
Hollow Man
Walk Unafraid
(Don’t Go Back To) Rockville
Pop Song 89
Horse to Water
The One I Love
Driver 8
Until the Day Is Done
Let Me In
These Days
Orange Crush
I'm Gonna DJ

Supernatural Superserious
Losing My Religion
Mr. Richards
Fall on Me
Man on the Moon

Breakdown by album:

The National
Alligator:2 songs
Boxer:8 songs

Modest Mouse
Lonesome Crowded West:2 songs
Moon & Antarctica:1 song
Good News For People Who Love Bad News:4 songs
We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank:3 songs
B-sides:1 song

Reckoning:2 songs
Fables of the Reconstruction:1 song
Life's Rich Pageant:2 song
Document:2 songs
Green:2 songs
Out of Time:1 song
Automatic for the People:3 songs
Monster:2 songs
New Adventures In Hifi:1 song
Up:1 song
Accelerate:9 songs
Single Only:1 song


  • pilgrimage145

    w00t w00t

    13 jun 2008, 01:32
  • Binkster

    Yeah, I was there too. The National sounded really tight, and everyone played well together. Modest Mouse were pretty awesome and played a good range of songs. I've been listening to REM since 1985, and the last time I saw them in concert was 1989, so it was good to see them again. It was GREAT to see Michael Stipe having such a good time on stage, he really seemed to be enjoying the experience for a change. The song selection was impressive, as they played something off almost all their albums. I was suprised (and really happy) they opened their set w/ Finest Worksong, which is one of my favs from Document. If you're reading this and REM's coming to your town, seriously try and get tix, you won't be disappointed.

    13 jun 2008, 12:27
  • Asphyxiate_Me

    Yeah, I liked the variety in the songs Modest Mouse chose, definitely. I would've loved if they'd played "Florida" or "Bury Me With It", but they did play "The View", which is my absolute favorite song of theirs hands down. I didn't think The National were anything amazing, but i enjoyed their set; I'm not even a big fan of R.E.M....I knew all the words to only three of the songs they played, I only went because Modest Mouse is my favorite band, but it was a lot of fun nonetheless. Stipe [Unlike Isaac Brock!] actually looked happy to be there.

    18 jun 2008, 20:29
  • rand0mnez

    Yep, as much as I love Modest Mouse, the guys from R.E.M. definitely put on a better show.

    19 jun 2008, 01:33
  • cloudy_skies

    Hey, that seems like a great concert. I'm a huge R.E.M. fan and I'm glad they can still perform well after all these years. I'm pretty amazed they opened with "Finest Worksong", since that's one of my favorite R.E.M. songs ever. And they seemed to play a lot of the more rare album cuts, which is always good. Haha, "Drive" is one of my favorite R.E.M. songs too.

    24 jun 2008, 04:09
  • retroroadhouse

    We wont get this line up for R.E.M.s UK dates, that's a real shame! oh...and Johnny Marr he plays guitar, would have loved to see him onstage with PB.

    17 jul 2008, 12:14
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