A quick dispatch regarding last night’s 40th Anniversary Concert in tribute of R.E.M’s Chronic Town

It was a cold and rainy night in Athens, but it did not dampen the spirits of about 700 people who got to experience this singular performance. Spearheaded by the Black Crowes’ Rich Robinson, the line-up emerged as a star-studded affair. David Cross served as the MC.

Robinson gathered Crowes bassist Sven Pippien, Joe Magistro, Thayer Serrano, Kevn Kinney, Fred Armisen, Lenny Kaye, Mitch Easter, Steve Wynn, David Ryan Harris, Elf Power, Pylon Reenactment Society, the Indigo Girls, Pete Buck, Mike Mills, John Driscoll Hopkins and Darius Rucker to perform. Forgive me if I’ve left anyone out…there’s not much time to get this out before we drive to Atlanta for night two.

The first person Elizabeth and I ran into was John Neff (Bloodkin, Drive By Truckers). We also talked to Kyle Tibbs Jones (co-founder of the Bitter Southerner) and Athens sound guru David Barbe. It counted as my first indoor concert since Covid. The 40 Watt brought back many memories from all the years I lived in Athens.

Elizabeth’s favorite performances of the evening turned out to be the Indigo Girls, Fred Armisen and Buck, Mills and Kaye. It was an interesting and stellar evening all the way around. My personal highlights were Kevn Kinney, seeing Rich Robinson’s son sing one (his brother Chris will appear tonight in Atlanta), David Ryan Harris and Rich leading Buck, Mills and Kaye through “we didn’t rehearse this one” an encore of Big Star’s “September Girls”. Glorious…

We’ll see you tonight for night two at the Atlanta Coca-Cola Roxy Theater…

(Photos by James Calemine & Elizabeth Josephine)