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The Daily Tar HlFriday. September 28, 19345
R.E.M.: Rockin', energetic music
Perhaps it was not a religious expe
rience, but the 27-song show R.E.M.
performed Tuesday night in Duke's
Page Auditorium left the capacity
crowd singing praise.
The band from Athens, Ga. stuck
mostly to the unique, murky-sounding
pop-rock originals from its albums. The
two encores included some curious
After an almost intentionally sloppy
version of R.E.M.'s frenzied hit "Radio
Free Europe," the show opened up like
some unexpected, unnameable flower.
Dynamically attractive to watch, lead
singer Michael Stipe sang with emo
tional intensity. He moaned on "Gar
dening at Night," howled on "Pilgrim
age" and sang earnestly on "So. Central
Guitarist Peter Buck generally leapt
about like a leprechaun, plucking out
brilliant lead guitar lines all the while.
Drummer" Bill Berry pounded out
steady, sometimes driving beats all night
long, even adding some piercing back
R.E.M.s loose feeling but united
sound seemed to be orchestrated by
bassist Mike Mills, who provided
striking, almost guitar-speed bass licks.
His backing or intermittent vocals of
contrasting lyrics added depth to the
songs as Stipe played off them, singing
Many in the audience passed up their
seats to crowd into the orchestra pit or
against the front rails as R.E.M. played
a consistently strong though somewhat
unclimatic regular set. The climax came
with the two encores.
R.E.M. opened its first encore with
a pretty version of The Mamas and the
Papas "California Dreaming." Mills
and Berry added rich harmonies to
Stipe's singing. An unrecorded song and
"1,000,000" ended the set as Stipe's
shouts exploded like violent fireworks
through the walls of speakers.
Brought back for a second encore,
R.E.M. played a most eclectic set.
Stipe entered the darkened stage
alone and began singing in a surpris-
ingly bare, honest voice. Mills and then
Berry joined in as well on this beautiful
acapcUa version of the standard "Moon
River." The audience met the sone with
stillness and silence interrupted by
occasional screams and, finally, tre
Buck then came back on stage for
the rocking "Second Guessing," which
was followed by a country medley led
by Stipe. The band's own country
tinged "(Dont Go to) Rockville," which
again found Mills and Berry in strong
harmony with Stipe, followed.
When the song ended, Stipe imme
diately hummed some more and would
not stop until the other band members
acquiesced and played the innocent
sounding "We Walk." Stipe gingerly
swayed his shoulders to the music.
Peter Holsapple, lead singer for the
dB's, then joined R.E.M. on guitar for
the song the audience had screamed for
all night the all-out, rocking "Box
Cars (Carnival of Sorts)." As a finale,
R.E.M. jammed out a rambling 15
minute, punk-influenced version of
Fleetwood Mac's "Tusk" that sent Stipe
Funky bass riffs and generally skele
tal guitar lines backdropped Stipe's
harmonica licks. The relative quiet of
the song climbed emotionally as Buck
thrust at his guitar strings and Stipe let
out screams that evoked images of
tortured souls and demons.
As the song kept going, Stipe fell to
the floor, his back against the front
speaker monitors, and ad libbed lines
about "sheltering your daughter." The
whole scene was reminiscent of Jim
At the show's end, a sense of wonder
prevailed in the audience. A murmur
lingered in the air.
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H LATE SHOW
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THEY ARE SOMETHING MORE THAN
LOVERS WHO ARE ABOUT TO BECOME
SOMETHING LESS THAN HUMAN.
NASTASSIA KiNSKI In
H3 AN NKO-UMVCMAL MTUMC
WILLIAM HOLDEN & GLORIA SWANSON
THE ACADEMY AWARD WINNER
2:45 o 5:00
JOIN THE SEARCH.
7:15 o 9:
Sometimes It's right to do the wrong thing.
" JAMIE LEE
Tv ; CURTIS
dB's live act lacks excitement
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Peter Hoisspple, lead singer of dB's, performs.
There has been a great deal of talk lately about
New Southern Pop, a generic label used to describe
bands as different as the B-52s and Jason and the
Scorchers. The dB's, purveyors of the form since
before the term existed, returned home to North
Carolina Tuesday Night as they opened for R.E.M.
at Duke's Page Auditorium.
The dB's play pop music in the best sense of
the term. Their songs are infectious, built around
simple guitar riffs and loaded with hooks. On
record, they combine the eclecticism of the Beatles
with the raucous good spirit of the Monkees.
Live, however, the dB's are harder to grasp. They
have never had a very good reputation as a live
act, and Tuesday night's show displayed the band
as tight and well-intentioned but less than
Part of the problem was the absence of founding
member Chris Stamey, who left the band for a
solo career last year. Peter Holsapple was left to
carry the entire weight of the dB's live show.
Holsapple performed well, but the band was never
exciting; they spent most of the evening standing
in one place. In addition, the quirky experimen
talism of Stanley's songs like "Happenstance" and
"I'm in Love" were sorely missed.
However, Stamey's absence did have some
positive effects. The dB's were more emotionally
direct and less abstract than on record. They
explored some exciting, straightforward rock 'n'
roll ideas that probably would have been left
untouched had Stamey remained in the band.
Highlights of the dB's eleven-song set included
"Neverland," a fast rocker with great harmony
provided by the band's new bass player (former
bassist Gene Holder now plays lead guitar); "Bad
Reputation," a scathing song from the dB's first
album; and "Black and White," which featured
R.E.M.'s Peter Buck as guest guitarist.
After a lackluster rendition of "Amplifier," the
dB's seemed a dead issue. The band was only in
the middle of its set, but the crowd began calling
for R.E.M. Peter Holsapple proceeded to unleash
the evening's biggest surprise: a thrilling version
of Elvis Presley's "Suspicious Minds," perhaps the
King's finest song. The dB's carried the song off
surprisingly well, lacking only back-up singing to
push the song over the top.
The dB's followed "Suspicious Minds" with
"Rendezvous," an excellent new song about a trip
to Elvis' grave in Memphis, Tenn. and probably
the dB's best song since 1982's "Happenstance."
Holsapple closed the dB's show with a resound
ing "It's great to be home!" The group may not
have had its best show ever Tuesday night, but
the musicians were definitely interesting and
certainly welcome home.
THEIR 10 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER
IS SUING THEM FOR DIVORCE.
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RYAN O'NEAL SHELLEY LONG DREW BARRYMORE
"IRRECONCILABLE DIFFERENCES" A LANTANA PRODUCTION
SAM WANAMAKER ALLEN GARFIELD SHARON STONE
Director of Photography WILLIAM A. FRAKER.A.S.C. Executive Producer NANCY MEYERS
Prohcdbj ARLENE SELLERS mi ALEX WINITSKY
wnttib, NANCY MEYERS 6r CHARLES SHYER rwi, CHARLES SHYER
PG paebjtal gu:oa:xe suested &
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. ' , FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 28TH
-? JAMES KEACH
2:30 o 4:45 o 7:00 o 9:15