Michael Stipe Plays First Concert Since R.E.M.’s Breakup

Image Courtesy of Cass BirdEarlier this month, Michael Stipe said, "I think I'll sing again." That proclamation came true Monday night, when the former R.E.M. frontman performed a six-song solo set as the surprise opener for Patti Smith in New York City. The performance was Stipe's first substantial set since R.E.M. broke up in 2011.

Stipe played keyboards for most the set, an instrument he rarely played live with R.E.M. The set consisted of two R.E.M. songs -- "Saturn Return" and "New Test Leper" -- and four covers, including a version of Smith's "Wings."

Stipe's last major public performance was a cameo appearance during the 12-12-12 benefit show at NYC's Madison Square Garden. He joined Coldplay frontman Chris Martin to sing the R.E.M. classic "Everybody Hurts."

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