I haven't really followed R.E.M.'s development closely enough to essay a review of Live at the Olympia. They're not a band about which it feels permissible to attempt even a glib, smart-arse bunch of throwaway comments unless one has trawled studiously through the subtleties of the I.R.S. years and all that; heck, even they seem to avoid talking much about Automatic for the People, which a naive casual fan like me can regard as one of the great albums of the last fifty years or so.
I can say that this collection has some songs I recognise, and some I don't, and of the former, there are some wonderful performances, and some which aren't quite as punchy or enthralling as I've heard elsewhere. And I'll note that R.E.M. are clearly a great live band, who it'd be cool to catch in the flesh some day. But that's elementary stuff.
No, the reason I'm posting is simply a thought inspired by the DVD which came with the deluxe set which I picked up. Specifically; how can a band so alert to the history of rock and roll, and so paranoically diligent about avoiding cliche, include so many scenes where they wander around corridors backstage prior to going on. I mean, have they really not seen Spinal Tap?