Setlist, Video — December 30, 2014 at 12:46 am

Michael Stipe performs rare, unannounced solo set opening for Patti Smith in New York

Michael Stipe

Photo via suziemay212 on Instagram

Just weeks after revealing “I think I will sing again” in a TV interview, R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe took to the stage Monday night in New York City as the unannounced opening act for Patti Smith at Webster Hall, performing a six-song set that included two numbers by his old band and four covers — including “Theme From ‘New York, New York.'”

Performing on keyboards and joined by two other musicians, Stipe performed R.E.M.’s “Saturn Return” and “New Test Leper,” plus covers of Vic Chesnutt’s “Lucinda Williams,” Smith’s own “Wing,” Perfume Genius’ “Hood” and the aforementioned “New York, New York,” popularized by Liza Minelli and Frank Sinatra.

Below, check out the setlist, plus audio and video of Stipe’s performance.

We’ll add more as it surfaces.

In the years since R.E.M.’s breakup, Stipe has performed sporadically, most recently at Peter Buck’s wedding in 2013 and with Coldplay’s Chris Martin at the 12-12-12: The Concert for Sandy Relief.

Smith — perhaps with Stipe in tow once again — also is slated to perform Tuesday night at Webster Hall.


Setlist: Michael Stipe, Webster Hall, New York, NY, 12/29/14

1. “Lucinda Williams” (Vic Chesnutt)
2. “Theme From ‘New York, New York'”
3. “Wing” (Patti Smith)
4. “Saturn Return” (R.E.M.)
5. “Hood” (Perfume Genius)
6. “New Test Leper” (R.E.M.)

* Opening for Patti Smith


Michael Stipe, “New Test Leper” and “Saturn Return” (R.E.M.)


Michael Stipe, “Theme From ‘New York, New York'”


Michael Stipe, “Hood” (Perfume Genius)

#michaelstipe #perfumegenius #perfumegeniushood #pattismith

A video posted by m c g i n l e y s t u d i o (@ryanmcginleystudios) on



Michael Stipe, “New Test Leper” (R.E.M.)


A video posted by wastedlikeamemory (@wastedlikeamemory) on



Michael Stipe, “Lucinda Williams” (Vic Chesnutt)






  1. Billy Joel sounds pretty good.

  2. Terrible quality, the fucking camera operator should be sacked

  3. Scott Stalcup

    Pretty good impression of Stipe from the Travelocity gnome, eh?

  4. Gnome? Billy Joel? The camera operator, that’s Sally from Queens, iPhone 4. The sack-of-dicks have started their drinking early.

    I’m not a big REM girl, but it looks like it was a great show for fans. What a fun surprise.

    • Scott Stalcup

      Oh lighten up. With the beard and the beanie, J.M. looks very gnomelike. Failing that, one of the Seven Dwarves. Maybe The Eighth Dwarf: Mumbles.

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