SOURCE: Warner Bros. Records

March 30, 2007 12:00 ET

R.E.M. Announce First Live Shows in Two Years to Take Place in Ireland in July

Five-Night Residency at Dublin's Historic Olympia Theatre to Serve as 'Live Rehearsal' for Subsequent Recording of Band's 14th Studio Album

BURBANK, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 30, 2007 -- R.E.M. has announced a special five-night residency at Dublin, Ireland's fabled Olympia Theatre to take place June 30th, July 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 5th, enabling the band -- singer Michael Stipe, guitarist Peter Buck, and bassist Mike Mills -- to test out brand-new songs for their upcoming 14th studio album.

"Returning to Dublin for our live rehearsal this summer provides the great start we need for our next album's work," says Stipe. "I intend to hit the ground running." Mills says the band chose the Olympia, a historic music hall built in 1879, because of all the great shows they've seen there over the years: "From the Waterboys to Lou Reed. I am thrilled to play at this wonderful venue, and in front of some of the best fans in the world," he says.

The shows -- which are R.E.M.'s first since their memorable concert in London's Hyde Park in July 2005 -- coincide with the recording of the new album, which will take place in Dublin, Vancouver, and the band's hometown of Athens, GA. Grammy Award-winning producer Jacknife Lee, best known for his production work on U2's "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb," as well as albums by Snow Patrol, The Hives, Kasabian, Aqualung, and Bloc Party, will be at the helm. Lee, who met with the band in Athens in February, calls R.E.M.'s new material "some of their most exciting and visceral yet."

The album will be the Grammy-winning band's first studio album since 2004's "Around the Sun." In September 2006, R.E.M. released a two-disc retrospective, "And I Feel Fine... The Best of the I.R.S. Years 1982-1987," which featured songs from the band's early years on indie label I.R.S.

Earlier this month R.E.M. were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame with former drummer Bill Berry. Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder, who presented the band at the ceremony in New York City, called their music "truly all-encompassing."

Tickets for the Dublin shows are available now at or in person at the Olympia Theatre box office starting at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 31st.

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