Former REM Singer Michael Stipe Plays A Solo Concert


Former REM frontman Michael Stipe performed a solo show in New York City over the holidays. It was his first gig since the band’s split in 2011.

Stipe’s surprise support performance took place before Patti Smith’s show at Webster Hall.

Last month, he dropped a little hint that he might return to the stage. Speaking to Anthony Mason on CBS This Morning he said: “I think I’ll sing again. That’s maybe an exclusive? But I think I will sing again, yeah.” Mason asks, “Soon?” “I love my voice and I think it’s still… I think it actually got better as I got older. Not soon,” Stipe says. “Maybe. I don’t know. I sing in the shower. And I’m not bad. You would be surprised at my play list.”

He was joined on stage by two musicians for his short six-song set. Stipe played keyboards during the performance, playing REM songs such as ‘Saturn Return’ and ‘New Test Leper’, as well as covering Vic Chesnutt’s ‘Lucinda Williams’, Patti Smith’s ‘Wing’, ‘Hood’ by Perfume Genius and the classic ‘New York, New York’.

During the same interview with CBS, he was asked if REM will ever reunite? “No. That will never happen… There’s no point. I love those guys very much and I respect them hugely as musicians and as songwriters and everything but I just don’t want to do that thing that people do…I despise nostalgia. I’m not good at looking back.”

In November, REM released a new six-disc DVD box set titled ‘REMTV’, chronicling the band’s relationship with MTV from 1983 and 2007.

The collection features live performances, MTV award show highlights, a new feature length documentary and highlights from the band’s performance at 2008′s Oxegen festival.