R.E.M.'s Most Legendary Glastonbury Performance Comes To YouTube Aug. 8
By Andrew Magnotta @AndrewMagnotta
July 31, 2020
R.E.M. fans are invited to tune into the YouTube premiere one of the band's most legendary live shows ever.
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Glastonbury Festival, R.E.M.'s historic headlining set from the Pyramid Stage in 1999 will be available for fans from all over the world to enjoy.
While R.E.M. was the headliner, frontman Michael Stipe recalls the frustrating feeling that his band's star was waning in comparison to some of the fresher faces on the bill. R.E.M. had something to prove, he recalls.
"Hole did such a great set, I was like, 'I've got to ramp this up, I've got to be great.' I think it was maybe a moment for R.E.M. and the U.K. where we had kind of been forgotten or pushed aside by younger bands, and that was a particular moment at Glastonbury where I think we pulled ourselves back to the front of the line and actually proved, this is what we're capable of. It was a great show for us!"
Glastonbury Festival co-organizer Emily Eavis added that a re-airing of the set in late-June "brought back so many memories and emotions — it was a great, great gig. What a band!"
Despite the luxuries often afforded to festival headliners, R.E.M. didn't wow fans with an over-the-top light show or pyrotechnic display. The band's aesthetic was supported only by flashing neon signs, a set including a cavalcade of monumental songs and a passionate, authentic performance from the band.
"I felt triumphant every time we played Glastonbury," Stipe added. "The band really stepped up. It's such a beloved and legendary event that, y'know, whatever stars are aligned for us personally and as a group; we managed to show the best of ourselves at each of the shows we played there."
Photo: Getty Images