Shortly after a suit-clad Chris Martin of Coldplay strummed through an earnest read of “Viva La Vida” during last night’s epic five-hour plus “121212 The Concert for Sandy Relief,” he announced a special guest. Out trotted Michael Stipe, retired frontman of R.E.M. who hasn’t graced a stage to our knowledge since the band announced its dissolution in September 2011.
“He came out of retirement for that song and now he’s gone right back in,” Martin joked as Stipe disappeared backstage.
A few moments later, Brian Williams, one of the hosts of the telethon, noted that Stipe’s inclusion was a surprise even to those organizing the event, intimating that the reclusive singer likely popped up backstage earlier in the show and said he wanted to sing.
Good to see him, however briefly.
By Melissa Ruggieri, Atlanta Music Scene