REM at the Fleet

The following reflection was written in 2003, when I was between 25 and 26 years old.

The first concert held at the newly opened Fleet Center, which stood beside the old Boston Garden, was a concert by the rock band REM. I attended this concert with my crazy cast of friends, driving to Boston in my Ford Tempo with more people in the car than was reasonable. The drive was comprised of enough humor to warrant an entire entry all to itself.

The funniest part of the drive was when we were making our final approach and JonMartin spyed a cop car coming up. Becky, one of the girls that was with us and a person who at the time had a crush on Jon, was sort of sitting in the middle of every one. When Jon spotted the cop he grabbed Becky’s head and violently forced her to duck out of sight. It was amusing because I imagined it gave Jon a chance to take out the frustration he was feeling with Becky without seeming too cruel.

Aside from Becky, Jon, and myself there were also at least three others. I don’t remember who they were except for Kellie, who was feeling so sick and looking so out of it that the Fleet Center cronies decided to yell, “There’s no smoking up here” at her when we were taking our seats, despite the fact that she had no cigarettes or paraphenilia on her person, visible or hidden.

My memories of the getting there are so vivid that my memories of the show pale in comparison. Since it was the first show ever at the venue there were still a slew of problems to be worked out, especially with the sound system. We were in the nosebleed seats and could hardly see a thing, but I’d at least expected a cool sonic experience. That was not to be had though. Though the band played well, the sound quality was barely tolerable.

I don’t recall any specific songs but I’m sure they closed with “End of the World” and I’m also sure he dedicated one song “to the ladies,” one of the songs off Monster, but I can’t remember which one.