The former R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck often plays with the Minus 5, his friend Scott McCaughey’s band. And last night, when the Minus 5 played in R.E.M.’s old stomping grounds of Athens, Georgia, Buck was on hand. So were his old bandmates Mike Mills and Bill Berry, the drummer who left R.E.M. in 1997. That means all of the classic R.E.M. lineup, save for Michael Stipe, was there in the 40 Watt Club. And along with the rest of the Minus 5, the three of them got back together onstage and played “Superman,” the 1969 song by the Clique that R.E.M. covered on their 1986 album Life’s Rich Pageant. Watch a fan-made video of the performance below, via SPIN.
When R.E.M. originally recorded their version of that song, Stipe wasn’t into it, so Mills sang the lead. That means that they weren’t cutting Stipe out of the picture during their quasi-reunion last night. They were simply playing one of the rare R.E.M. songs that didn’t have Stipe’s lead vocals on it in the first place.