About 200 R.E.M. fans crammed into MTV’s midtown studios to see the band perform a mix of old hits and new songs for a special edition of “MTV Unplugged.”
“Thank you for jamming into this little room here,” lead singer Michael Stipe joked at the start of Monday’s concert, scheduled to air July 19 as part of the network’s All Access week.
This is the second time the band has performed for “MTV Unplugged” – R.E.M. did the acoustic show back in 1991. In case Stipe needed any reminders of that performance, MTV played a muted version of it on a video screen during Monday’s show, to Stipe’s chagrin.
“Get that guy off the screen,” he joked when he saw his younger self. “He’s so sincere. My God. He looks great!”
Stipe kept the audience, which included actors Molly Ringwald, Gwyneth Paltrow and Luke Wilson, laughing during breaks between songs. At one point, he read headlines off the news ticker in Times Square.
R.E.M. released their latest album, “Reveal,” this month.