Tremendous live band Somehow it is amazing that just about every band that lasts, and has an impact in rock and roll, can play live really well. R.E.M. is no exception - this is just flat out a hard-assed live record. Gone are the mid-tempo strums that have sapped the energy from their last decade of music. With Accelerate, they returned to fast and loud, but done with the eccentricities that endeared us to R.E.M. in the first place. Before completing Accelerate, they had a five-night rehearsal residency in Dublin. They honed the new songs and dusted off a dozen 20+ year old songs and put their guitar back where it belongs - right in front. Peter Buck spins his riffs, supported by the hefty roar from Mike Mills bass - Mike is this generations John Paul Jones. Bass is the least flashy part of the rock band, but when it is done right it is so vital. Michael Stipe enunciates more clearly than he ever has, but you still just get caught up in the vocal instrument. Okay, I have waxed poetic enough. This record shames a ton of bands that think they play hard. If you like R.E.M. this one is great. By Michael (Canal Winchester, Ohio, U.S.A.) This review is for a different format.