R.E.M.’s Original Lineup Just Performed Live Together For The First Time In Over 15 Years


Ahead of being inducted into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame, R.E.M. vowed that they would never reunite. “It’d never be as good,” Peter Buck said. They must have meant a full-blown reunion, with a new album and tour, because on Thursday, all four members of the band — Michael Stipe, Bill Berry, Mike Mills, and Buck — reunited and played together for the first time in 17 years.

R.E.M. performed “Losing My Religion,” the massive hit from 1991’s Out Of Time, at the Songwriters Hall of Fame induction ceremony. According to Brooklyn Vegan, “it marked the first R.E.M. performance since their 2011 breakup, and the first time that all four original members performed together since their Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2007.” (Original drummer Berry left the group in 1997 following a brain aneurysm.)

While appearing on CBS Mornings, R.E.M. explained why they broke up. “At that point there wasn’t anything we could agree on, really, musically. What kind of music, how to record it, are we going to go on tour, you know? We could barely agree on where to go to dinner. And now, we can just agree on where to go to dinner,” Buck said, while Stipe added, “We’re also here to tell the tale, and we’re sitting at the same table together with deep admiration and… lifelong friendship. A lot of people that do this can’t claim that.”

In that same interview, Stipe said it would take “a comet” for the band to play together again.

You can watch footage from the stripped-down reunion performance above.