The Times Herald from Port Huron, Michigan on August 19, 1999 · Page 37
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The Times Herald from Port Huron, Michigan · Page 37

Port Huron, Michigan
Issue Date:
Thursday, August 19, 1999
Page 37
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THURSDAY, AUGUST 19, 1999 TIMES HERALD R.E.M.'s concert tour proves they're still the 'hippest band' By EDNA GUNDERSEN Gannett News Service LOS ANGELES In its triumphant return to the stage, R.E.M. reclaims the spotlight as "America's hippest band," a title bestowed, belatedly, by Rolling Stone magazine in 1989. Ten years later, the Athens, Ga., band is emphasizing its rock V roll rank and relevance as it embarks on its first U.S. tour in four years and first outing since drummer Bill Berry's departure in 1997. Among other tour stops, the band will perform in concert Aug. 23 at Pine Knob Music Theatre in Clark-ston. The band is known for such dizzying rockers as What's the Frequency, Kenneth?, Low Desert and Lotus, as well as gentler pop songs (Daysleeper), hypnotic ballads ( Why Not Smile) and edgy hybrids (the swaggering Crush With Eyeliner). The band's set list also taps into classics such as melodic stunners Fall on Me and The One I Love. Singer Michael Stipe prevails as the band's mesmerizing focal point, both as a gripping vocalist, ably gliding from angelic falsettos to demonic wails, and as a flamboyant glitter-grunge frontman in alternating guises of beat poet, vamp, pop star and slacker. In a voice as confident as it is vulnerable, Mr. Stipe whips angst into the talk-sing rush of E-bow the Letter, adds a spiritual ache to Everybody Hurts and imbues At My Most Beautiful with a childlike innocence. He dedicated the song, sweetened by Beach Boys harmonies, to attendee Brian Wilson. On stage, Mr. Stipe's distinctive imprint is matched by Peter Buck, who glides from jangly, psychedelic and reverb-heavy guitar workouts to lush mandolin picking, and Mike Mills, a proficient bassistkeyboardist and the band's indispensable background vocalist. j . , , A dX -J AT PINE KNOB Photo courtesy of PALACE ENTERTAINMENT, INC. THE BOYS FROM ATHENS: R.E.M. takes to the stage in its first concert tour in four years. The sound is fleshed out by drummer Joey Waronker and multi-instrumentalists Ken Stringfellow and Scott McCoughey. The group performs under an elaborate jungle gym of roped lighting, twisted into such whimsical figures as a banana, fish, star, camera, turkey, porpoise, martini glass, airplane and coffee cup. The eye candy underscores R.E.M.'s relaxed and joyous tone. The music cements the band's prospects as a beacon on 21st century rock. R.E.M will perform in concert with Wilco Aug. 23 at Pine Knob Music Theatre in Clarkston. For tickets, call (248) 645-6666. Striking the right balance between serious art and shiny, happy entertainment, R.E.M. delivers a welcome alternative to summer's bipolar menu of harsh rap-metal and gooey teen pop. Backstreet Boys fuel music sales From staff and wire reports The Backstreet Boys and Ricky Martin are leading a resurgence in music sales among teen-agers. While young girls make up the Backstreet Boys' prime audience, Jive Records, which marketed the band's album Millennium, has carefully marketed the group's ballads to an adult market as well. "I don't think this is just girls," said Tom Calderone, MTV's senior vice president of music programming. "The moms are out there and the girls are with their boyfriends, who are singing along sheepishly. I (liinkit'Vbiggeflha'rimlit."'-" U MTV drew thousands of fans to its Times Square studio for a Backstreet Boys appearance this summer. Millennium is the successor to the band's 10 million-selling, self-entitled debut, and contains the hit song Want it That Way. The album went on sale in May. Last weekend, tickets for the group's three concerts scheduled for Nov. 6, 7 and 8 at The Palace of Auburn Hills sold out in less than one hour. The Nov. 6 show sold out in a Palace record of eight minutes, surpassing a previous record of 10 minutes set by Madonna for her concert Oct; 2f 199$, jjjjj it jr. "I knew it (the Nov. 6 show) would do well, but I didn't know it would do this well," said Jeff Corey, director of public relations for Palace Sports & Entertainment. The Nov. 7 and 8 dates were added due to high-ticket demand. "These types of show are doing better and better," he said. "N 'Sync was just here and drew more than 40,000 to the Silverdome. This trend just isn't slowing down at all." Earlier this summer, Latin sensation Mr. Martin sold 660,000 copies of his new album during its frtf.W&gUeJe.iise. Cruise On Irrto Lakeside 3cW AND DINE OUTSIDE TO THE Sounds of -Che 50's Tuesday Is Coney Day 99$ A5 Your Server About Our Weekday CALL-INS ALWAYS WELCOME Lexington, Michigan 359-6522 Specials Q t Who's The 1 Good Time Oldies Station In The Area? CrwlS! R Season End Savings on EVERYTHING! 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