The concert "Roadmovie" was filmed and recorded during R.E.M.'s three final gigs of the Monster tour in November 1995 in Atlanta, Georgia, the band's native state. A very testing trek punctuated with serious incidents like the drummer Bill Berry's aneurysm in Lausanne, Switzerland or the bassist Mike Mills' intestinal tumor after a concert in Köln, Germany. But Michael Stipe's great band overcame these dramas and overall, the tour was a big financial success. When the band landed in Atlanta, they were in excellent mood and "Roadmovie" is a valuable witness of their state of mind. Mike Mills seemed to be on top form these nights.
Although Michael Stipe isn't here at his most talkative, "Roadmovie" also stands as an eloquent witness of the concerts the band gave during the Monster tour with the screening of films and photos behind the stage, Michael Stipe in a Kurt Cobain style due to his glasses, at least for the beginning of the film, Mike Mills in a glittering costume and the order of the songs for most of these nights. As for the set, the usual suspects are here: "Losing my Religion", "Man on the Moon", "Everybody Hurts" or "What's the Frequency Kenneth?" keep the audience overjoyed with new songs to boot at the time which were to find their places in "New Adventures in Hi-Fi" (1996): "the Wake-Up Bomb" or "Undertow". My favorite moment was "Let Me In" practically filmed in static shot that gave the performance a harrowing feel. Stipe dedicated this song to Kurt Cobain and Mills plays this swirling guitar part with a guitar that once belonged to the Nirvana front man.
If you stand in awe for R.E.M., this is a must-have in your collection. You can forgive the sometimes flashy effects for some fast songs like "Star 69" and enjoy the rest. The end of their world as we knew it? It was highly likely to arrive in 1997 with Bill Berry's departure but now, let's hope that it will be delayed as soon as possible.
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