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April 20, 1984 Theatre El Dorado, Paris, France

April 20, 1984, Theatre El Dorado, Paris, France

Being a bootleg collector of R.E.M., it’s been a fairly pleasant experience to have a plethora of great quality early bootlegs showing off their talents. This one is no exception. A dark horse among shows from 1984 that have been popularized over the years, El Dorado shines by providing a glimpse into their second trip abroad.
By April 1984, the band was still feeding off the buzz of their critically acclaimed ‘Murmur’ and ‘Reckoning’ had just been released. By this time we see a growing conflict between British and American rock, as the British media favored the output of their homegrown talent.  For R.E.M., they took the challenge head on, reveling in their stage abilities as well as their willingness to speak openly about many of the bands from the US that actually mattered.
The buzz from Murmur changed all of this and for the few critics that chose to see the band live, they were mightily impressed. These early jaunts to Europe were important to gain a footing in the market, and their impressive showings allowed the critics to namedrop them at every opportunity they could inevitably comparing them to the Smiths and U2.
The show features some odd entries such as the band opening with ‘Ghost Riders In The Sky’ and Walters BBQ, and some favorites, such as the Gardening at Night/9-9/Windout combo, but  even with a crowd of ex-pats and Frenchman, you would get the impression that they were performing in any of a number of clubs in the states.
A couple of the songs Gardening at Night and 9-9 are not included below as they were released on the 12 inch single for (Don’t Go Back to Rockville). While the quality of this performance does not match that of the single and there are some inconsistencies, it’s still a worthy download for those aching for nice quality recordings.
1.                       Ghost Riders In The Sky
2.                       Moral Kiosk
3.                       Catapult
4.                       Pilgrimage
5.                       Letter Never Sent
6.                       So. Central Rain
7.                       Harborcoat
8.                       Sitting Still

9.                       Gardening At Night
10.                    9-9
11.                    Windout
12.                    Time After Time (Annelise)
13.                    Just A Touch
14.                    Little America
15.                    Pale Blue Eyes
encore 1:
16.                    Second Guessing
17.                    Radio Free Europe/We Walk
18.                    20th Century Boys (Part 1)
19.                    20th Century Boy (Part 2)
20.                    1,000,000
encore 2:           Crowd Noise
21.                    Walters BBQ
22.                    (Don't Go Back To) Rockville
23.                    Talk About The Passion
24.                    Carnival Of Sorts (Boxcars)