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After disbanding back in 2011, R.E.M. have reunited (well, three quarters of the band) to perform the group’s 1984 track (Don’t Go Back to) Rockville.
During a solo show from R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck at the 40 Watt Club in Athens, Georgia, former R.E.M. drummer Bill Berry and bassist Mike Mills joined Buck on stage. Of course this doesn’t count as a complete ‘reunion’ of sorts, with frontman Michael Stipe missing from the action. However, according to a fan’s tweet, Stipe was seen in the crowd watching as his former bandmates played.
R.E.M.’s final studio album, 2011's Collapse Into Now, wasn’t supported by any sort of post-release tour. The band then announced their breakup in September that year. Talking with Rolling Stone earlier this year, bassist Mike Mills discussed the likelihood of an R.E.M. reunion. “If we honestly thought there was a chance of a reunion tour, we might have said so at the time,” he explained.
Discussing the reasons behind the band’s dissolution, Mills said:
“There’s no drug abuse. There’s no in-fighting. There’s no legal problems. It was time to break up. That’s never really been done before. The idea of breaking up and not reforming for a reunion tour is kind of attractive to us. I doubt you’ll see us touring as R.E.M. again.”
That said, this new footage (which you can watch below) might just bring back some hope for those die-hard R.E.M. fans.
Watch: 3/4 of R.E.M. – (Don’t Go Back to) Rockville, live in Athens, Georgia
— Kyle N Rogers (@KRodge) November 15, 2013