Watch R.E.M. Reunite, Play “Losing My Religion” in First Performance in 16 Years

Watch R.E.M. Reunite, Play “Losing My Religion” in First Performance in 16 Years


Mere hours after telling CBS Mornings it would take “a comet” for them to perform together again, R.E.M. did just that. Michael Stipe, Mike Mills, Peter Buck, and Bill Berry took the stage for the first time in 15 years at the Songwriters Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Marriot Marquis Hotel in New York last night, playing a surprise rendition of “Losing My Religion.” Watch video from the crowd below.

In a speech recognizing the group’s induction, Stipe said, “Writing songs and having a catalog of work that we’re all proud of—that is out there for the whole world for the rest of time—is hands down the most important aspect of what we did as a band. Second to that is that we managed to do so for all these decades and remain friends, and not just friends, but dear friends—friends for life.” He added, “We are four people who, very early on, decided that we would own our own masters. We would split our royalties and songwriting credits equally. We were all for one and one for all. We set out to do our work accordingly. It turned out good, sometimes great, and what a ride it has been.”

Until last night, R.E.M.’s official final concert took place in 2008 at the Auditorio Nacional in Mexico City, as documented on the band’s YouTube. After splitting in 2011, they have unvaulted a smattering of rarities for good causes, and recently embarked on a reissue campaign, the latest installment being Up.

Revisit Ryan Dombal’s interview “Michael Stipe on the Music That Made Him.”

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