watch 3/4ths of R.E.M. reunite w/ mems of Sleater-Kinney, Decemberists & more for Scott McCaughey benefit
Scott McCaughey of The Minus 5, Young Fresh Fellows, R.E.M.’s touring band and more, suffered a stroke back in November while on tour with Alejandro Escovedo. He’s in stable condition now, thankfully, and on the road to recover but has a mountain of medical bills. In Portland, OR on Friday (1/5, The Star Theater) and Saturday (1/6, Wonder Ballroom) were two “Help The Hoople” benefit concerts for Scott, both featuring a version of Filthy Friends, the band that Scott formed with Peter Buck (R.E.M., Minus 5), Corin Tucker (Sleater-Kinney), Kurt Bloch (YFF, Fastbacks) and others. The concerts were more than that though, with R.E.M’s and Mike Mills, and Janet Weiss joining Buck and Tucker for both nights, and on Saturday, R.E.M. drummer Bill Berry (who left the band in 1997) joined them too.
Friday’s show also featured sets from Escovedo, James Mercer of The Shiins, Patterson Hood (Drive-by Truckers) & Chris Funk (The Decemberists), M Ward, Justin Townes Earle and more; Saturday’s show had sets from The Decemberists, Mercer, a reunited (late-’80s/early-’90s Portland band) Dharma Bums and more. Best surprise: Scott joined for both shows.
Both nights featured a lot of R.E.M. songs, including “The One I Love,” “Texarkana,” “(Don’t Go Back To) Rockville,” and “Superman” with Mills singing lead. At both shows, James Mercer sang “You Are the Everything” and on Saturday, Colin Meloy sang lead for “I Believe.” Check out videos and Instagrams from both nights below.
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Thank you Bill Berry & all the other FANTASTIC musicians, friends & fans that came from near & far to celebrate & #helpthehoople. It was a beautiful two days of magic & music that none of us will ever forget. Special love goes to #peterbuck & the amazing, wonderful #joshtaylor, because none of this would ever have happen without these two beautiful souls. #joshtaylorissupermanandhecandoanything #theworldisbetterbecauseofpeterbuck #thanksyallforthelove