On Friday night, Atlanta’s Fox Theatre hosted Revival, a special night of music from local icons that benefitted The Fox Theatre Institute, which supports historic theaters around Georgia. The evening featured music from Drive-By Truckers, Drivin N Cryin and more, plus a surprise reunion of most of the members of R.E.M., who began their career in nearby Athens, GA.
The Revival benefit was hosted by Drivin N Cryin frontman Kevn Kinney, and the vocalist also fronted a band made up of R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills and drummer Bill Berry for a short set that featured rotating singers, making for a nearly full reunion of the group that called it quits in 2011 (missing only frontman Michael Stipe).
The group surprised the crowd by kicking off the set with “Fall On Me” and “The One I Love,” both featuring Kinney on vocals. Guitarist Rick Richards then took the frontman reins for “Battleship Chains,” followed by “Crazy” featuring the voice of Pylon’s Vanessa Briscoe Hay. Tom Gray of The Brains then took over for a cover of his band’s “Money Changes Everything,” and Mills led the collective in the “Texarkana” closer, having switched to guitar as Atlanta musician and longtime Truckers producer David Barbe filled in on bass.
Other collaborative highlights of the night included Drivin N Cryin’s closer, “Straight to Hell,” which included Buck, Mills, Gray, Richards and Michelle Malone, along with the finale of the evening, when Drive-By Truckers’ headlining set came to a close with all of the benefit participants joining forces for a cover of Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World.”
Check out a couple of fan-shot videos from R.E.M.’s almost reunion below.
“The One I Love”:
Kevn Kinney, Peter Buck, Mike Mills, Bill Berry
The Fox Theatre – Atlanta, GA
Fall On Me, The One I Love, Battleship Chains*, Crazy^, Money Changes Everything+, Texarkana#
Notes: * Rick Richards on vocals
^ Vanessa Briscoe Hay on vocals
+ Tom Gray on vocals
# Mike Mills on vocals