With their deft ability to keep one foot in the underground and the other riding the mainstream wave, R.E.M. have served as a source of inspiration for hundreds of bands who believed they could start out small and gradually become stadium-fillers.
Though they’ve done it in a conflated period of time, Coldplay certainly followed that script, and R.E.M.’s breakup has clearly had a serious impact on frontman Chris Martin. During a concert on Saturday in Atlanta, only about 70 miles west of R.E.M’s hometown of Athens, Martin tipped his hat to his heroes with a cover of “Everybody Hurts.”
“One of our favorite bands of all time, for some crazy reason, have finished,” Martin announced from the stage, introducing his cover. “And it’s sad. Please don’t judge this cover version on its musical merits. See it for the gesture rather than its actual sound. This is just to show how much they meant to us.”
Check out his acoustic run through “Everybody Hurts” – which inspired quite the singalong in Atlanta’s Piedmont Park – after the jump.
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Coldplay are currently preparing audiences for the release of their fifth studio album Mylo Xyloto, which will be out on October 24. Considering how well-executed and well-received their “Everybody Hurts” cover was, perhaps they should consider introducing a tribute section into their normal set.
Who wouldn’t want to hear Martin rip into “Man on the Moon” or “Nightswimming”? In a parallel universe, couldn’t “Imitation of Life” have been a Coldplay song? And how did Michael Stipe not write “Yellow”? Leave your Coldplay cover requests in the comments below.