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Saga Theatre, Copenhagen, Denmark

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Concert Date: 
06/09/1989
Location: 
Dimeadozen
taper: 
Slowburn
seeder: 
Butterking
Recording Type: 
Audio
Attributes: 
Audience Recording
source: 
Sony ECM-929 > Sony Walkman D6C Master Cassette > Nakamichi CR-7A transfer > gentle JEMS mastering via TC Finalizer > Peak 5.2 > FLAC

Download from Dimeadozen

Disc One
01 Pop Song 89
02 Exhuming McCarthy
03 Turn You Inside-Out
04 Disturbance At The Heron House
05 Orange Crush
06 Wolves, Lower
07 Feeling Gravitys Pull
08 Time After Time (Annelise)
09 Sitting Still
10 World Leader Pretend
11 Begin The Begin
12 Rotary Ten (instrumental)
13 Pretty Persuasion
14 Get Up
15 Auctioneer (Another Engine)
16 It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

Disc Two (encores)
01 clapping and intro
02 Stand
03 Underneath The Bunker
04 King Of Birds
05 You Are The Everything
06 Harpers (Hugh Largo cover)
07 Ain't No Sunshine (Bill Withers cover)
08 Born To Run (Bruce Springsteen cover)
09 Finest Worksong
10 Perfect Circle
11 Dark Globe (Syd Barrett cover)
12 After Hours (Velvet Underground cover)

Note: Set includes "Harpers" which is not listed in the setlist found on REMTimeline.com.

20 years ago today, Slowburn, at my urging, went to see R.E.M. at the small Saga Theatre in Copenhagen and came out a fan. Didn't hurt that the band offered a short, impromptu cover of Springsteen's "Born to Run" that night as it was Springsteen taping that had gotten the two of us acquainted in the first place.

Unfortunately, Slowburn did have some issues turing taping and the master recording has one bad channel. For this release, the good channel was copied over to make a dual channel mono recording. The result is a solid recording of a rare show with a couple of unusual covers that should appeal to R.E.M. collectors.

Samples provided.

Butterking for JEMS

Better Late than Never here are some notes on the show from Slowburn:

Well, I appreciate the comments about this show. While I don't have many other shows from this tour and really aren't in a position to comment on how the show stands out, for me this was one fantastic concert. I might be the only one who taped it. As far as I can tell there's never been another source from this show circulated. Although there was this one Danish guy who did tape this kind of bands at the time so it's not totally impossible that there could be more than one source. As JEMS wrote I had no interest in R.E.M. at the time and would not have attended the show had it not been for his insistence. This being before the internet this must have been by transatlantic phone at about a dollar a minute conversation so he must have talked that band up a pretty well ...

Not sure where I got the ticket but I went by myself which in those days before the bridge between Sweden and Denmark was a bit of an adventure. Especially getting home before the ferries stopped running at night. SAGA was an old theater that had seen better days. As I recall it was during the years before this show mostly known as a porn cinema. Exactly how this rhymes with a capacity of 1500-2000 I can't recall. Surely not even in seedy parts of Copenhagen a porn cinema would seat that many. I clearly remember seeing about one R.E.M poster outside and hundreds of porn ones. Maybe there was multiple rooms. Can't recall. I think it was free seating once inside. As I recall there was a free space in front of the first row of seats where people were standing. I recall choosing a seat in about row 10-15 or so slightly to the left. Not sure why I picked that one but since I was taping by myself it probably was the first row where I thought I could have a couple of empty seats around me. Remember this was the tour where R.E.M. easily sold out arenas in parts of the US. In Copenhagen I don't think they sold a thousand tickets. The venue was half empty. At the time I had seen a couple of Springsteen shows (in 85 and 88) and had started to go to shows more frequently.

In my early twenties at the time I had probably gone to about 50 shows. Nothing had really moved me in the way the Bruce shows did. While I would most likely have continued to be a fan of rock and with a growing interest I think in hindsight this was probably the show that proved to me that this rock thing wasn't about one particular artist but rather something that could be great about concerts in general. It think I could credit (or blame) this show for making me go to hundreds of more shows in the years since. I think I had bought the Green album before the show. At least I had heard most of the songs from that album. I had never heard most of the songs played that weren't on that album. In hindsight I know the band wasn't totally unknown in this area but I don't recall having ever heard about them before. As a matter of fact I was surprised a thousand people showed up.

Going into the show I had no idea what to expect. At JEMS request i brought a Sony (DM6?) cassette deck and a Sony mic. One of the EMC ones either the cigarette lookalike or the one that looked like a pistol. Can't recall. I'm writing this without having replayed the recording. Probably haven't played it for a couple of years although I will later this weekend. What I remember from that night is a sense of community. I didn't know anyone else there. Bought a T-Shirt (the inside out printed one) which I still have to this day. Don't think I talked to a single person but when the music started it just overwhelmed me. And everyone else there. You could definlitly feel it in the hall. Stipe just commanded the room. I remember standing up the whole show even though no one was blocking my view. Actually as i recall most of the audience stood up the entire show. Without looking it up I don't think the band had been to Copenhagen before so very few in the audience had seen them at previous tours. I have no clear details of any particular songs except for Born To Run. I'm pretty sure Jems had tipped me of that it might get played. Not sure I would have made the effort to go otherwise. When the verse (or two) came as part of another song it just blew me away. As mentioned I've probably been to a thousand shows by now.

This is still the ONLY time I've seen R.E.M. The band is to this day probably in my top 5 all time bands. They've been back to the area several times but it's either been at giant venues that I just refuse to go to these days or the timings been impossible for me. Although with all the shows I have been to this may not be a show I listen to that often anymore but it does have a very special meaning to me and I appreciate the initial write up. I know I'll be playing it this new years. My guess is that the only copy I ever made to anyone was to JEMS (on cassette) and anyone else got it from there. We didn't get into DAT until later in 1989/90 so I'm pretty sure no one has this with zero generations. I will make an effort in the beginning of the year to get the best possible version of this show out there. Thanks for bringing back the memories.

NOTE: Slowburn wrote the above on an REM website several months ago where this show was being discussed. I copied it here (unedited) to add color but in my haste I didn't edit out some of the outdated for perhaps mildly confusing parts like the ending. This torrent IS from Slowburn's master cassettes and is "the best possible version of this [recording]."
 
REMring Notes: This is one of my favorite R.E.M. Bootlegs from the Green Era. Slowburns is Top 5 at least. The version of 'King of Birds' is absolutely stunning. A must!

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