Yes. The band that brought the alternative rock genre to the forefront of music with hits such as “Shiny Happy People” and “Losing My Religion,” has said they are calling it a day. I gotta say that’s a helluva long day since R.E.M. has been together for 31 years.
R.E.M. recently released their latest album Collapse Into Now, which some critics are saying is their best album in years. It was just a little over 30 years ago they released their debut album Murmur.
Posted on their website is this brief note:
“To our Fans and Friends: As R.E.M., and as lifelong friends and co-conspirators, we have decided to call it a day as a band. We walk away with a great sense of gratitude, of finality, and of astonishment at all we have accomplished. To anyone who ever felt touched by our music, our deepest thanks for listening.” R.E.M.
Each band member chimed in with their thoughts about “calling it a day”
“During our last tour, and while making Collapse Into Now and putting together this greatest hits retrospective, we started asking ourselves, ‘what next’? Working through our music and memories from over three decades was a hell of a journey. We realized that these songs seemed to draw a natural line under the last 31 years of our working together.
“We have always been a band in the truest sense of the word. Brothers who truly love, and respect, each other. We feel kind of like pioneers in this–there’s no disharmony here, no falling-outs, no lawyers squaring-off. We’ve made this decision together, amicably and with each other’s best interests at heart. The time just feels right.”
“A wise man once said–’the skill in attending a party is knowing when it’s time to leave.’ We built something extraordinary together. We did this thing. And now we’re going to walk away from it.
“I hope our fans realize this wasn’t an easy decision; but all things must end, and we wanted to do it right, to do it our way.
“We have to thank all the people who helped us be R.E.M. for these 31 years; our deepest gratitude to those who allowed us to do this. It’s been amazing.”
“One of the things that was always so great about being in R.E.M. was the fact that the records and the songs we wrote meant as much to our fans as they did to us. It was, and still is, important to us to do right by you. Being a part of your lives has been an unbelievable gift. Thank you.
“Mike, Michael, Bill, Bertis, and I walk away as great friends. I know I will be seeing them in the future, just as I know I will be seeing everyone who has followed us and supported us through the years. Even if it’s only in the vinyl aisle of your local record store, or standing at the back of the club: watching a group of 19 year olds trying to change the world.”
Big & Rich brought their country music tour, Xtreme Music: The Tour, to Thunder Valley Casino and Resort Friday night. Playing to a full house, the crew was engaging and extremely entertaining. Playing with Big & Rich were, of course, Big Kenny and John Rich, with special guests Gretchen Wilson and Cowboy Troy.
This kicked off a weekend full of concerts out at Thunder Valley Casino with Ramon Ayala playing Saturday, and KC & The Sunshine Band on Sunday.
Opening the concert was local heroes, Road 88 ““ you just gotta love the name. The band was named Best Local Band in Sacramento by KCRA’s A-list. Having been together for only a couple of years they already have hit the charts in Europe with their original song “Not Gonna Happen.” Expect to see some big things from these guys and gals in the near future.
Lead singer Rachel Steele sounded awesome as did the rest of the crew consisting of Scott Prentice (Lead vocals and rhythm guitar), David Phelps (lead vocals and guitar), Sherry Eidhammer (Vocals), Joe Anderson (Drums), and Joe Irwin (Bass).
Talk about working a crowd. People were standing their entire set and people who were just milling around waiting for Big & Rich started filing in to watch and listen as they performed. When they left the stage it was obvious the audience wanted more, as did I.
Just make sure you get out and see them before they skyrocket to fame (if they haven’t already)!
As the stage lit up in a dazzling array of bright lights, color beams, and strobes, Big Kenny and John Rich came out with their latest hit single “Fake I.D.”
The Muzik Mafia, as they like to refer to themselves, share an eight-piece band on a custom stage that includes a fully functional bar as the centerpiece. The music never stopped as Big & Rich, Gretchen, and Cowboy Troy performed hit after hit ““ the convenience of having one band do it all.
I know they were going for that local bar feel, but this reminded me more of a circus with all the different colored lights going off and the rotation of artists throughout the night. John Rich started out in a red shirt and when Cowboy Troy showed up he also had a red shirt, adding to the circus feel. That’s not to say it was a bad thing, it was simply great.
It was a nice touch when, after thanking all the military personnel in the crowd, including past, present and future, they brought a couple of individuals who are currently serving in the military up onstage. Major Sargent Surita A. Rorie and Technical Sargent Eric Grant had Gretchen playing bartender and telling her guests to belly-up to the bar for a shot of their favorite drink as a toast to their dedication and commitment. Not sure, but I think they both went for the Jack Daniels.
Probably the funniest part of the show was when John Rich was telling the audience about his adventures in town. Turns out he took a ride in one of Thunder Valley’s limousines and ended up at our local Wal-Mart. He became fascinated with a jar of Cheese Balls. Funny thing is, I knew exactly what he was talking about since I was there earlier that day too. They are really large cheese balls in a very large clear plastic jar. Wal-Mart has them in stock for Halloween. I didn’t buy them, because god forbid, if I were to bring anything in our house with artificial anything in it. I guess Rich doesn’t have that problem at his house since he bought at least one and brought it with him onstage. He had all the band members sign the jar and then tossed it to one lucky fan.
It was a really fun night out at Thunder Valley Casino and Resort ““ as usual.
Next up for Thunder Valley this weekend is Ramon Ayala!
|Big & Rich Set-list:Fake ID
Here For the Party
Comin to Your City
I Got Your Country Right Here
Angel From Montgomery
Lost in This Moment
8th of November
Work Hard, Play Harder
Chicken With a Train
All Jacked Up
Save a Horse, Ride a CowboyEncore
Ballad of Big and Rich
|Road 88 Set List:Little White Church
Drive (Road 88)
Not Gonna Happen (Road 88)