concert memoirs pt. 11 – rem, husker du & the cure

REM

8/5/85 Roy Wilkins Auditorium w/John Ticket Price: $13.25

Hey! Here’s another legendary band! REM was just beginning to get some wider notice at the time. ‘Losing My Religion’ was still a few years away, but these guys were already one of the most influential bands of the 80’s. They were that with their first two releases.

So, at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium, the way they had the stage set up we could see part of the backstage area. This was a great setup, because we could see the young punks who would hop onstage to attempt to do a stage dive get grabbed by the security and get bounced. We could see them being escorted backstage and out of the auditorium. Those fascist bouncers! Who cares about insurance issues? This is alternative, indie rock!

I gotta admit that I can’t remember much about the music. I know I enjoyed it, but I don’t have much else.

I do have this…

I think it was during the encore when Michael Stipe started to introduce a guest to their stage. These were the days when Stipe wasn’t giving us the clearest vocals while singing. He also wasn’t speaking very clearly. So, we weren’t quite certain who he was talking about until Bob Mould of Husker Du stepped out.

This was pretty cool. One of our local heroes was making the scene with REM. I believe he joined them in a cover of The Rolling Stones’ ‘Paint It Black’.

What was even cooler was what Bob did while playing. The young punks were still jumping onstage and making stage dives. Those that got away from the bouncers, that is. One kid jumped up and began skanking around. A bouncer was attempting to get to the kid, but Bob Mould kept moving in between the kid and the bouncer. Bob kept it up for a few seconds until the kid made his dive into the crowd.

Cheers, Bob!

Husker Du w/Naked Raygun & Bad Trip
8/28/85 First Avenue w/John Ticket Price: Unknown

Speaking of Husker Du, well of Bob Mould anyway…

This was the third time seeing Husker Du. We were getting into these guys pretty big and into the punk rock thing. John and I had come a long way from our running away from the slam dancing at The Clash show. We were in the pit by then, skanking away. We were getting pretty good at it. What a blast!

I had developed a routine for the slam dancing concerts. For the first couple songs I’d stay at the perimeter of the pit and watch the band, then I’d take my glasses off, put them in my pocket and jump into the action. As a result, I wouldn’t see much of the show (I’m terribly nearsighted), but I’d listen and slam myself into sweaty exhaustion.

Speaking of sweaty exhaustion (two uses of the “speaking of” in one blog entry, wow), this was the first time we saw the great Naked Raygun. I only knew a song or two by them, but they quickly became a favorite of mine. When they broke into “Home of the Brave” that night, John and I jumped in for some warm-up slam dancing.

We’d would be seeing Naked Raygun a few more times.

Bad Trip? I don’t remember them.

The Cure
10/17/85 Orpheum Theatre w/John Ticket Price: $13.50

I wish I remember who opened for The Cure. Was it Echo & the Bunnymen, maybe?

What I recall of The Cure was that they sounded good, but they seemed pretty disinterested. It could have been some gothic (or early emo?) attitude or something that kept the band rooted in their spots. However, during the encore Robert Smith did break into some silly little dance.

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