Watch members of R.E.M. & friends celebrate Chronic Town’s 40th anniversary in Athens, GA
R.E.M.'s debut EP, Chronic Town, turned 40 this year, and to celebrate, there was a special anniversary show in the band's hometown, Athens, GA, on Wednesday night at legendary local club 40 Watt. As Stereogum noted, guitarist Peter Buck and bassist Mike Mills played with the house band -- drummer Bill Berry was there but didn't perform -- and guests included Chronic Town producer and Let's Active leader Mitch Easter, John Cameron Mitchell, Fred Armisen, Indigo Girls, Darius Rucker, Patti Smith guitarist Lenny Kaye, The Baseball Project (Steve Wynn & REM sideman Scott McCaughey), Drivin' N' Cryin's Kevn Kinney, The Pylon Reenactment Society, Elf Power and more.
David Cross hosted the night, and that house band was led by The Black Crowes’ Rich Robinson, plus his bandmate Sven Pipien on bass, and Screaming Trees’ Barrett Martin on drums.
The night was really more of a tribute R.E.M. than Chronic Town specifically, as songs from their entire catalog were performed, including: John Cameron Mitchell performed "Wolves, Lower," "Stumble," and "Low"; Fred Armisen sang "Gardening at Night"; Elf Power performed "Little America," "Begin the Begin," and "There She Goes Again"; The Pylon Reinactment Society peformed their song "Crazy" (which R.E.M. covered) along with R.E.M.'s "Crush With Eyeliner" and Mission of Burma's "Academy Fight Song"; Mitch Easter sang "1,000,000"; Kevn Kinney sang "Fall on Me" and "King of Birds"; Darius Rucker sang "I Believe" and "World Leader Pretend"; Indigo Girls sang "Orange Crush"; Lenny Kaye was on hand for "Superman"; and Mike Mills sang on a cover of Big Star's "September Gurls."
Check out fan-shot pics and video from the night below.
A similar show with most of the same performers happens in Atlanta tonight (12/15) which you can stream live via VEEPS.