Friday Flashback: R.E.M. Live At Raleigh Underground 1982!

"Let's hear it for Peter Holsapple!"

What better way to ingratiate yourself to the locals than to name-check the dB's singer/guitarist in his hometown.  R.E.M., of course, were playing any joint that would have them, their debut EP Chronic Town having hit the streets less than two months ago.

"Let's hear it for Genghis Khan!"

And with that R.E.M. begins a show that is, to date, the earliest pro-shot footage of the band performing live.  Those expecting an embryonic band still struggling to find themselves are going to be sorely disappointed, as are those expecting an introverted Michael Stipe (seen here wearing a frat's t-shirt).  Even a fan of the band's early recorded work might find themselves surprised by how sure-footed the band was at this early juncture.

Three songs in, the band are joined by producer Mitch Easter on "1,000,000", at which point they seem to shift into a higher gear, betraying the mystery and murkiness of their early recorded work and revealing a band capable of giving any hard-charging rock band of the day a run for their money.
Aired on a South Carolina cable provider in slightly edited format, the set list included here is jam-packed with songs that are now as revered as anything in their canon: "Wolves, Lower", "Moral Kiosk", "Catapult", "West Of The Fields" , "Radio Free Europe", and "We Walk", as well as "Ages Of You", which was recorded for Chronic Town but didn't make the cut.

Of course, most essential is the band's show-closing reggae-tinged jam ("Skank") which shows just how fearless the band is at wading into musical waters where other bands of their ilk feared to tread.

Superior St. Rehearsal Facility

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