Crocodile Café; Seattle 23rd October 2001

'The Minus 5 & Friends', a benefit show for the Washington Wilderness Coalition

Source: Unknown mics > DAT
Lineage: CDR > WAV

01 - Intro - Music (snippet, Madonna cover)
02 - Imitation of Life
03 - All The Way To Reno (You're Gonna Be A Star)
04 - The Great Beyond
05 - Michael talks
06 - So Fast, So Numb
07 - Dead From The Waist Down (Catatonia cover, Scott McCaughey on lead vocals with Mike Mills)
08 - Long Road (Pearl Jam cover)*
09 - Cuyahoga
10 - Michael talks
11 - Let Me In
12 - Michael talks
13 - The Lifting
14 - She Just Wants To Be
15 - At My Most Beautiful
16 - Country Feedback
17 - Losing My Religion
18 - Walk Unafraid
19 - Encore break - conga line
20 - All The Right Friends
21 - Better Man (Pearl Jam cover, part)
22 - I've Been High
23 - Man On the Moon
24 - Begin The Begin*
25 - Michael talks
26 - It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) - People Have The Power - It's The End Of The World As We Know It*

Michael Stipe- Vocals
Peter Buck - Guitar, mandolin
Mike Mills - Bass, vocals
Scott McCaughey - Guitar, keyboards, vocals
Ken Stringfellow - Guitar, keyboards, vocals
Joey Waronker - Drums, percussion
*Eddie Vedder - vocals

Show notes:

This concert was billed as 'The Minus 5 & Friends', and was a benefit show for the Washington Wilderness Coalition. R.E.M. were in Seattle to play the Groundwork 2001 benefit show the night before, so when this show was announced, there was plenty of speculation who the friends might be. A very special setlist dominated by Reveal songs as that was their latest release, as well as a very special guest in Eddie Vedder. An extremely rare performance of 'The Lifting', and 'All The Right Friends', played for the first time in 18 years. It transpired the reason for that was that same day they recorded the song in the studio to be included on the 'Vanilla Sky' soundtrack. Rather than me waffle on about this very unique show, I'll let someone who was there talk you through it: By Michel Bastien: "Seattle, WA. October 23 2001. The Crocodile Café. It’s going down in my book of memories… Up to this point in my life, I believe I’ve seen a thing or two in a concert. I’ve traveled miles and miles for concerts. I saw concerts in more than a dozen different cities. And I’ve missed more than one concert that I dearly wish I’d gone to… But yesterday night, yesterday night… This is the reason why live performances are so great. This is why you go back again and again, asking for more. And when everyone around me keeps on telling me that I see ‘the same show, over and over again’, yesterday night just instantly proves them all wrong. The Minus 5 took the stage at around 10:10pm. They played a solid, energetic performance.

To be honest,I’m not familiar with their stuff but it was very good. They had a few guest performers, like that Shane Nelson guy (whoever he was). They left right before 11:00pm and Scott simply said ‘hang around, we’ve got a good band coming up…’. At that point, there were no questions to be asked. REM took the stage around 11:40pm. Michael walked on: ‘Is it ok if I keep my sunglasses? I’m intimidated…’. By the 300 or so of us standing in front of the stage? Keep your glasses Mr. Stipe, no one cares. They kicked into ‘Imitation of Life’. Now that stage was small. The boys were very close one to the other. You could clearly see they were enjoying themselves. Michael was, once again, in great shape. In his limited space, he could dance and pull out his moves comfortably. He talked extensively with the crowd that really got into it quickly. Who wouldn’t? I didn’t keep track of the setlist but if I’m not mistaken, following IOL was ‘All the way to Reno’. Michael gave out his microphone to the people in front of him for the first time to sing ‘you’re gonna be a star, you are…’. He kept on doing so throughout the night. Then ‘So Fast, So Numb’. I told you yesterday, one of my favorites. It was even better in that club. I don’t remember which song was 4th but after it, Michael said he had friend who wanted to sing a song. Everyone left the stage and Mike and Scott sang together. I couldn’t identify the song they sang. Not sure whether it was a compo or a cover. One of the first highlights (out of many, many) was right after that. Eddie Vedder came on stage and they played ‘Long Road’ with him. That was amazing. Eddie seemed quite happy to be on stage with Michael and the boys and the song sounded really good. Both Ed and Michael’s voices were amazing. Amplification was so minimal compared to Arena shows. It really made it sound incredible. Other highlights included ‘Cuyahoga’, always a pleasure to hear. Right before ‘She just wants to be’, a girl throw her bra on the stage.

Michael wiped his face off with it and threw it back (but not to the same girl!). He then said ‘this next sound is for this girl…’. They extended the end of that song for about a minute and a half. Everyone was jamming on the stage – they were all absolutely into it. It was amazing. They played ‘Country Feedback’. Michael introduced it saying that ‘this was Peter’s idea…’. It was gorgeous. ‘Let me In’ was, like yesterday, Mr. Mills’ lead. He just owns this new version. I would fade out the lights on the rest of the stage and spotlight him. The way they’re playing the song lately is really reviving it for me.

Well, I have to wrap this up… But let’s just say that Eddie Vedder came back to sing ‘Begin the Begin’ with the boys. Once again, the synergy on stage was incredible. It really seemed like Mike and Peter made this up and we heard Michael say ‘do you know the lyrics to this song? Cause I don’t…’ and Mike went on the side of the stage to grab Eddie. Incredible! Of course, a powerful ‘It’s the End of the World’ ended the show, with the ‘Power to the People’ part (beautiful) and Eddie and Michael dancing together on the stage. It left everyone begging for more… and it was almost 1:45am. I’m missing songs, and I’m missing highlights. The whole night was a highlight. I hope a recording will surface. And then, I also hope it won’t. I want to take it as a souvenir… Thank you guys, thank you"

Recording notes: This is an excellent audience recording by someone who remains unknown to this day. I put it through the iZotope machine to make it sound a little nicer as it was severely clipped. A declip now has it sounding even better. It's an outstanding capture of what must have been an incredible show to witness. Thankyou anonymous taper. Torrent notes: This show has been on Dime a few times in the past, the last time by blg in 2011. This show isn't from that torrent, but comes from 2 CDR's I received in a trade sometime in the early 2000's from someone long forgotten. In blg's post he mentioned a number of dropouts during a few songs - there's no dropouts in this one, so along with my remaster you could consider this an upgrade if you have it already. I've included a few images from the show that originally appeared on REM HQ website, taken by crew member Bob