Iconic Band R.E.M. Reunites for Special 'Murmur' Tribute in Athens

Published February 10, 2024

In an emotional return to their roots, the original members of the legendary rock band R.E.M. took the stage together after a 17-year hiatus on Wednesday, February 8. This historical event happened at a tribute concert at the renowned 40 Watt Club, a venue deeply intertwined with the band's early history in Athens, Georgia.

Triumphant Reunion During Tribute Tour

The homecoming was part of the ongoing tribute tour led by actor and singer Michael Shannon along with Jason Narducy of Superchunk, marking the 40th anniversary of R.E.M.'s seminal debut album Murmur. Guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills, and drummer Bill Berry joined Shannon and Narducy on stage intermittently throughout the night, delivering nostalgic renditions of their classic songs. The climax of the evening was reached when R.E.M.'s acclaimed frontman Michael Stipe graced the stage alongside his former bandmates, choosing to be present rather than perform.

Highlights of the Nostalgic Night

A heartening highlight from the concert was witnessed in a fan-captured video clip showing Bill Berry on piano and Peter Buck on guitar for the song 'Perfect Circle.' The set list was a journey through the band's origins, including the entire Murmur album and their 1982 debut EP Chronic Town, performed in sequence. The walk down memory lane also featured other R.E.M. hits and a cover of The Velvet Underground's 'There She Goes Again,' a nod to the band's early covers.

A Look Back at Past R.E.M. Gatherings

Before this gathering, the last time R.E.M.'s original quartet shared the stage was at their Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction, back when the band was still active and before Berry's exit in 1997. More recently, in 2022, all four members reunited at an all-star tribute for Chronic Town, but only Buck and Mills performed onstage.

The Tour Celebrating 'Murmur'

The Murmur tribute tour kicked off on February 4 in Minneapolis and is set to continue across various locations. The tour promises to pay homage to R.E.M.'s early work, bringing a slice of music history to fans new and old. The tribute tour is a limited run, ending on February 14 in Brooklyn, New York.

reunion, concert, tribute